You did it. Your Kentucky 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 Kentucky, an LLC’s annual report consists of two parts: a Franchise Tax and a Public Information Report. Each LLC must submit these filings to the Kentucky Comptroller every year to keep their information current. 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 Kentucky Annual Report? Why is it Important?
Consider an Annual Report the commonwealth’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 Kentucky 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 commonwealth 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 commonwealth informed so they can update their contact information. Miss one of their communications and your LLC in Kentucky might end up falling out of good standing or, even worse, administratively dissolved.
Moreover, keeping your information current will help other businesses and potential customers find you. Anyone who wants to find your LLC’s contact info can do so by performing a name search on the Secretary of State website. This could include future customers or partners.
How Much Does the Kentucky 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. Fortunately for you, Kentucky’s Annual Report fee is at the low end of that range, only $15. If your LLC is at least 51% owned by veterans or active-duty members, the fee is waived for the first four years, thanks to Kentucky’s “Boots to Business” initiative.
Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in Kentucky
Your LLC will need to complete and submit an Annual Report once per year, no later than June 30. If you’re an early bird who wants to get it done as soon as possible, you can’t file any earlier than January 1. But as soon as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, you’re welcome to file.
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.
If you miss the June 30 deadline, your LLC will lose its good standing and the commonwealth will mail out a 60-day notice on July 1. File the delinquent report during that window and your good standing will be restored, no fees necessary. But if August 31 comes and goes, however, and you still haven’t filed your report, the commonwealth will administratively dissolve your company.
Now that we’ve covered all the basics, let’s dig into the Annual Report itself. When you sit down to file it, here’s the information you should have handy, especially if it’s changed in the last year:
- Principal office address
- Registered agent name and address
- Names and addresses for each member or manager
The whole process is pretty quick and should only take a few minutes, so don’t put it off!
Ready to file? If it’s between January 1 and June 30, you’re good to go. There are three ways to go about it.
Online Filing: You can complete the whole process through the Secretary of State’s Online Services portal. Enter your LLC’s name or business ID, then select your company from the results. You’ll be directed through a couple of pages that ask you to confirm or update your business information. Then, you can enter your credit or debit card information to pay.
Filing by Mail: Access the Online Services portal like you would for online filing, enter your LLC’s name/ID, and select your company. Then, hover over the “Printable Forms” tab and select Annual Report from the dropdown menu. Print your form, fill it out, and mail it (with a $15 check) to:
Secretary of State
PO Box 1150
Frankfort, KY 40602
Be sure to mail it prior to the June 30 deadline, since it needs to arrive by that date.
Filing by Postcard: In January or February each year, the Secretary of State will mail a postcard reminder, which can also serve as your Annual Report. Simply fill out the required information, include a $15 check, and mail it back.
Does the Commonwealth 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.
The postcard listed above serves as the Secretary of State’s reminder to file your Annual Report. You or your registered agent will receive it sometime during January or February. We still think it’s wise to establish your own system of reminders, just in case. Circle it on your calendar, put it in your phone, leave a Post-It note on your mirror, whatever will help you remember!
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 Kentucky’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.