You did it. Your Tennessee 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 Tennessee, 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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, so it’s important to keep it current and up to date.
How Much Does the Tennessee 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. Tennessee’s Annual Report fees are somewhat steep. Each year you’ll pay a minimum of $300 to file. And if your LLC has more than 6 members, you’ll need to pay an additional $50 for every member beyond the first 6.
Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in Tennessee
After filing an Articles of Organization to start your LLC, you will need to file one Annual Report per year, due by the first day of the fourth month following the end of your company’s fiscal year. Most LLC fiscal years line up with the calendar year, January 1st to December 31st. If your business falls into this group, you would need to file your LLC’s Annual Report by April 1st.
If you’re on the ball and want to file ASAP, you can do so as soon as the first day of your fiscal year (usually January 1st).
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.
There are no late fees for missing your Annual Report due date. But this doesn’t mean you can skate by without filing. If you haven’t filed a delinquent report by two months after the deadline, the state will administratively revoke your LLC.
At that point, your business would lose its authority to do business in the state and you would need to file an Application for Reinstatement for $70 (as well as your missing report for $300+) to get back in good standing.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dig into the details. Your Annual Report requires certain business information each time you file, including:
- Secretary of State Control Number (you can find it on the Secretary of State’s mailed reminder or by using the Business Information Search)
- Principal office address
- Mailing address
- Registered agent name and address
- Manager names and addresses (only if your LLC is manager-managed)
- Officers (if applicable)
All of this information is likely readily available in your LLC’s online record or Articles of Organization. You might even know it off the top of your head! Regardless, the form shouldn’t take you long at all.
If your Annual Report due date is fast approaching, you’ll want to know your filing options, and the Secretary of State offers three – you can file online, by mail, or in person.
Online Filing: This is the most efficient method, as your form will be processed immediately. Your journey starts on the Business Services Online website. Select “File an Annual Report” and on the next page, click the red “Start Now!” button. Enter your LLC’s Control Number, confirm that you’re filing for the correct business, and you’ll be on your way. Confirm or enter the appropriate information on the next several pages, enter your payment information, and submit your form.
The Secretary of State provides a helpful, step-by-step video walkthrough if you need some extra assistance.
Filing by Mail: Most of this process is the same as online filing. Follow the instructions above, but when you reach the payment page, you will see a button that reads “Print This Annual Report.” Click it to obtain a printable document, which you can mail (with a check for your payment) to:
Department of State
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue 6th Floor
William R. Snodgrass Tower
Nashville, TN 37243
Filing In Person: If you live near Nashville (or have a trip planned), you can also hand-deliver your printed form and payment 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.
The Secretary of State will send a courtesy reminder to your registered office address at the end of your LLC’s fiscal year, which will include your company’s Control Number and due date. These are incredibly helpful, but we also recommend setting up your own system of reminders closer to the actual due date, just to ensure that 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 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 Tennessee’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.