Forming an LLC is generally a good idea if you’re starting a business. If your business is based in North Carolina, then you have to file your LLC with the North Carolina state government. That way, you’re legal to operate and you avoid unnecessary fines and penalties.
However, if it’s your first time to form an LLC, then you need to know that it will involve quite a bit of paperwork. And that paperwork doesn’t end once you’ve formally established your LLC. To maintain the good standing of your Limited Liability Corporation, you have to periodically send in more paperwork.
These paper works include filing your LLC Annual Reports. North Carolina law requires all LLCs based in North Carolina to file an Annual Report with the Secretary of the State of North Carolina.
What is an LLC Annual Report?
An LLC Annual Report is a report you file every year, and it’s meant to furnish the state government with the crucial details regarding your LLC. This report should include any updated info or changes that may have happened since the last filing period. As the annual report contains crucial data, it’s also sometimes referred to as a statement of information.
Every LLC in most states has to submit its annual reports. The required information may change a bit depending on the state, but usually, the report will contain the following information:
The name of the LLC
- The main business address of the LLC
- The names of each LLC member (owner), and their addresses
- All the crucial ID numbers for the LLC, such as the state entity number
- The main purpose of the LLC
- A list of authorized signatories
- Information regarding your registered agent
The annual report in the State of North Carolina can be filed online, through the mail, or in person. Submission through non-electronic means involves printing a pre-populated annual report from here, complete the form, and mail it along with a check or money order of 200 USD to the address:
North Carolina Secretary of State
P.O. Box 29525
North Carolina 27626-0525
If you’re submitting in person also print the pre-populated form, complete it, and take it along with a check or money order to the address:
2 South Salisbury St.,
Note that if you’re changing your registered agent, you must submit through the non-electronic means because the new registered agent will need to sign on the form as consent.
The cost of the Annual Report in the State of North Carolina is 200 USD only if you’re filing through non-electronic means. The cost is 202 USD if you’re filing online. However, it may even cost more if you fail to file the report on time, as it may result in a penalty fee of 15 USD and also the dissolution of your LLC. You’ll then have to spend money, time, and effort to reestablish the LLC.
Filing the Annual Report helps to make sure that your LLC is compliant with all state regulations. That should keep your LLC in good standing with the North Carolina state government, ensuring that your business enjoys all the LLC benefits and protections.
If you’re a member (owner) of a North Carolina LLC, you have to ensure that you send in these Annual Reports on time. You can file your Annual Report starting from January 1 of the year. The absolute deadline is by April 15 of the year.
Your LLC’s first Annual Report is required for the year right after the LLC’s year of formation. For example, let’s assume your LLC was formed on January 27, 2021. Your first Annual Report will be due by April 15, 2022.
To keep you from forgetting, the state helpfully sends out reminders a few months before the deadline date on April 15th. These reminders will be sent to the address you listed on your application when you filed the Certificate of Formation. The reminder is a great step by the State, however, it is important that you set your own reminder to ensure that you do not forget.
It’s easy since you only have to go online. Here are the detailed steps you need to take to file your North Carolina LLC Annual report:
- Go to the North Carolina Secretary of State Online Services webpage.
- Input the name of your LLC to search for it and then choose your LLC from the list of results.
- Click on the File annual report, after which you’d see the annual reports you have submitted in the past. You can choose the file the most recent annual report where you’ll see the last annual report you filed
- Input the new information or make changes as required to update your LLC information.
- Choose the submit button after you have made and review all the changes.
- You’ll be required to make a payment of the 202 USD filing fee that the State Charges for online filings which would be done with your Card.
- The next page will confirm that you’ve submitted your Annual Report for Filing and have made the payment.
Again, just make sure you do all this on or before April 15. Your annual report will be processed immediately after submission.
Who Should Do This Task?
Basically, the right person to do the task is the person with access to the necessary information that must be included in the Annual Report. This can be a member or LLC officer. It can be someone that the LLC authorizes to file on its behalf.
It’s very possible that you can foist this task to professionals, such as the online service provider that helped you with the LLC formation procedure and provided you with its registered agent services. This may be part of a package (usually the medium or premium package), though it may be available as an extra service for a fee with the basic formation package.
This does save you a lot of time and tedium. Plus, you can concentrate on your business while the service deals with all the necessary report filing.
In addition, the service provider can maintain your privacy, as it will take care to submit only the absolutely required information. The privacy benefits may include the following:
- The service provider can list their contact information, so that you won’t have to file your residential address and personal smartphone number.
- The service provider will also list only their IP address. This limits the connection between your smartphone, personal PC, and LLC work computers. That way, advertisers can’t track you online.
- In case that the report asks for bank and credit card information (when the filing suddenly comes with a fee), then the service providers also furnish their own bank and credit card information. You still protect your own bank and credit card info.
An online service provider charges much more reasonable rates, compared to what a lawyer might charge. A reputable service provider can also file the Annual Report as soon as possible, so you can be sure that it won’t be late and your LLC won’t suffer any fines and penalties (such as dissolution). You can check our top brands such as ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent.
There’s no uniform fee as to what a service provider will charge for filing the North Carolina LLC Annual Report. The best brands in the business usually charge $100 or so.
If you’re the sole owner of the LLC and you have the time to spare, then it’s really no trouble doing this yourself. The main risk is that you may make a mistake, by entering the wrong information or by pressing the wrong keys. A professional with extensive experience with this task will be very unlikely to make those mistakes.
Still, it’s all up to you. Just make sure you get the Annual Report filing done for the year!