Note: The state has updated and redesigned their website since the recording of this LLC Annual Report video, however, the information and steps are still similar. Thank you for your understanding.
The following information is provided for educational purposes only and in no way constitutes legal, tax, or financial advice. For legal, tax, or financial advice specific to your business needs, we encourage you to consult with a licensed attorney and/or CPA in your State. The following information is copyright protected. No part of this Lesson may be redistributed, copied, modified or adapted without prior written consent of the author. As we mentioned earlier, there are ongoing requirements with the State of North Carolina. The first of these is called the Annual Report we which will discuss in this Lesson. The second of these is filing your LLC’s taxes. We will discuss taxes in the next Lesson. Each year, you are required by law to keep the State of North Carolina updated with your LLC’s contact information. You do this by filing what’s called an Annual Report. Along with filing your Annual Report, you must also pay the annual filing fee. You will find the annual filing fee amount listed below this video. Both the Annual Report and the filing fee are due each year, by April 15th. Your 1st Annual Report will be due in the calendar year following the year of your LLC formation. For example, if you formed your LLC in 2014, then your 1st Annual Report will be due by April 15th, 2015. Then, it will be due every year by the same April 15th deadline. The State will send you a reminder notice a few months prior to the due date. Even if you do not receive a reminder notice, it is still your responsibility to file your Annual Report on time each year. For this reason, we recommend putting a repeating reminder on your calendar. We also recommend filing your Annual Report and paying the filing fee in January or February and avoid waiting until the last minute. If you do not submit your Annual Report by the April 15th deadline, you will receive a notice of pending dissolution. If your Annual Report is still not submitted by June 14th, the State will dissolve (aka shut down) your LLC. The most efficient way to file your Annual Report is on the State’s website. When you file online, you will review your information, then submit your Annual Report electronically, and pay the filing fee with a debit or credit card. Filing online is simple and only takes a few minutes. We are now ready to show you how to file your Annual Report. The link below this video will take you to the State’s website. Let’s get started. Here we are on the State’s website, under the Online Annual Report Section. I’m going to be using a sample company for demonstration purposes. What you’re first going to do, is you’re going to click “Search by Name”, and these drop downs, we can leave them under the default (I know it does say “Corporations”, but that’s for all entities registered with the State), and we want to keep it on “Name Starting With”. Go ahead and enter the 1st word of your LLC, and then we’re going to search and browse the list and find it. I’m going to enter the 1st word of my sample company. Just so you can see here, this sample company is “ACG Columbia, LLC”. I’m just going to do a search for “ACG”, and then hit the “Search” button here. I want to make sure I want to scroll through the list and find the company. Here it is. Once you find your LLC name, you’re going to walk over here to the right-hand side and where it says “File Report”, you’re going to click that link. Now, just a minute ago we told you that filing online is the best route to take, and that still is the case. However, if you need to make changes to your Registered Agent, you cannot make that change online. You need to print out the report, and mail it along with a check or money order. You can see here in red, it says “If you do not plan to pay by Credit Card, or Electronic Check. or ACH, or if you need to change the entity’s registered agent’s name, click here to print out a pre-populated annual report”. I’m going to show you that in just a second, but let’s assume that you’re not making any changes to the name of the Registered Agent. That doesn’t mean you can’t change their address, but you cannot change the name online; you have to do that by mail. Again, for this example, let’s say there are no changes to the Registered Agent. If that’s the case, go ahead and hit the blue button right here that says “File Most Recent Report”. What you’re basically going to be doing, is going through the individual pages and confirming that the information is correct and adding any additional fields that are needed. In this case, the sample company here (“ACG Columbia”) has an outdated report, which is why I can use this company as an example. And they haven’t filed for 2014, so this is the sample I’m going to run through. What you’re going to do here, this information should be pre-populated (“1a and 1b”). Down here ,where it says “Briefly Describe the Nature of the Business”, enter a few words about your type of business. It doesn’t have to be super specific (and the State isn’t going hold you to it), but do list the purpose of your LLC. In this case, I’ve entered “Financial Consulting”, and then I’m going to click “Next”. In Section 2 (it says “Registered Agent”), and what we’re going to do here is confirm that the information that the State has is correct. If we need to make any changes to the address or the mailing address for the Registered Agent, we’re going to do so here, and you can see they’re warning you again in red if you need to change the entity’s Registered Agent’s name (“click here and print out the report”). Let’s say we’re going to stick with Terry Carlton. Everything looks good here. We’re going to confirm and hit “Next”. Again, if you do need to change the agent, I’ll walk you through that in just a minute. The next step is the “Principal Office”. Here, we have a new required field at the top (“Phone Number”). If this is empty, please go ahead and enter your phone number. I’ve entered a dummy phone number there just for example purposes (I’m not actually going to file this report). Again, under the Principal Office Section 3, please confirm the information is correct or make any changes if needed. You can see here that this company has a street address and a mailing address. You may just have “3b” and the street address, and you may not have “3c” filled out. That’s completely okay. Again, confirm your information or make any changes that are needed and then click “Next”. In this next section called “Company Officials”, we need to add the Members of the LLC. You may have some Members appear here in this list. If they do, that’s fine; you can just go ahead and hit “Submit Report”. However, if there’s nothing here, we need to go ahead and add those Members. In this case, this is empty; I’m going go ahead and hit the “Add” button. Let’s scroll down and let’s add the “Members” for this LLC. If you just have 1 Member, you’re going to enter the first name, the last name. Where it says “Title”, you’re going to select “Member”, enter their address, the city, state and zip, and click “Save”, and then you would repeat that process to add any additional Members. For this example, let’s just say that this is a 2-member LLC owned by John and Mary Doe. I’m going to go ahead and fill out John’s information first. I filled in John’s first name, last name, I’ve selected “Member”. I put his address, I’m going to hit “Save”. You’ll see him there. I’m going to hit “Add” again, and I’m going to enter Mary’s information. Okay I’ve entered Mary’s information. Again, very important: under “4b”, make sure that you check off “Member”. And I’m going to hit “Save”. So if you come here initially, you may see the list of Members there, and then you just hit the “Submit Report” button. If you don’t see the members of the LLC, please add them individually, including their address. Once all the Members are listed, click the “Submit Report” button. On this page, you’re simply going to review the information. Just double-check for any typos, any errors, things of that sort, and if you do find any mistakes, go ahead and hit the “Back” button, go back to that step and make those changes or adjustments. Once everything is confirmed and looking good, go ahead and hit “Checkout”. On the next step, here you’re going to select who is the person actually proceeding with this filing of the Annual Report. Let’s say it’s John Doe, and let’s enter his email address s(o most likely be your name and your email address). I’ve enter John’s email address. And then under “Payment Type”, I’m going to select “Credit Card” and then hit “Continue”. You’ll see the current amount due is $202. The filing fee is $200, and the State charges a $2 online convenience fee. On this page, your LLC name will be auto-populated, as well as its address. Next, under the “Card Type”, select the credit card type. Enter the credit card number (even though it says account number, it’s really the credit card number), select the expiration date, and then go ahead and hit “Complete Purchase”. You’ll then receive a confirmation message that you Annual Report has been filed successfully. Now let me show you where to print a copy of that Annual Report for your records. In this case, I’m not going to proceed with this filing. Let me just hit the “Back” button once, and I’m going to go over to Online Annual Reports, and then what you’re going to do, is you’re going to do search by name. Again, type in the 1st word of your LLC. Once you do so, go ahead and click “Search”. Find your entity within the list; then when you do, go over on the right and hit “File Report”. Below the “File Most Recent Report”, button you’ll see the “Previous Annual Report Submissions”, and you’ll see the most recent date. What you’ll need to do then is click the little icon (this PDF icon), and it’s either going to open up, or it’s going to download. In this case, it downloaded that file to my computer (and that’s your proof, and a copy of your Annual Report). In order to find where that file is located, you can click the little drop down. and it’ll say “Show in Finder”, or it may say “Show in Window” if you’re on a Windows machine (I’m on a Mac at the moment). So I’m going to click “Show in Finder”, and there it is: there’s the document. If I double-click it, this is a copy of that Annual Report and this is obviously an older one here and then you can go “File, Save as, and you can re-name it and save that somewhere on your computer (that’s important). It’s also good to go ahead and go to “File and Print” (and print a copy of that as well and keep it with your business records). Now, let’s go back over here to the State’s website because earlier on I mentioned that if you need to make changes to your Registered Agent, you can’t do that via the online filing. I’m not exactly sure why; it’s a little unfortunate but you do have to go ahead and print out the document (the Annual Report), and then you need to mail that in along with a check or money order. To do that, go ahead and click this red link at the top here which says “If you don’t plan to pay by Credit Card, Check or ACH, etcetera, or if you need to change the entity’s Registered Agent’s name, click here and print out a pre-populated form”. So let’s go ahead and click this link. Okay, it downloaded another document here. I’m going to click this, I’m going to hit “Show in Finder”, and here’s this form. I’m going to open up that PDF on my computer. Basically, this is going to be very similar to the online process. Again, you only need to be watching this part of the Lesson if you’re changing your Registered Agent. If you’ve already filed successfully online, that concludes this Lesson for you. Please just make sure to file your Annual Report on time every year. And again, we recommend you file it weeks or months before the April 15th deadline. Again, this is printing out the form (the Annual Report) if you need to make changes to the Registered Agent. Again, it’s very similar to the online filing. You’re simply going to go through here, make any changes anywhere that’s needed. In this case, our most important change here would be the name of the Registered Agent. We’re going to enter the new Registered Agent’s name, and then that Registered Agent (whether it’s a person or company) under Line 2 needs to sign (accepting the position of Registered Agent), and then in Section 3, you’re going to list the Registered Office Street Address for that new Registered Agent, and their mailing address if they have one that’s different than the street address. If there isn’t a mailing address and there’s just a street address, that’s fine. Just fill in Section 3 and leave Section 4 empty. Under Section 4, No. 1, (“Description Of Nature Of Business”), again, list a brief description for the purpose of your LLC. Then you’re going to list your business’s phone number in No. 2, your email address in No. 3, and your Principal Office Address in Section 4. If you have a different mailing address, you would fill that in Section 5. You can see in this case they do have a street address, but they like to get their mail at a PO box. If you don’t have a mailing address and you use the street address to receive mail, again just fill in Section 4 and leave Section 5 blank. Then under Section C, you’re going to list the name, the title, and the address of the Member or Members. So there’s 1 Member, you just fill that in here, or if there’s 2 or 3, fill in the name. For title, you’re going to fill in “Member”, and then list their full street address, city, state and zip. In Section D, what you’re going to do is print this out. You’re going to sign here where it says “Signature”, you’re going to date this, then you’re going to print or type your name and put your title (again, that’s going to be “Member”). You scroll down on to the next page. It’s just an additional page if you have more than 3 Members; you would fill out the rest of the Members here, and then the last page has instructions. We’ve gone over most of them throughout this video, but do feel free to take a read-through (just to make sure you’ve taken care of all the steps). Below this video, we have the address listed where you’re going to mail this document along with your Annual Report filing fee. And that concludes the Annual Report Lesson.
*** If you are changing the name of your Registered Agent, you will need to print out your pre-populated Annual Report on the State’s website, have your new Registered Agent sign, and then mail it in along with your check or money order.
If you are not changing the name of your Registered Agent, you will fill out your Annual Report on the State’s website, then submit it electronically, and pay the filing fee with a debit or credit card. ***
The Annual Report is due on April 15th every year.
Accepted Forms of Payment – Filing by Mail
Check or Money Order
Make check or money order payable to “North Carolina Secretary of State”.
Accepted Forms of Payment – Filing Online
Credit Card or Debit Card
Filing Instructions – by Mail
If you file by mail you will print out your pre-populated Annual Report on the State’s website, and then mail it in with your check or money order.
Mail your Annual Report with your check or money order (for $200, made payable to the “North Carolina Secretary of State”) to:
Secretary of State Corporations Division Post Office Box 29525 Raleigh, NC 27626-0525
Filing Instructions – Online
If you file online, you will fill out your Annual Report on the State’s website, then submit it electronically, and pay the filing fee with a debit or credit card.
Which year to select from the drop down?
Assuming you have no prior outstanding Annual Report(s) due, you’ll be selecting the current year in the “Report(s) for the year(s)” drop down menu. For example, if it’s currently 2019 and we’re approaching the April 15th 2019 deadline, the report that needs to be filed by 4/15/2019 is the “2019 LLC Annual Report”, so you’d select “2019” from the drop down menu.
You’d select a prior year if that Annual Report hasn’t been filed yet. Said another way, the LLC’s Annual Report is for the year it is in, not for the prior year.
If you do not submit your Annual Report within 60 days of the due date, then your LLC may be administratively dissolved and shut down.
What to Expect
If you file by mail, the State does not send you a receipt or any documents. However, you can download a copy of your Annual Report from the State’s website a few days after you submit it.
If you file online, you’ll receive a success message on the State’s website and then be able to print out a copy of your Annual Report and save it for your business records.
State Contact Information
Department of the Secretary of State Corporations Division Phone: 919-814-5400 (hours: 8am – 5pm Eastern) Email: [email protected]
Once your LLC is approved you can proceed to the next Lesson: Taxes.
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