What is the purpose of an annual report? An annual report is a simple document that verifies certain facts about a business, such as its current mailing address and the names of its directors. These reports are filed with the relevant state agency and made available for public inspection. They should not be confused with the more elaborate and detailed financial reports—also sometimes called “annual reports”—that businesses use to disclose company information to shareholders, and must be filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
In general, annual reports are required for corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs). Other business structures may fall under this requirement as well, depending on jurisdiction. Sole proprietorships, general partnerships, and other organizations that do not need to register with the state are usually exempt.
It is important to understand that the specific contents of an annual report and its filing schedule are determined by the regulatory body of each state. Never assume that the rules and requirements of one state will necessarily apply in another.
What Happens If You Fail to File an Annual Report?
This is another question where the answer depends on the state in which your business is registered, but it’s safe to say that it’s never wise to delay filing a report. Many states impose fines for late filing. If the annual report is not filed within a specified time frame, the state may suspend the business or begin dissolution proceedings. In addition, a business that has not filed its annual report on schedule will be unable to request a certificate of good standing, which is often used in business transactions to verify the legitimacy of an organization.
How FastFilings Can Help
Annual reports are among the types of business documents that FastFilings specializes in. Our easy-to-use online ordering system will walk you through the process of filing an annual report with the relevant state agency.
To help you prepare for your filing, we’ve put together a brief infographic explaining what goes into an annual report. Scroll down below to learn more about annual reports.