Forming an LLC is generally a good idea if you’re starting a business. If your business is based in Rhode Island, then you have to file your LLC with the Rhode Island 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. Rhode Island law requires all LLCs based in Rhode Island to file an Annual Report with the Secretary of the State of Rhode Island.
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
In the State of Rhode Island, the annual report can be filed online or non-electronically through the mail or in person. Submission through the mail is done by downloading the annual report form, completing it, and mailing it along with a check of 50 USD that is payable to the Rhode Island Department of State to the address:
Division of Business Services
148 W. River St.
Providence, Rhode Island, 02904-2615
If you’re submitting it in person, you can take the document to the address above and make the payment with a card, a check, or pay cash.
The cost of the Annual Report in the State of Rhode Island is 50 USD only. However, it may cost more if you fail to file the report on time as the State of Rhode Island charges a penalty fee of 25 USD in addition to the 50 USD for the filing of the LLC Annual Report. If you still fail to file your annual report, the State can dissolve your LLC administratively. You’ll then have to spend more 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 Rhode Island state government, ensuring that your business enjoys all the LLC benefits and protections.
If you’re a member (owner) of a Rhode Island LLC, you have to ensure that you send in these Annual Reports on time. You can file your Annual Report between September 1 and November 1 of every year. The absolute deadline is November 1.
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 between September 1, and November 1, 2022.
To keep you from forgetting, the state helpfully sends out courtesy reminders in the form of mails in the July of every year to the Registered Agent of your LLC. However, in addition to this reminder, it is important that you have set your own reminder as well to reduce the chances of forgetting.
It’s easy since you only have to go online. Here are the detailed steps you need to take to file your Rhode Island LLC Annual report:
- Go to the Business services filing webpage of the Secretary of the State of Rhode Island.
- Input your ID number and your PIN. Note that the Secretary of the State of Rhode Island would have mailed your LLC ID number and your PIN to the address of your Registered Agent before your Annual Report due date.
- Click on the Annual Report icon on the next page that loads
- Enter or update your LLC information as required.
- Input your payment information and make the payment of the filing fee.
- 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 between September 1 and November 1 of every year.
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 Rhode Island 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 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!