You did it. Your Vermont 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 Vermont, 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 Vermont 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 Vermont 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 Vermont 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 Vermont 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 Vermont 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. Vermont’s Annual Report fee is relatively modest – just $35 per report for domestic LLCs. However, if you run a foreign LLC in Vermont, the price is $140 instead.
Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in Vermont
There’s not an overarching Annual Report due date for all Vermont LLCs. Rather, it depends on your fiscal year. Your LLC’s report is due within three months of its fiscal year-end. For most businesses, the fiscal year runs from January 1st to December 31st. In these cases, Annual Reports are due by March 31st.
For example, if you file your Articles of Organization and form your LLC on June 10, 2021, and its fiscal year ends on December 31, 2021, you must file your Annual Report between January 1, 2022 and March 31, 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 Report can yield some serious consequences.
Filing Annual Reports on time keeps your business in compliance with the state. If you fail to file by your LLC’s deadline, your report will incur a $25 late fee and your business will lose its good standing with the state.
From that point, you have three months to file a late report. If you don’t, your LLC will be terminated, unable to do business in the state, and you’ll need to file for reinstatement and pay another $25 fee.
Now that we’ve nailed down the timeline and general annual reporting requirements, let’s dig into the details of the filing itself. When you’re ready to file, here’s the information you will need:
- Business email address
- LLC designated office address
- LLC mailing address
- Filer name and title
- Member or manager names and addresses
In some states, you can use your Annual Report to change your registered agent or registered office address. However, in Vermont, you must use a separate Registered Agent or Office Address Change form.
Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information, you’re ready to file your Vermont Annual Report!
If your LLC’s fiscal year just ended, you’re in the Annual Report timeframe. You can file a report electronically or by mail, but either way, you’ll need to fill out your form online. Here’s how:
Online Filing: Go to Vermont’s Online Business Service Center. If you already have an account, log in. If you don’t, you’ll need to create one. After you’ve signed in, select “VT Sec of State Online Services” and then click “File Your Annual/Biennial Report.” From here, you’ll be directed to enter or change the information listed above. When finished, you can enter your credit/debit card information and complete the filing. Your report will be processed within 24 hours.
Filing by Mail: Complete your Annual Report online following the same procedures. When you arrive at the payment screen, choose “I Want to Print & Mail With Check” instead. This will allow you to print a paper report, which you can send via postal mail to:
Vermont Secretary of State
128 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05633-1104
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 Vermont Secretary of State lends a helping hand by sending a courtesy reminder to your registered agent. If you have a registered agent email address on file, this reminder will be emailed. Otherwise, the Secretary of State will mail it to your registered office address.
This is a nice service, but the Annual Report is too important to rely on just one reminder. We recommend setting up some supplementary reminders of your own, whether in your planner, on your phone, or anywhere else that will help you remember.
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 Vermont’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.