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Filing an Annual Report: An Overview for Small Business Owners

Published on Feb 15, 2012


Read 'Filing an Annual Report: An Overview for Small Business Owners' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.

What is an Annual Report?

This is a question that’s asked by many new small business owners, as well as aspiring business owners, year after year. Understanding what an annual report is, as well as when it’s due, can help your small business remain compliant. And, if you’re still deciding on your small business formation, understanding your companies potential annual report obligations (as well as its potential tax obligations) can go a long way in helping you clarify which choice is best for you. Depending on the state you incorporate in, an annual report (also referred to as an annual statement) may be due if you’re a Limited Liability Company (LLC), S corp, C corp, nonprofit company, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or Limited Partnership (LP). Although many states require the filing of an annual report, some require biennial reports, while others require no report at all. The best way to determine your company’s due date would be to visit the Secretary of State’s website for your home state, as well as each state in which you’ve Foreign Qualified (an annual report will be due in each). Sometimes searching online for your state’s “Department of State” can also bring you to the information you need. In addition, small businesses that utilize us as their Registered Agent can view their annual report deadline, as well as a wealth of other information, through BizComply (a web based application that's included in our Registered Agent Service). Typically, annual reports ask for certain business information, which again varies by state. Commonly requested information includes:
  • The current principal business address
  • Names and addresses of the management of business (directors and officers for corporations and members/managers for LLCs). This would also include any management changes
  • Number of shares of stock a corporation has issued is also required
  • Who is your current Registered Agent?
  • An annual report fee, which varies greatly by state. In some instances there is no charge, however the typical range is between $50 — $400
In addition to providing the state with current business information, annual reports also serve another purpose — they generate additional revenue streams for the state. Regardless of your opinion on this, remaining compliant is the recommended way to go in order to keep your business running smoothly without any potential compliance problems.

Filing Your Annual Report Late, or Failing to File

Most states will attach a late fee to an annual report that has not been filed on time. There are some cases where the late fee is waived for nonprofit corporations. In many cases, failure to file an annual report by a certain date will result in the administrative dissolution or revocation of the business entity on the state’s records. Reinstatement is possible, but at an additional cost (not to mention the time it will take to fill out a reinstatement application).

We’re Here to Help

If you have questions about annual reports, Registered Agent Service, forming your small business — or need help reinstating your company to good standing — feel free to give our customer service team a call between 8am and 7pm CST, at 800-981-7183. You can also visit our Contact Us page to speak with us via Live Chat during the same days and times. Or, send us an e-mail anytime. We’re always happy to help. Business Blogs blog