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Annual Report Filing Deadlines Can Be Tricky

Operating as a corporation or LLC gives your business legitimacy. It shields the owners from liability and may provide tax advantages.However, an LLC or corporation faces ongoing state-reporting obligations.;

One is to file an annual report in the formation state and every state where it is registered to do business. This requirement usually commences for the year after formation or foreign qualification and continues until articles of dissolution are filed. These are general rules. Some states require a report only every other year. A few do not have any information reporting requirement. And, some require an initial report within a short time of incorporation or foreign qualification.

Knowing that you have to file is one thing. Keeping track of when you need to file can be something else entirely. Why? Because in roughly half the states, the filing deadline is based on the incorporation, formation, or foreign qualification date. These states take the “anniversary date” as the starting point and then provide a period of time during which the annual report is due. However, the time period for filing (or e-filing) the annual report varies widely from state to state. When multiple states are involved, it gets confusing in a hurry.

CT Tip: One state might expect you to file an annual report at some point during the three-month period beginning with the first day of the entity’s anniversary month. Another state might require filing during the anniversary month itself. A professional registered agent service can help you keep track of these often complex dates.

For example, Rose’s Buds is a florist that incorporated in State A. Rosie’s business grew steadily and the company filed for foreign qualification in State B and State C. What annual report deadlines must Rose's track? All three states: State A, State B and State C. State A require an annual report filing “within the 60 days immediately preceding the first day of the anniversary month.” State B requires a foreign corporation to file during the first quarter of the calendar year, regardless of the qualification date. And State only requires a filing on April 1 of even-numbered years.

CT Tip: It used to be that you could count on some help from the state to jog your memory. But, more and more states are eliminating reminders of upcoming filing deadlines.This means that you are on your own, unless you partner with a corporate service provider, such as CT Corporation, that can provide reminders and assist with form completion and filing.

Now is a good time to review your compliance obligations. If you are not anticipating expanding beyond your home state—and you have the time and inclination to track the filing deadlines—a do-it-yourself approach might be feasible. But if you find yourself immersed in a thousand-and-one “to-do’s” while driving your business forward, it may be wise to retain compliance professionals to help avoid annual report or other compliance headaches.

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