You did it. Your New York 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 New York, 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 New York 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 New York Biennial Statement? Why is it Important?
Consider a Biennial 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 New York business.
Each state has its own annual or biennial 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 a Biennial 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 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 New York 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, anyone – including future partners and clients – can find your business by performing a name search.
How Much Does the New York LLC Biennial 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. New York’s Biennial Statement fee is pretty minimal, just $9, so it won’t put a dent in your budget.
Due Date and Frequency for a Biennial Statement in New York
As the name suggests, you will only need to file a Biennial Statement every other year by the end of your LLC’s anniversary month (the month it was originally formed). New York doesn’t have an “Initial Report” requirement, so your first report will be due two years after you file your Articles of Organization to form your LLC. So, if you started your business on June 10, 2018, your first report would be due by June 30, 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 Biennial Statement can yield some serious consequences.
In the event that the Biennial Report slips your mind and you miss your due date, don’t worry. There’s no late fee, but this doesn’t mean you’re completely off the hook. Missing a Biennial Report will cause your business to lose its good standing with the state, so make sure to file any outstanding reports ASAP.
The Biennial Statement filing process is fairly easy, as long as you know your updated business information. Here’s the information it requires:
- DOS ID number (if you don’t know this number, you can find it by accessing your LLC’s state record through a business entity search)
- LLC name
- Service of process address
- Signer name
- Credit card information
The only piece of information that might change between statements is your service of process address. Even if you need to update this address on the form, the filing shouldn’t take long at all.
New York has streamlined the Biennial Statement filing process by requiring that all businesses submit their statements online. This is good news for you because you can complete the entire process from home and the state will process your form immediately.
Head over to the Department of State’s online filing portal. On the right side of the page, select “Biennial Statements.” Then, enter your DOS business ID and LLC name. You’ll be directed to a page that shows your current business information. Update anything that has changed, enter your payment information, and click “Next.” This will officially file your statement.
You can only submit electronic Biennial Statements during your LLC’s anniversary month every other year. If you need to file outside of that month, you will need to email the Department of State at email@example.com to receive a paper form.
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 state is on your side and will help you remember your Biennial Report due date. If you have a business email address on file for your LLC, they will send you an email reminder at the beginning of its anniversary month. But it’s wise to supplement that with your own system of reminders. Put it in your phone or planner, or leave a note on your desk, whatever will help make sure you don’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 Biennial 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 Biennial Statements. 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 New York’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.