Renewing Your Entity Status? Beware of Annual Report Scams
posted Feb 22, 2019 by Steve M. Fay, CPA, JD, LLM in the Business Blog
Do you have a state business entity such as a Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Partnership or Foundation? Requirements and fees vary by state but typically you must file an annual report and pay a renewal fee each year to keep your status current. There are scams surrounding this, watch out for certain warning signs!
Filing your annual report
Rules vary by state when it comes to renewing your entity’s status. Let’s take Rhode Island for example. All Rhode Island business entities authorized to do business in the state must file an Annual Report (Form 632) with the RI Secretary of State…the filing periods and fees vary depending on the type of business:
- Business corporations must file renewals between January 1st- March 1st and the fee is $50 with a late filing penalty fee of $25 (applied April 1st).
- Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) must file renewals between September 1st and November 1st and the fee is $50, with a late filing penalty of $25 applied December 2nd.
- Nonprofit corporations must file renewals between June 1st and June 30th and the fee is $20, with a late filing penalty fee of $25 (applied July 31st)
- Benefit corporations must file renewals within 120 days following fiscal year end and the fee is $60, with a late filing penalty fee of $25 applied 30 days after the end of the filing period.
For Florida, on the other hand, annual reports are due for all entity types between January 1st and May 1st each year.
Florida’s fees are:
- Corporation- $150
- LLC- $138.75
- Nonprofits, cooperatives and religious corporations- $61.25
- Partnerships (LPs, LLPs, etc.)- $500
There is a $400 late filing penalty for all profit corporations, LLCs, LLPs, LLLPs, and LPs that don’t file annual reports by May 1st. While nonprofits don’t pay a penalty, they still face the same administrative dissolution or status revocation as late filing profit companies do.
Did you receive a letter in the mail asking you to “complete your annual report”?
THIS COULD BE A SCAM!
Some common red flags:
- The letter is from an unfamiliar company, not the company that serves as your registered agent (or the company that helped you incorporate/ form your entity)
- The envelope and form are designed to trick you into believing you are receiving an official government communication.
- The fake agency requests $125 for filing corporate minutes and $47 for a “Certificate of Status.”
Stay vigilant against these fake agencies - the fee they will charge you is substantially higher than the state’s rate and there is no guarantee that your work will actually get done.
If you need help filing your annual report, Contact us - we can help you. You don’t want your business entity status to be revoked for late filing!