An annual report, sometimes known as a statement of information, for a limited liability company (LLC) needs to be filed with your state to keep your LLC in good standing. Most states require annual reports, although in some states reporting is biennial, and in Ohio no reporting is required.
An LLC is a business entity that offers liability protection for owners, as well as pass-through taxation, much like a sole proprietorship. To learn more about LLCs, read this Step By Step article.
What Information Is Required in the Annual Report?
Every state’s form and requirements are different but most annual reports will require:
- The business name
- The business’s primary address
- Names of members and managers as well as their addresses
- The business purpose or nature of the business
- Your registered agent’s name, address, and contact information
- List of authorized signers for the business
If any of this information has changed since you originally formed your LLC, you should update it in your annual report. Your state may also require an amendment to change your LLC information.
Filing the Annual Report
Due dates and fees vary by state. Some states have specific dates on which all LLCs must file, while some require it on the anniversary of the LLC’s formation. Fees range from $0 in a few states to $500 in Massachusetts. California requires an $800 annual tax.
You can generally file your annual report online or by mail with the secretary of state. The registered agent for you LLC may get a notice of the upcoming due date.
If you do not file your annual report, the consequences are not pleasant. Some states will levy fees or penalties or even additional taxes, and some will actually dissolve your LLC.
Doing Business in Other States
If you also do business in other states, you need to form a foreign LLC in those states and comply with their reporting requirements. A foreign LLC is simply an LLC doing business in a state other than the one in which it’s registered. For example, if your LLC is registered in Alabama but you also do business in Georgia, you’ll need to register a foreign LLC in Georgia.
If you have an LLC in your home state but do business in other states, you need to register as a foreign LLC in all of the states where you do business. Each state has different rules defining what doing business in their state means. Check with the secretary of state in any states where you may be doing business to see if you qualify. Generally, you are doing business in another state if:
- You have a physical presence of any kind in that state
- You have employees in that state
- You regularly meet with clients, managers, or investors in that state
- You are licensed to do business in that state
You also may be considered a foreign business if your business has a bank account or property in that state. However, if you are an online business in one state and happen to make a lot of sales in other states, you’re probably not considered a foreign business and thus not required to register a foreign LLC.
You will need to comply with all annual filing requirements of all states where you are registered as a foreign LLC and pay taxes in those states.
An annual report is simple to file, although, in most states, it comes with a fee. Be sure to check your state’s website for specific requirements and due dates. Failing to file or file on time can result in penalties, or in some cases, the dissolution of your LLC.
You can read more about the benefits of forming an LLC in this Step By Step article. Forming an LLC is a simple process laid out in this Step By Step article on starting an LLC.