Filing a North Carolina annual report is a yearly activity that is required to maintain your company’s registration as a legal entity in the state. It contains information about the company and is due whether or not the entity is actively conducting business. Only when an entity has been officially dissolved (closed) does it no longer have to submit an annual report.
Which Businesses Must File an Annual Report?
Every business Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), and Limited Liability Limited Partnership (LLLP) registered in North Carolina must file an annual report with the North Carolina Secretary of State. The requirement applies to domestic (formed in the state) and foreign (formed in a different state but operating in North Carolina) companies.
Professional corporations, professional LLCs, and nonprofit corporations do not have to file annual reports in North Carolina.
When are North Carolina Annual Reports Due?
When a business must submit its annual report to the North Carolina Secretary of State depends on the type of business entity.
- Corporation – Due the 15th day of the fourth month following the entity’s fiscal year-end (For business corporations that go by the calendar year as their fiscal year, the deadline is April 15th.)
- LLC – Due on April 15th of each year after the year that the business was registered with the state
- LLP and LLLP – Due the 15th day of the fourth month following the entity’s fiscal year-end (For LLPs and LLLPs that go by the calendar year as their fiscal year, the deadline is April 15th.)
How Do You File Your NC Annual Report?
Businesses can e-file their North Carolina annual reports through the Secretary of State website. If you want to learn what’s involved in handling the filing on your own, you can find video tutorials that explain the process:
Better still, you can ask CorpNet to file annual reports on your behalf to ensure they’re completed correctly and quickly. That way, you can leave the details to us while you concentrate on other aspects of your business.
Alternatively, you can file annual reports using paper forms, but electronic filing is much faster. Filing online ensures the report will be filed with the Secretary of State office the same day and visible on the website when the online application is completed. Filing by paper may take up to 12 weeks for the data to be entered into the state system and visible to stakeholders.
To file by paper, search for your company record on the state’s website and print the form.
What Information Do You Need to Provide in Your Annual Report?
I’ve listed some of the information that businesses must provide when filing their annual reports.
- Company name and address listed in the company’s formation documents (e.g., in the Articles of Incorporation or Articles of Organization)
- Is the company U.S. military veteran-owned? (optional)
- Registered agent name and physical address
- Description of the nature of the business
- Principal office phone number
- Principal office email address (optional)
- Annual report receipt return email address (optional)
- Principal office street address (where corporate books are located or where business is being conducted)
- Mailing address
- Names and business addresses of LLC’s company officials
- Who (which LLC official) is executing the document
When completing the online form, much of the information is pre-entered, taken from the entity’s formation documents on file). The online form allows you to confirm that information or change it.
What Are the Fees to File a North Carolina Annual Report?
The costs vary by business entity type and whether the company is filing online or by paper.
|Type of Business||Online Filing||Paper Filing|
Includes $18 state filing fee + $2 electronic filing fee.
Includes $200 state filing fee + $2 electronic filing fee.
|LLP and LLLP||$202|
Includes $200 state filing fee + $2 electronic filing fee.
If filing online, the fees may be paid by ACH Debit or by credit card.
If filing by mail, include a check or money order and send the annual report and payment to:
N.C. Department of the Secretary of State
P.O. Box 29525
Raleigh, NC 27626-0525
What Are the Penalties for Not Filing Your North Carolina Annual Report?
There is no late fee for filing an annual report after the due date. However, the state may issue a notice of pending dissolution of the entity’s status. Businesses are given 60 days after that notice to submit their annual report.
Although it doesn’t cost anything additional to file and pay the annual report late, the possibility of having the business entity dissolved (terminated) is nothing to mess with! That can have dire consequences and cost business owners a lot of money and heartache in the long run. For example, failing to comply with annual report requirements could cost business owners the protection of the corporate veil that separates their personal assets from the business. As a result, business owners and others who act on behalf of the entity might be held personally responsible for the legal and financial debts of the business. That could result in losing personal assets such as savings accounts, personal property, vehicles, and more.
Where Can You Find More Information?
I encourage you to talk with your attorney and tax advisor to discuss your obligations. Also, visit the North Carolina Secretary of State website for information about registering a business in the state, annual reports, and other ongoing compliance requirements.
Please also sign up for a free account on CorpNet’s Compliance Portal. It’s an easy-to-use tool for keeping track of your upcoming business compliance responsibilities.
CorpNet is Here to Help!
The April 15th annual report due date for North Carolina businesses that use the calendar year as their fiscal year is approaching quickly! Let us help you check that task off of your to-do list. Contact us to have one of our expert filing specialists prepare and submit your online form. We’re here to make sure your business stays in good standing with your annual report requirements and all other business compliance filings.