Filing an Initial / Annual Report

An Initial report (also known in some states as Statements of Information), while not particularly glamorous, is sometimes required in order to keep your business in good standing. If you file your initial report late or forget to file altogether, your corporation or LLC could be slammed with fees, or even involuntary dissolution of your business, two things that you clearly want to avoid. But what is an initial report, and what information are they supposed to contain?

What is an Initial Report?

Initial reports are exactly what they sound like – reports filed at the beginning of the formation of a Corporation or LLC, or shortly thereafter. Different states have different requirements, but the basic information included in an initial report for any state is typically the same. The initial report usually needs to name a registered agent and provide that agent’s primary address, along with the address of the business. It will usually also require that you list the names, and in some cases addresses, of any officers, directors, and/or members of the new entity. Finally, it needs to disclose what the business actually does.

Which states require an initial report?

As of 2018, only ten states require new Corporations and LLCs to file an initial report: Alabama, Alaska, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Washington. For this reason, business owners in this state commonly overlook this requirement.

What is an Annual Report?

Filing requirements for annual reports vary from state to state. Ohio, for example, does not require any business entity to file an annual report, and LLCs are excused from filing in Delaware. The term “annual report” can sometimes be a bit confusing as well, because in some states like New York and Indiana, your report is filed biennially.

Each state has its own requirements and deadlines, which makes summarizing annual report requirements a bit difficult.  When you do file, just make sure you check with your state’s Secretary of State or Division of Corporations so you know what is expected. Typically, annual reports are just used to keep the information that the state has on your company current, and so the state will likely ask for the same things that initial reports do. But, again, every state is different, so be sure to check your state’s website. We can also file an annual report for your business as well, and we’ll ensure your business meets all of its formation requirements.

Most of the confusion surrounding initial reports and annual reports stems from the different requirements from state to state. Just be sure to know when you need to file by in order to avoid late fees and, before sending it in, double check the form to make sure all of the information is correct.

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