After forming a limited liability company, you need to ensure that you remain compliant with all the requirements for your state, including filing annual reports. Missing the deadline for your annual report can lead to penalties and fines which could be easily avoided.
An annual report is required in many states, including Florida. All LLCs must complete this report each year as it is a chance to update information. The most important part of the report ensures the address for the registered agent is accurate. There is also a fee associated with this report, $138.75 in Florida.
The idea is that the report ensures all business records in the state have accurate information. That accurate information serves several key purposes, including letting interested parties, such as creditors, find your business at its address when necessary. The Secretary of State will also use the updated info to track payments of state taxes for LLCs.
The process of filing the annual report is fairly straightforward since the Department of State wants businesses to complete it and do so on time. The report can be filled out online via the Department’s website. You just need to pay the fee and fill out the relevant information. Keep in mind that you must have your state identification number for your LLC to fill out the report. Those who have forgotten the number can find it via the search for business entities.
In Florida, an Annual Report must be filed by May 1 at the latest. The only exception is that you do not need to file it during the initial year that you form your LLC. So, LLCs that form during 2018 will file their first Annual Report in 2019, before May 1. This is the case whether you form an LLC in January 2018 or December 2018.
Failing to file the Annual Report on time can be a costly mistake. In Florida, a late filing comes with a fee of $400. At the absolute latest, you must file the report by September’s third week. If you do not do so by this point, the LLC is dissolved.
For those companies that prefer not to complete their Annual Report themselves, there is the option of using registered agent services. This refers to a business or person that your company nominates to officially send and receive documents for you. Registered agents typically receive service of process on behalf of your LLC, but they can also file your Annual Report.
Many LLCs opt to take advantage of registered agent services for multiple reasons. The most important one related to Annual Reports is the fact that you will not accidentally file it late and have to pay a penalty or be dissolved. At the very least, your registered agent will let you know about the upcoming deadline. For a fee, they will also file it for you. Additionally, registered agents provide privacy since their contact information appears on the public register instead of yours.