You did it. Your Connecticut LLC is officially up and running, ready to take on challenges, roll in the profits, and change the world.
There’s no doubt that this is an exciting time in your business journey. After starting your LLC, it’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement and expectations. After all, as a new business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate.
But the state does too. They need to keep updated records on thousands of businesses so that they can effectively reach out with any important tax or legal communications down the road. How do they do it? With your cooperation, of course.
In Connecticut, an LLC’s annual report includes some basic information about the business and ownership group that ensures the state has the most up-to-date records possible for the company. Unsure how to go about it? Never even heard of it? No worries at all. That’s why we’re here. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
For brevity’s sake, we’ll refer to these two combined filings as the “Annual Report” in this guide.
What Is a Connecticut Annual Report? Why Is It Important?
Consider an annual report the state’s yearly checkup on your LLC. It’s similar to a census in that its purpose is to collect the necessary contact and structural information about each Connecticut business.
Each state has its own annual reporting requirements, and some don’t even require them. But in most states, you’re required to submit one per year that includes your LLC name, principal office address, registered agent information, and member/manager names and addresses. Whether you run a domestic or foreign LLC, you should plan on submitting an annual report.
Don’t be intimidated, but it’s not something you want to take lightly. This is how the state updates your LLC’s record with the most recent information. They need to know how to reach you with important information about your business status, upcoming filings, taxes, and service of process.
For example, if you change your registered agent, or your current agent resigns, you’ll need to keep the state informed so they can update their contact information. Miss one of their communications and your LLC in Connecticut might end up falling out of good standing or, even worse, being administratively dissolved.
Moreover, keeping your information current will help other businesses and potential customers find you. The Secretary of State’s business name search function allows anyone who uses it to access your business contact information, so they can find or contact you.
How Much Does the Connecticut LLC Annual Report Fee Cost?
If you’re putting together a budget for all your LLC’s costs – like formation costs, name reservation fees, and initial operating expenses – it’s important to include annual filings like this one, just so that there are no surprises.
Costs vary from state to state. Some are free while others can be several hundred dollars. But in Connecticut, you’ll only need to pay $80 whether you run a domestic or foreign LLC.
Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in Connecticut
As the name suggests, your Connecticut annual report is due once a year and must be filed between January 1 and March 31. Your first annual report is due the year after you file a Certificate of Organization to form your business. For example, if you form your LLC on January 21, 2020, your first annual report will be due by March 31, 2021.
What Happens if You Don’t File?
You might be thinking, “that sounds like a pain. How bad could it be if I just fly under the radar?” The short answer: don’t try it. Failing to file your annual report can yield some serious consequences.
While there isn’t a monetary penalty for missing your annual report due date, an outstanding annual report will cause your LLC to lose its good standing with the state. Without good standing, your business can’t make certain transactions, acquire financing, expand to other states, and more. Remain out of good standing long enough and the state may administratively dissolve your LLC.
Actually filing the annual report is a pretty simple process. After you access the online form, you just need to enter the following information:
- The LLC’s mailing address
- The principal office address
- Your name and title
- Your email address
- Principal members’ name(s) and address(es)
- Registered agent name and address
- NAICS code
If none of your information has changed from the year before, you won’t have to do much. Even if certain things have changed, all you need to do is enter the appropriate updates. It likely won’t take you more than a few minutes.
The Connecticut Secretary of State requires that all annual reports be submitted online. There isn’t even a paper form available on their website. Fortunately, the online filing process is quick and easy.
Simply go to Connecticut’s Annual Reports page and click “File Annual Reports Online.” From here you can either sign in to your account or continue without logging in (continuing without logging in works just fine for annual reports). Search for your LLC by business name or ID number. Select your business and follow the instructions to complete your report.
After you’ve entered your information, you’ll arrive at a payment screen, where you can use a credit or debit card to pay the $80 fee and complete the filing. Your annual report will be filed immediately.
Does the State Send Reminders?
Reminders are always nice. They help you stay on top of your business requirements and ensure that you won’t fall out of good standing.
As a courtesy, the state will send an email reminder one month before the annual report due date. If you don’t have an email address on file, they will mail a postcard instead. That said, it’s still wise to mark it on your calendar, set a reminder on your phone, write it in your planner, or do anything else to remember to file on time.
Can I Hire a Service to Handle It?
You probably have a full plate as it is, and the thought of adding one more responsibility to your to-do list might make you shudder. You’re not alone.
Plenty of other LLC owners have outsourced their reporting duties to LLC services. These companies will take the entire process off your hands, handling your annual report each year. If that piques your interest, we recommend ZenBusiness, which is an experienced and trustworthy LLC company.
But their services aren’t restricted to forming an LLC or managing annual reports. They can also help you form your business, draft an operating agreement, handle registered agent responsibilities, and much more, all for a reasonably low price.
If thinking about your LLC responsibilities ties your stomach in knots, let ZenBusiness take some of those worries off your plate.
There you have it, everything you need to know about Connecticut’s reporting requirements. Follow this guide to a T and your LLC will be prepared to operate smoothly and in good standing long into the future.
And remember, if at any point it seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. A good LLC service like ZenBusiness (or LegalZoom) can be a valuable resource, taking care of all the little details, so you can focus on growing your business.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Filing the Connecticut LLC Annual Report
Should I use an annual report service, hire an attorney, or prepare and file my own reports?
This question largely comes down to personal preferences, but we do have some general insights. The DIY route can be quite a bit of work, as you’ll need to keep track of your due dates and complete the entire report on your own with no assistance. As for hiring an attorney, this can be prohibitively expensive for many businesses, as a lawyer can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to prepare and file your annual reports.
You can think of business services companies as a middle ground between these options. While most of these companies charge a fee to prepare and file your annual reports, that fee will be significantly less expensive than an attorney’s fee. At the same time, you still aren’t going it alone. Instead, you have an experienced professional guiding you through the entire process.
I’ve heard the most about LegalZoom. Are they the best annual report service?
LegalZoom is the most well-known of all business services companies, thanks to its long track record and extensive advertising campaigns. That said, all of that brand power comes at a cost, as LegalZoom’s pricing and features don’t always compare advantageously to its competitors. While we do appreciate LegalZoom’s annual report filing service, it isn’t our top choice.
When is my annual report due each year?
All LLCs in Connecticut must file an annual report by March 31 of each year. Failure to comply with this deadline will result in strict penalties and fees.
Does Connecticut require LLCs to file initial reports?
In some states, LLCs are also required to file initial reports. These reports are typically quite similar to annual reports, with the difference being that an initial report either accompanies your formation documents or follows their filing within a couple of months. However, Connecticut has no initial reporting requirement, so you can safely ignore this aspect.
What if I need more time to complete my annual report?
If you need some additional time to finish preparing your annual report, Connecticut has two words for you: “Too bad.” Connecticut does not offer extensions for annual reports and says that “Our office will administratively dissolve entities that fail to file annual reports.” However, you really don’t have any excuse to miss this yearly filing because the due dates never change and the state also sends reminders every year.
The Best Connecticut LLC Annual Report Services
If you want to use a reputable online service to file your Connecticut annual reports, there are dozens of options. We invite you to check out our full list of the best available LLC annual report services, but we’ll also share a few of our favorites with you here.
There are two general types of annual report services: basic and managed. A basic service only handles the preparation and filing of the report itself, while a managed service also tracks your due dates and provides you with reminders.
Let’s take a quick look at the three best LLC annual report services for entrepreneurs in the state of Connecticut.
ZenBusiness ($75 – Total Cost of at Least $155)
ZenBusiness has a very attractive offer for annual report service, as it offers fully managed service at a price point that undercuts many competitors’ rates for basic service. ZenBusiness often tops our lists for a variety of business services, as they’re also our favorite company for LLC formations. ZenBusiness is a company that truly excels when it comes to customer feedback, as nearly all of their 6,200+ reviews are extremely positive in nature.
Another aspect of ZenBusiness that we value is its dedication to giving back to the communities it serves. ZenBusiness partners with Kiva.org to help lift underprivileged entrepreneurs out of poverty through financial lending. Additionally, they provide loans to help boost women- and minority-owned businesses.
MyCompanyWorks ($49 – Total Cost of at Least $129)
If you’re in the market for a basic service, and you don’t mind tracking your own due dates, MyCompanyWorks is the best option. At just $49 (plus any applicable state fees), MyCompanyWorks has the most affordable basic annual report package we’re aware of. While many of its competitors charge $100 or more for a similar service, MyCompanyWorks offers annual reports for less than half of that price point.
Of course, it’s not all about pricing! Cost is always a highly important consideration, but it’s far from the only criterion we use when analyzing annual report service providers. MyCompanyWorks also receives tremendous feedback from its customers, with more than 3,700 reviews available online and nearly all of them being positive.
MyCorporation ($99 – Total Cost of at Least $179)
MyCorporation is another solid option for managed annual reports. MyCorporation has lots of experience, as they’ve helped form more than one million businesses over the years. In addition, MyCorporation receives excellent feedback from its customers, with hundreds of positive reviews scattered across the web.
While MyCorporation doesn’t excel in any specific way that would earn a spot above MyCompanyWorks or ZenBusiness, they have plenty of their own advantages that make them a strong contender for your dollar.