How to Write an Annual Report

Filing an annual report is a necessary part of maintaining certain businesses like LLCs and corporations, but the process can be confusing. We'll break down the steps for how to file an annual report and tips to make it easier.

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Writing an annual report is a legal requirement for certain business entities, such as LLCs and corporations. It’s a way to update the state about your business’s information and collect annual report fees. However, different states have different names and intervals for annual reports, such as biennial reports. While each state handles this kind of report differently, we’ll cover the most common basics of how to write an annual report.

It’s important to note that this is different from a corporation’s report to its shareholders and/or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and this article won’t cover that type of annual report. The annual and biennial reports we’ll discuss here are less about financial reporting and more about keeping your state updated about your company’s basic information in order to keep your company in good standing.

What is an annual report?

An annual report is a document that certain businesses must file with the state to report any changes to the business’s basic information, usually the same information that was included in the company’s formation documents, such as the Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation. This often includes information about the business’s owners, managers, directors, registered agent, and business address. 

Not every state requires an annual report, but most states require either an annual report or a biennial (every two years) report. Some states also call the annual report by a different name.

What businesses must file an annual report?

Most business entities that must register with the state, including LLCs and corporations, must file an annual report. It’s important to check your state’s requirements to ensure you’re compliant.

How to Write an Annual Report

The process of filling out and filing an annual report will vary depending on the state you’re in. However, the basic steps are usually the same:

Step 1: Gather information

Before you start filling out the annual report forms, gather all the necessary information. This may include the business’s legal name, business address, registered agent, employer identification number (EIN), and manager or director information.

Step 2: Complete annual report forms

Once you have all the required information, complete the annual report forms. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully and provide current, accurate information.

Step 3: Submit form and fee

After completing the forms, submit them to the appropriate state agency (usually the Secretary of State) along with the filing fee. Some states allow online filing, while others require paper forms to be mailed in.

Penalties for Not Filing an Annual Report

Failing to file an annual report can result in penalties, fines, and even dissolution of your business, depending on the state. The fees for late filing can be significant, so it’s important to file on time.

We can help!

At ZenBusiness, we understand how important it is to stay compliant with your state’s annual report requirements. We can handle filing your annual or biennial report with our annual report service, and our worry-free compliance service also covers annual reports.  Our platform can help you with LLC formation and other services, so you can focus on running your business. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get started and stay compliant.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

Annual Report Writing FAQs

  • The format of an annual report varies depending on the state and the type of business. However, most annual report forms typically ask for information like the business’s owners, managers, directors, registered agent, and/or business address.

  • To complete an annual report, you should first gather all the necessary information. Next, you will usually need to complete an annual report form. Once you have completed the report, you will need to submit it along with any required fees to the appropriate state agency. Many states allow for online filing, while some require filing by mail.

  • The cost of an annual report can vary depending on the state and the type of business. Most states charge less than $100, but the fees can be as high as $800. It’s important to research the fees for your state and ensure that you pay them on time to avoid penalties or fines.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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