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Small Business Insights: Filing an Initial Report

Published on Feb 20, 2012


Read 'Small Business Insights: Filing an Initial Report' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
Small-Business-Initial-ReportThere’s a good chance you’ve never heard of an Initial Report filing. Although it’s very similar to a small business Annual Report, it is by far the lesser known of the two. One of the main reasons for this is that it’s required by less than a dozen states (at the time of writing this article). Another reason is that it’s due rather quickly after a small business owner forms an LLC or S corp — typically between 30-120 days depending on the state. This doesn't leave a small business owner with a lot of time to get a handle on all there is to know about their newly formed business. If you haven't heard of an Initial Report, fret not. The following article will provide you with a good understanding of what it is, and whether or not you need to file one ...

What States Currently Require an Initial Report Filing?

Ten states currently require that an LLC, S corp or C corp submit an Initial Report filing:
  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. California
  4. Connecticut
  5. Georgia
  6. Missouri
  7. Nevada
  8. New Mexico
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Washington

What Needs to be Included in the Initial Report Filing?

Typically, the report must include the following information:
  • Your current business address. If this changes, don’t worry. You can update your address in your Annual Report.
  • The name and address of your current Registered Agent. If you haven’t designated a Registered Agent, there’s a good chance it’s you. It’s a good idea to gain a clear understanding on what a Registered Agent is, so you can determine whether or not you want to delegate this responsibility to a company (like BizFilings) who is adept at handling this requirement.
  • Name all of your current officers, directors and members. Since the Initial Report filing is due so early in the existence of your small business, you man not have all of these players in place before you have to file. Again, no problem. Simply update this info when you submit your Annual Report.
  • You’ll also have to clearly state your business activity.
Each state is different. We strongly advise that you check with your home state, as well as any states in which you have a Foreign Qualification (additional U.S. states where you conduct business), to ensure that you include all required information and fees in your submission.

Speaking of Fees, What Does it Cost?

Generally speaking, Initial Report filing fees range from $30 to over $100, depending on the state. This will also be true with your Annual Report and your County Filing (if either, or both, is required).

What Happens if you Fail to Submit an Initial Report?

If you fail to file your Initial Report, your small business could fall into what is commonly known as “bad standing.” If this happens, your small business could incur additional state fees. You could also face a revoked business status, or the state could choose to dissolve your business — taking away the benefits of your company formation — including limited liability protection. I’m sure you’ve noticed that many of the details mentioned are contingent on each particular states requirements. Something else to keep in mind is that there may be different contingencies in place depending on which type of business formation you’ve chosen. If you formed a for-profit corporation (S corp, C corp) or an LLC, these ten states may require that you file an Initial Report. If you’re a nonprofit company, you won’t have to file. There are two main reasons why these states require new small businesses to file an Initial Report. It gives them accurate information pertaining to your business, and it provides the state with additional revenue.

We’re Here to Help

Whether you simply have questions, or need assistance with an Initial Report filing, 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