You did it. Your Michigan 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 Michigan, 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 Michigan 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 Michigan Annual Statement? Why is it Important?
Consider an Annual Statement 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 Michigan 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, resident agent information, and member/manager names and addresses. Whether you run a domestic or foreign LLC, you should plan on submitting an Annual Statement.
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 resident 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 Michigan 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 Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has the most updated data on record, people can find your business by performing a name search.
How Much Does the Michigan LLC Annual Statement 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. Michigan’s filing fee, however, is fairly reasonable: just $25 per statement. You’ll need to pay it each year, so write it into your annual budget.
Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Statement in Michigan
Your Michigan LLC will need to file an Annual Statement with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs once per year, on February 15. The only exception is if you form your LLC after September 30, in which case you wouldn’t file one until the following February.
For example, let’s say you submit your Articles of Organization and officially form your LLC on October 15, 2020. You wouldn’t be required to file an Annual Statement by February 15, 2021. Rather, you would file it by February 15, 2022.
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 Statement can yield some serious consequences.
Professional LLCs incur a $50 late fee if they miss the February 15 due date, but other LLCs don’t. However, your business could also lose its good standing with the state and need to submit a Certificate of Restoration of Good Standing along with its $50 fee.
The Annual Statement isn’t an exceedingly complicated form, but you’ll still want to have your information lined up before you begin. This may include:
- LLC name
- Principal office address
- Resident agent name and address
- Names and addresses for each member/manager
You might have all of this information top of mind already. If not, it should be easily accessible on your LLC’s record or on your formation documents. Once you get started, the Annual Statement should only take a few minutes to complete.
The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs offers both online and hard copy Annual Statement filing, so you can choose the method that works best for you.
Online Filing: You’ll start at the LARA online filing login page, which asks for your Customer ID Number (CID) and PIN. Don’t remember them? No worries. Just use the CID/PIN recovery page. Once you’re logged in, you’ll find a list of forms available for online filing. Choose the Annual Statement and enter the required information. Online submission fees must be paid by credit card. Online filing becomes available 90 days before the Annual Statement due date, so you can usually file as early as November 15th.
Filing by Mail: 90 days before the Annual Statement due date, LARA will mail your resident agent a pre-printed Annual Statement form. Fill in or confirm your information, prepare your $25 fee payment, and mail it to:
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909
In-Person Filing: You may also deliver your Annual Statement and payment to 2501 Woodlake Circle, Okemos, MI.
Standard processing time is 3-5 business days. Not fast enough? If you want a faster turnaround, you can pay an extra fee for expedited processing. Here are your options:
- 24-hour processing – $100
- Same-day processing– $200
- Two-hour processing – $500
- One-hour processing – $1,000
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.
When your LLC’s resident agent receives the pre-printed Annual Statement form, this will serve as the state’s reminder. But we know that life gets busy, mail gets lost in the business paperwork shuffle, and it can be easy to skip over an Annual Statement. So, it’s a good idea to set your own system of reminders as well. Circle the date on your calendar, write it in your planner, set an alarm on your phone, do whatever works best for you, but be careful not to miss the February 15th due date!
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 Statement 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 Statements. They can also help you form your business, draft an operating agreement, handle resident 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 Michigan’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.