You did it. Your Louisiana 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 Louisiana, 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 Louisiana 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 the Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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. If the Secretary of State has the most updated data on record, people can find your business by performing a name search.
How Much Does the Louisiana 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. Compared to most states, Louisiana’s Annual Report fee is pretty modest, just $30 whether you file online or using a paper form.
Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in Louisiana
Your LLC is required to file an Annual Report once per year by its exact anniversary date, the date it was originally formed. So, make sure you remember the date you officially registered your business and mark it on the calendar for future Annual Report filing.
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.
Louisiana is a bit more lenient than some states when it comes to late Annual Reports. They won’t hit you with a late fee, but your LLC will lose its good standing. If you go three years without filing a report, your business will be dissolved.
If your LLC’s anniversary date is coming up, it’s time to start thinking about filing your Annual Report. Here’s the information it requires:
- LLC name
- Mailing address (not a P.O. box)
- Registered office address
- Registered agent name
- Names and addresses for each member or manager
- Your phone number, mailing address, and email address
The form shouldn’t take more than a few minutes if you have all of this information ready to go. If none of this information has changed over the year, it will be even faster.
Now you’re all set to file, and you have a couple of different ways to go about it. The fastest, easiest option is filing online, but you can also submit an Annual Report by mail.
Online Filing: To begin, access Louisiana’s geauxBIZ online filing portal. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to create one. After signing in, select “Getting Started” from your dashboard, then “File an Amendment.” Enter your LLC’s charter number and you’ll find a page containing your business details. Click “File Annual Report” and you’ll be on your way. Just follow the onscreen instructions and you’ll be finished in no time. On the last page, you’ll be prompted to enter your payment details. After doing so, you can officially submit your report, which will be processed within 15 minutes.
Filing by Mail: Your first step will be printing an Annual Report form. Search for your LLC name here and select it from the results. Click the “Details” button and then select “Print Annual Report.” Fill in the required details, include a check for $30, and send it to:
PO Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
After the Secretary of State receives your mailed form, they will process your Annual Report in 1-2 business days.
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.
The Secretary of State wants to help you make sure you don’t miss your due date, so they will send you an email or text reminder as long as they have a business email and/or phone number on file. It’s a good idea, however, to establish your own system of reminders as well, just to make sure. Do whatever will help you remember, whether it’s a mark on your calendar, an alarm on your phone, a note on your refrigerator, or something else entirely.
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 Louisiana’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.