I believe you are referring to the $800 annual franchise tax imposed on businesses for the privilege of doing business in CA.
Yes, you will need to pay the $800 annual tax even if your LLC had no profit.
From page 7 of Form 568 Limited Liability Company Return of Income:
LLCs are subject to an $800 annual tax if they are doing business in California or have articles of organization accepted, or a certificate of registration issued by the California SOS. The annual tax is prepaid for the privilege of doing business in California, and is due and payable on or before the 15th day of the 4th month after the beginning of the taxable year.
From the California Franchise Tax Board website:
- All LLCs classified as corporations that organize in California, register in California, conduct business in California, or receive California source income, must file California Form 100. The California Form 100 must be filed by the 15th day of the 3rd month after the close of the LLC’s taxable year.
- The LLC will be taxed at the corporate tax rate of 8.84 percent and will be subject to a minimum tax of $800.
- All LLCs classified as partnerships or disregarded entities that organize in California, register in California, or conduct business in California, must file California Form 568 Limited Liability Company Return of Income. California Form 568 must be filed by the 15th day of the 4th month after the close of the LLC’s taxable year.
- An LLC required to file Form 568 pays an annual tax of $800, and may be subject to an LLC fee based on total income from all sources derived from or attributable to the state of California. The annual tax is due by the 15th day of the 4th month of the taxable year, and is paid using CA Form 3522, Limited Liability Company Tax Voucher.
The Limited Liability Company Filing Information PDF also has some helpful information. I would recommend you read it.
LLCs classified as disregarded or as partnerships are subject to an $800 annual tax. This applies if they do business in California or the SOS accepts their Articles of Organization (LLC-1) or Application for Registration as a Foreign LimitedLiability Company (LLC-5). LLCs organized or registered in California are subject to the annual tax even if they conduct no business in California.