Spring and annual report season are upon us! Whether you operate a corporation (C or S), a non-profit corporation, an LLC or LLP, your entity is required to file a report of activity throughout the lifespan of your business. Depending on the state, reports are required to be submitted annually, biennially and even decennially.
When you understand your annual report obligations, you can plan more effectively and take the appropriate action to stay in compliance.
What is an Annual Report?
Annual reports keep the state apprised of information such as a company’s address, as well as the identity and addresses of its registered agent officers and directors or managing members. The exact requirements vary by state.
Not every state requires a company to file an annual report. For e.g., Delaware requires LLCs, General Partnerships and LPs to pay a franchise tax but are not required to file an annual report.
The Purpose of Annual Reports
Annual/biennial/decennial report fees are a consistent revenue stream for the state. Another purpose is so that the state can maintain accurate and updated records for active companies. Within a year, so many things can change. A company may have moved locations, revised its structure or changed management. This is the type of information that is collected and stored by the state.
Preparing Your Annual Report
If you have not prepared an annual report before, here is what you should know:
Your annual report will include all of your corporation’s activities conducted during the previous year.
The information required will vary from state to state.
The most commonly requested information includes (but is not limited to) the principal business address; the names/addresses of directors, officers, members, and/or managers; and the number of shares the corporation has issued.
When are Annual Reports Due?
In terms of deadlines, your annual report will need to be submitted based on your state’s guidelines.
Some states will require you to file and pay by a predetermined date. In other cases, due dates are associated with the anniversary date of formation. Other jurisdictions such as New York and the District of Columbia file their report biennially. Click here to bookmark the UCS calendar for annual report due dates.
In some states, due dates will also differ based on the type of company. For example, Delaware annual reports and franchise taxes are due March 1st for corporations while franchise taxes for LLC, General Partnerships and LPs are due June 1st .
Failure to file your annual report can lead to severe consequences such as costly penalties and interest or even disqualification from conducting business in the state of registration. For state specific information about annual reports click here.
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