Does an LLC with one member need an operating agreement in CA?

Yes an operating agreement is required for all LLCs formed in California. This is straight from the CA secretary of state website:

  • Operating Agreements are to be maintained by the limited liability company and are not filed with the California Secretary of State. (Section 17701.13(d)(5).) Please do not submit Operating Agreements for filing; if they are submitted, they will be returned unfiled.

Thus, you 1) need one, but 2) don’t have to file it with the state.

If you’re unsure of what an operating agreement is it’s a set of documents that provide you with the framework for various business and functional issues that may arise. Feel free to check out a past post of mine regarding the important clauses to include: What are the important clauses that should be included in an operating agreement?.

It’s recommended that a lawyer help you with your operating agreement though. Feel free to check out LawTrades to get connected with business formation lawyers who can create operating agreements on-demand and at an affordable rate. Our legal marketplace has some great entrepreneurial-minded attorneys located in California who can assist you quickly and effectively. Best of luck!