Businesses face all kinds of legal obligations. One of these obligations is filing an annual report, which serves an important function and offers various benefits to business owners.
What Is an Annual Report?
An annual report is a short document that business owners are required to file each year with the state in which they operate. The report provides basic information about the business and its owners, as well as some more detailed information about what the business does and how it is run. The primary purpose of this report is to keep the state informed of the company’s operations and ensure that it is complying with relevant laws and regulations.
Information Included in an Annual Report
Different states may have different annual reporting requirements, but common information includes:
- The business’s name, address, and contact information
- The names and home addresses of business owners/directors
- A description of the business’s operations and activities
- Financial information (balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements)
- Information about business assets, liabilities, and equity
- A summary of business performance and achievements
- Details of any relevant legal proceedings
- Evidence of compliance with state regulations
- A declaration of any major business changes
- A statement of future business plans
The Importance of Annual Reporting
Properly filing a corporate annual report with the state is important for business owners for several reasons:
- It maintains a positive relationship with the state and keeps them informed of the business’s status
- It protects the business and its owners from potential legal and financial issues
- It helps ensure that the business complies with all regulations and is safe and reliable
- It provides transparency and builds trust with stakeholders
Do Small Businesses Need to File an Annual Report?
Yes, any business classified as a “small business” must file an annual report with their state. Even fledgling businesses with just a few employees and a limited scope have an obligation to file. You will need to check with your individual state, however, on the exact requirements.
In addition to being a legal requirement, filing an annual report acts as proof that a business is in good standing and can be trusted by shareholders, investors, and potential business partners.
Do LLCs Need to File an Annual Report?
Yes, all LLCs do need to file an annual report with the state, even if it is a single self-employed business owner with no employees. You will need to verify the exact requirements for your individual state, though.
The purpose of having an LLC (limited liability company) is to protect individuals from being personally liable for any legal issues relating to their business. Filing an annual report for an LLC is the only way to maintain this status. To receive the protective benefits, owners have to keep up with filing as one.
What Happens If a Small Business or LLC Doesn’t File?
Failing to file an annual report with the state can leave your small business or LLC facing serious fines and penalties. In some cases, the state may even revoke your business’s legal status or dissolve it entirely. Even if the business survives the repercussions, the reputation damage could make it harder to attract customers and funding in the future.
FastFilings Can Help You Properly File Your Annual Report
At FastFilings, we do more than just answer the question “what is a business annual report”—we also make it easy to file one.
Here’s how it works:
- Start by filling out a simple online form for an annual report in your state. We’ll walk you through everything you need to provide.
- Sign and submit your form with a small filing fee. We’ll check it for any issues and send it along to the state.
- Wait for the approval notification and get back to business! If you don’t hear it from us, you’ll hear back from your state government.
File your annual report with FastFilings today to get the peace of mind of knowing you’ve met your legal obligations in the most efficient, accurate way.