Massachusetts corporations, LLCs, nonprofits, and several other types of business entities are required to file an annual report every year.
This report keeps the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth up to date with essential information about a business, including the organization’s financial performance for the prior year.
It’s critical to file your annual report correctly and on time to keep your organization in good standing with the State of Massachusetts. Keep reading to learn more about who needs to file and when, and how to file a Massachusetts annual report the easy way.
What is an annual report?
Also known as a “statement of information” or a “yearly statement,” an annual report is a document filed with the state government where a business operates. It keeps the state up to date with information about the organization and its members.
Many states also require businesses to include information about their financial performance over the prior year (via balance sheets, profit-and-loss statements, etc.). Shareholders and other stakeholders often use this information to make important investment decisions.
Which types of businesses must file an annual report?
To stay in good standing with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, the following types of entities (both foreign and domestic) must file an annual report:
- Limited liability companies (LLCs)
- Nonprofits, cooperatives, and religious corporations
- Limited Partnerships (LPs)
- Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)
How much does it cost to file?
The filing fee varies considerably based on the type of organization, as follows:
Corporations (foreign and domestic) – $125
LLCs (foreign and domestic) – $500
Nonprofits, cooperatives, and religious corporations – $15
LPs (foreign and domestic) – $500
LLPs (foreign and domestic) – $500
The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth only assesses a fee to corporations for failure to file an annual report. But don’t assume that not being fined means you are in the clear. All business entities—including nonprofits and religious corporations—can be dissolved if they fail to file an annual report for two consecutive years.
What information is required in an annual report?
The requirements vary based on the type of business entity. Here is a general breakdown:
- Business name and address
- Principal address
- Name and address of registered agent
- Business ID/FEIN number (nonprofits, LLCs, LPs, LLPs)
- Names and addresses of directors, president, treasurer, secretary, and board of directors (corporations)
- Stock information (corporations)
- Brief statement of purpose (corporations, LLCs, LPs, and LLPs)
- Date of last annual meeting (nonprofits)
- Names and addresses of president, treasurer, and clerk or secretary (nonprofits)
- General partner information (LPs)
- Resident agent information (LLCs and LPs)
- Signature and/or contact information for person filing the report
This is not an exhaustive list. You may be required to provide additional information not shown here.
When are annual reports due?
In most states, the due date for annual reports is the same for all types of business entities. Massachusetts is a little different. Here are the due dates in MA:
- Corporations (foreign and domestic) – 2.5 months after fiscal year end
- LLCs (foreign and domestic) – Anniversary date (of initial business registration)
- Nonprofits, cooperatives, and religious corporations – November 1
- LPs (foreign and domestic) – Anniversary date (of initial business registration)
- LLPs (foreign and domestic) – Last day of February
If you don’t remember when you registered your business, you can find this information by searching the Massachusetts Business Database.
What happens if I don’t file an annual report?
Failure to file an annual report can expose your business to serious penalties. If you are delinquent for two consecutive years, your business could even be dissolved or revoked.
The state will usually send a reminder in the mail before an annual report is due. But you shouldn’t rely on this. It’s your responsibility as the business owner to know when filings are due.
Mark your calendar to ensure you file on time each year. Or designate someone to file on your behalf, either internally at your company or externally.
If too much time passes and your business is suspended or forfeited, it could have serious consequences for the continued financial health of your organization. Don’t delay or avoid filing. Get help if you need it.
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