How to Register Your Business in California

Is your company hiring an employee in California, but based in another state? Learn how to register your business in just a few simple steps.

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In this era of remote work, you can cast a wide net, hiring people from anywhere and everywhere, including California. The Golden State is the most populous in the union and is home to over 10% of Americans, so chances are decent that your next hire will be a Californian.

Bringing on a new employee can be exciting, but there’s often a lot to do as well. You want to onboard your new hire as quickly and smoothly as possible to ensure their success at your organization. But before you get started with onboarding, if you operate a business with one or more employees in the state of California, you’ll need to register your company with the state.

Keep in mind that any person or a legal entity can be a business, including a household, a club, an estate, or a sole proprietorship. Fortunately, no matter what kind of business you are operating, registering with the state of California is fairly simple.

Register your business in California in two easy steps:

  1. First, you’ll need to create a new account with the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
  2. Then, you’ll apply for an Employer Payroll Tax Account Number. You (or your payroll service) will use this number when you file your taxes. This tutorial video from the EDD can help you fill out the application.

After you’ve applied, you should receive your account number immediately. However, if your application is missing important information it may take longer. You can check the status of your application in the e-Services section of the EDD website at any time.

Once you’ve registered your business with the state and received your account number, you will have several responsibilities as an employer in California. These include but are not limited to:

  1. Reporting wages paid to your employees as well as taxes withheld from their wages.
  2. Paying unemployment insurance and employment training tax on your employees' wages
  3. Withholding state disability insurance
  4. Reporting all new employees to the state within 20 days of their start date. Keep in mind, you may also need to report any independent contractors you work with, as well.

Interested in expanding your team outside of the US as well? Pilot specializes in managing international payroll, benefits, and compliance for US-based companies, in one secure platform. Our team of HR and payroll experts is happy to guide you through any questions ✨

To learn more about Pilot, request a demo with one of our experts.


⚖️ Legal Disclaimer: The information contained in this site is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


Photo by USA-Reiseblogger on Pixabay

Pilot Team
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