No matter which state your Limited Liability Company (LLC) is located in, you will need to file documentation with the Secretary of State to establish your company and keep it legally compliant. A Statement of Information is one of the standard reporting requirements that many LLCs across the United States must adhere to.
A state may require a Statement of Information as an “Initial Report,” due shortly after registering a business. Many states will also mandate LLCs to submit a Statement of Information (sometimes called an “Annual Report”) each year, every other year, or on some different ongoing schedule.
What’s Included in a Statement of Information?
A Statement of Information ensures that a state has an LLC’s current information on file, and it allows the state to verify that the LLC is still operating. Thankfully the Statement of Information form is usually very short and simple. The information requested may vary slightly from one state to another.
Details asked for in an LLC Statement of Information might include:
- The exact name of the LLC (as registered with the Secretary of State)
- The LLC Tax ID number
- The physical address of the LLC’s principal place of business
- The LLC’s mailing address (if different from its physical address)
- The LLC’s registered agent’s name and address (the party authorized to receive service of process on behalf of the LLC)
- The nature of the business the LLC conducts (i.e., industry, and types of services and products it offers)
- The names and addresses of an LLC’s members (owners)
I recommend reviewing the form you need to file in advance so that you know exactly what information you will need to provide. Whether you plan on completing the form yourself or asking a third party to handle it for you, being prepared will help make the process go smoothly.
When Does an LLC Have to File the Document?
As you may have already guessed, the rules aren’t the same for all states. Here’s a breakdown of what you might expect when filing a Statement of Information as an Initial Report and as an Annual Report.
Deadline for Filing an Initial Report
When a Statement of Information is due as an Initial Report, a business will need to file its Statement of Information within a specified period after it has registered as an LLC. That timeline will vary depending on the state. For example, California requires an Initial Report within 90 days after an LLC’s formation and Washington requires it within 120 days.
Deadline for Filing an Annual Report
When filing a Statement of Information as an Annual Report, the frequency at which they must be submitted and the due dates vary from state to state. I discussed this a little earlier, and to recap, the “annual” in the term “Annual Report” may not necessarily mean “every year.” Some states do require one every year, but others want them bi-annually (every other year), and some even less frequently. For example, Pennsylvania only wants one every ten years.
When the time arrives for a state Annual Report to be filed, the due date in some states matches the anniversary of the LLC’s formation date. In other states, it is due at the same time as the LLC’s annual tax statements. In some states, the due date is the end of the calendar year. The best way to make sure you’re aware of your LLC’s deadlines to file its forms is to confirm them with your state’s Secretary of State office.
How Much Does it Cost to File?
Different states have different filing fees. Some charge as little as $10, while others have a fee of a few hundred dollars. Last year, I assembled a state-by-state list of the business registration filing fees and the costs to submit Statements of Information as Initial Reports and Annual Reports. I encourage you to refer to it to get a better idea of the costs that might apply to your business.
Keep in mind that you’ll incur legal costs in addition to the state filing fees if you ask an attorney to prepare your paperwork and file it for you. A lower-cost alternative is to ask an online business filing service to handle the forms for you.
How Do You File?
Most states provide the option to file initial and annual Statements of Information electronically through their websites. Alternatively, business owners can request paper forms from their Secretary of State office (or print them from the website) and then fill them out and mail them. Online filing ensures forms are immediately submitted, whereas sending forms by snail mail will require additional time for the state to receive and record the completed forms.
What Happens if You File Late or Not at All?
Missing the deadline for filing an LLC Statement of Information can result in penalties and late fees. Non-compliance could bring ramifications even more severe, such as suspension or dissolution of the LLC.
Why put all the hard work and time you spent starting your business at risk? Educate yourself and get proper legal advice so that you know what obligations you must fulfill to keep your business in good standing with the state.
Where Can You Get Help?
As I shared earlier, the Statement of Information is a rather short and straightforward form. Still, not all business owners feel confident in tackling it on their own—or they simply don’t want to get bogged down with handling the paperwork. Either way, there are alternatives to getting the job done, including hiring a business attorney to take care of it or enlisting the help of a reputable business filing service that can manage the process more affordable.
Want to save time and money and get the peace of mind that your LLC’s Statement of Information is completed accurately and on time? No matter where you are in the U.S., contact CorpNet to help you with your business registration and compliance filing needs!