You did it. Your Minnesota 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.
Every year, your LLC must submit an Annual Renewal to the Minnesota Secretary of State to keep your 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.
What is a Minnesota Annual Renewal? Why is it Important?
Consider an Annual Renewal 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 Minnesota 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 Renewal.
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 Minnesota 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 can find your LLC’s information by performing a name search on the Secretary of State website – this might include future business partners and clients or customers.
How Much Does the Minnesota LLC Annual Renewal 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. Minnesota has, perhaps, the most affordable fee of all: free! As long as your business is in good standing, you won’t have to pay a dime for your Annual Renewal.
Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Renewal in Minnesota
As the name suggests, your Annual Renewal is due once per year, and you must file before December 31, the end of the calendar year. You don’t need to file an Annual Renewal in the same year that your form your LLC. So, if you filed your LLC’s Articles of Organization on June 10, 2019, your first renewal wouldn’t be due until December 31, 2020.
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 Renewal can yield some serious consequences.
There’s no late fee if you fail to file your Annual Renewal by December 31, but the state can statutorily dissolve your LLC. In this case, you would need to file an Annual Reinstatement for $25 by mail or $45 online/in-person along with the overdue renewal.
We’ve got the basics out of the way. Now let’s dig into the Annual Renewal itself. The good news is that it’s not a long or complicated form. Here’s the information you should have ready to complete it:
- File Number (you can find this by searching your LLC on the Secretary of State website)
- Home jurisdiction
- LLC name
- Alternate name (foreign LLCs only)
- Registered agent name and office address
- Principal executive office address
- Name and business address of a manager
- Email address for official notices
Also included on your Annual Renewal form is the Minnesota Business Snapshot, a five-question survey that helps the state compile additional information on its businesses. This section is completely optional and there is no penalty for leaving it blank.
The Annual Renewal form itself also contains detailed instructions for its completion.
Now for the best part: filing your Annual Renewal. Whether December 31 is fast approaching or you’re getting it done early, keep your filing options in mind. You can submit your form online, by mail, or in person.
Online Filing: If you’re short on time, this is the fastest filing method, processed as soon as you click submit. Enter your LLC name or File Number on the Business Filings Search page, find your business, and click “Details” next to its name. On your Business Record Details page, click the button that reads “File Amendment/Renewal” and select the appropriate filing. If you don’t already have an account, you’ll need to create one and sign in. Then, you can enter your information and submit your renewal.
Filing by Mail: Download, complete, and print the Annual Renewal paper form. When you’re ready, mail it to:
Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services
Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building
60 Empire Drive, Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55103
Filing In Person: Live near St. Paul? Passing through the area? You can also hand-deliver your Annual Renewal to the same address.
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.
To help ensure that you don’t miss a renewal, the Secretary of State will send a reminder postcard to your registered agent each fall. If you included an email address on your Articles of Organization, they will also send an email reminder. These notices are helpful, but we also recommend setting up your own system – notes in your planner, alarms on your phone, etc. This way, you can be sure that you won’t forget.
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 Renewal 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 Renewals. 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 Minnesota’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.