How to Keep Your Entity Registration in Compliance
Posted by Jenny Mabus
February 3, 2022
Entity registration is not a terribly involved process. In fact, most states allow folks to do it online, requiring just basic information such as entity name, DBA, primary address, officer names, etc.
This low friction experience, however, often leads registrants to think the task is complete. The truth is, though, registering an entity almost always requires regular maintenance. Let’s dig into the most common post-registration requirements entities need to be aware of…
Many states require registered entities, specifically limited liability companies and corporations, to file an annual report. Due dates for annual report filings vary from state to state. Florida’s deadline is May 1. In other states, the filing deadline is the anniversary of the entity’s registration! Hawaii? Annual reports are due by the last day of the quarter in which an entity registered.
Is it relatively easy to track down these deadlines? Yes. Secretary of State websites have them posted and an entity’s primary contact likely receives an email notification (albeit, they’ve been known to land in the spam folder). But it’s not hard to see how this can quickly get complicated—especially if an entity is registered in multiple states.
Information Required for Annual Reports
Thought we were done with annual reports, huh? Not quite. Another complexity to annual report following is the varying information required by each state. For most, it’s pretty simple and standard. Colorado, for example, requires merely a name and an address. (Thank you, Colorado. We love you.) Other states, however, have their own… quirks. On its annual report form, West Virginia needs to know if the entity is a “metal scrap dealer or recycler.” (We still love you, too, West Virginia.) Some states require financial information, too, such as the asset value an entity physically has in that state.
Bottom line: the information required in annual report filings varies greatly from state to state.
Failure to file annual reports can have negative effects on an entity. Delinquency can occur if an annual report is not filed. A late fee is often applied and an organization might not be able to secure mission-critical certificates such as a certificate of good standing.
Entity registrations can also be revoked if annual reports are not filed past certain deadlines and/or notices. Revocation means the entity is no longer considered active in a given jurisdiction. The business must then file for reinstatement which—surprise, surprise—comes with penalties and fees. Plus, if an entity’s registration is revoked, it’s essentially up for grabs!
There’s a Simple Solution
Instead of managing entity registration and annual report requirements, let us handle everything. At Incserv, our annual report filing service tracks due dates, collects required information and ensures that everything is taken care of—accurately, on time and in every jurisdiction your business requires.