By Associate Attorney Danielle Nodar
After completing the numerous steps to form a business, business owners sometimes forget that they have to file annual reports with the North Carolina Secretary of State to keep their business active.
Each Business Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), and Limited Liability Limited Partnership (LLLP) must file an Annual Report. Limited Partnerships, Professional Corporations (PCs), and
Professional Limited Liability Companies (PLLC’s) do not have to file an Annual Report.
The due date for your business’s annual report depends upon the type of business. For corporations and partnerships (LLP and LLLP), the annual report is due to the Secretary of State’s Office the 15th day of the fourth month following the entity’s fiscal year’s end. For example, if your fiscal year ends on December 31, your annual report for that year is due on April 15th. The due date for LLC’s Annual Reports is April 15 each year after the date of creation. There is also a fee due each year when filing the Annual Report. For LLC’s and partnerships, the fee is $200 and for corporations, the fee is $25.
Businesses can file their Annual Report to the Secretary of State’s Office by mail, or they can file their Annual Report and pay the fee online via the Secretary of State’s website.
The Annual Report is used to keep the business records on file with the North Carolina Secretary of State up to date. On the Annual Report, you will provide basic information about your business, such as the nature of the business, the name and address of the registered agent, the principal address of the business, and the names and signatures of company officials.
The consequence for not filing an Annual Report and/or paying the fee is that the Secretary of State can administratively dissolve your business for failing to file the Annual Report. This means that you will lose the liability protection you enjoy by being a formal business, and a creditor can come after your personal assets.
It is important for business owners to make sure their registered agent information and email address is current throughout the year because the Secretary of State sends notices related to the Annual Report to the registered agent and the email it has on file for the business. We see a lot of businesses get dissolved and the owner does not even know because they have not updated their registered agent’s information in years (or paid their professional registered agent’s fee, who promptly drops them as a client).
If you are a business owner and have questions about filing your Annual Report or reinstating a business that has been dissolved for failure to file an Annual Report, contact Jesson & Rains.
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