You did it. Your Virginia 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 Virginia, 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 Virginia 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 Virginia Annual Report? Why is it Important?
Consider an Annual Report the Commonwealth’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 Virginia 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 Commonwealth 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 Commonwealth informed so they can update their contact information. Miss one of their communications and your LLC in Virginia 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, including future partners or clients, can contact your LLC by searching for your business name on the State Corporation Commission website, so it’s important to maintain updated data by filing Annual Reports.
How Much Does the Virginia 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. Domestic and foreign LLCs only need to pay $50 per Annual Report in Virginia. Corporations have to pay more ($100+), although this depends on the number of authorized shares they have.
Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in Virginia
You will file one Annual Report per year, and it’s due on the last day of your LLC’s anniversary month (the month in which you initially formed it). So, if the Commonwealth approved your LLC’s Articles of Organization on December 10, 2018, your Annual Report would be due each year by December 31st.
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’s no monetary late fee for delinquent Annual Reports, but this doesn’t mean you can skate by without consequence. If you fail to file a report by the due date, your LLC will lose its good standing with the Commonwealth. And if you still haven’t filed four months after the due date, your business will be terminated.
We’ve covered all the basics, but you might be wondering what the form itself looks like. When you go to file, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- LLC name
- State Corporation Commission ID number
- State of formation
- Registered agent name and registered office address
- Principal office address
- Member/manager names and addresses
You will likely know some of this information off the top of your head. But for anything that you don’t have memorized, check your Articles of Organization or access your LLC’s record through the SCC’s Business Entity Search.
Now is the moment you’ve been waiting for – your anniversary month has arrived and it’s time to file. You have a couple of options. The quickest and easiest route is online filing, but you can also submit it by mail or in person.
Online Filing: You can complete your Annual Report filing entirely through the SCC Clerk’s Information System. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one first. Once you’re signed in, you can select Annual Report and enter the necessary information, then pay using a credit or debit card.
Filing by Mail: This process is a bit trickier. Annual Report hard copies aren’t readily available for download, but the SCC will send you one if you request it. Use the Online Forms Request page to obtain one. Fill it out with the appropriate information, then mail it (along with a check for your payment) to:
State Corporation Commission Clerk’s Office
PO Box 1197
Richmond, VA 23218-1197
Filing In Person: If you live in or near Richmond, you can also hand-deliver a completed paper form to:
State Corporation Commission Clerk’s Office, First Floor
1300 E. Main St.
Richmond, VA 23219
If you request a hard copy Annual Report, the SCC will send it via mail. Because there can be delays in the mailing process, it’s important that you request a form well in advance of your due date.
Does the Commonwealth 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 Corporation Commission won’t send a reminder to let you know when your Annual Report due date is coming up, so you’ll need to keep track of it yourself. We recommend establishing a series of your own reminders – on a calendar, phone, planner, etc. – to make sure that you don’t miss the deadline.
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 Virginia’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.