Starting an LLC in Connecticut is not for the faint of heart. Maintaining one isn’t, either. There’s a bunch of annual requirements: annual taxes, business licenses to renew, and of course, annual reports. A lot of the annual requirements can be pretty complicated, too.
Annual reports can be pretty complicated…but only if you don’t know what to expect. That’s what we’re here for. In this guide, we’ll cover all the essentials to annual reports in Connecticut: LLC filing fees, where to file, due dates, and if you want, where to go to get help filing. By the end, the annual report won’t feel so daunting anymore.
What is an annual report?
An annual report is a lot like an annual newsletter for your LLC—except you only send it to one place: the state government. Each year, the state needs updated information about your business. And this isn’t a requirement that’s unique to Connecticut. In fact, nearly every state requires some form of annual (or similar timeline) update.
That said, the newsletter analogy falls short because you don’t need to tell the state what you did each month. You don’t even have to tell them the highs and lows of your year. And thankfully, you don’t have to write it out as a letter. All you’ll have to do is fill out the requested information.
Here’s a quick glance at the information Connecticut will require from you:
- Legal name of the business
- Mailing address of the LLC
- Principal office address of the LLC
- Name and title of individual filing the form
- Email address to contact if questions arise with the filing
- Name(s) and address(es) of principal members
Sound overwhelming? Don’t panic. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think! In the rest of this guide, we’ll cover all the essentials to annual reporting—including a DIY approach and how to get help if you’d rather not file on your own.
Where do I start?
If you’re ready to file your annual report, you should head to the Secretary of State’s website. More specifically, you’ll want to visit the Annual Reports page.
Most LLCs will need to file their reports online. In fact, Connecticut requires you to file online unless you specifically request a waiver to file by mail instead. That requires lots of extra steps, so we recommend sticking with the state’s preference.
The annual report isn’t extremely difficult to fill out, honestly. But if you’re extremely busy (and who isn’t these days?), the report can seem overwhelming—it’s yet another thing you have to do. That said, you can hire a Connecticut LLC Service to handle the work for you. Not only will these services actually form your business for you (if you need it), but they’ll also help you handle annual requirements like the annual report.
How much does Connecticut’s Annual Report cost?
Some states have a pretty hefty price tag of several hundred dollars for their annual report. Other states charge more reasonable fees of less than $100. In the past, Connecticut charged just $20 for the annual report. However, as of July 1, 2020, Connecticut raised the annual report fee to $80. That’s not a crazy charge, but you’ll want to include it in your annual budget.
Since Connecticut requires you to file online, you should have a credit or debit card on hand. If you request to file by mail instead, you can pay by check or money order.
When is the Annual Report due?
In most states, the annual report is due, well, annually. In other states, entrepreneurs often refer to it as an annual report even though it’s due every other year. But in Connecticut, the annual report fits its name; you’ll file every year. All LLCs have the same due date: March 31st. That applies no matter when you formed your business. Technically, your filing period is anytime between January 1st and March 31st.
If you don’t file on time, Connecticut doesn’t charge a late fee. There are other penalties, of course, but we’ll cover those details later.
What happens if you don’t file your annual report?
Sometimes annual check-ins are a pain, right? And we get it: with some things, like annual physicals, dental cleanings, and eye appointments are tempting to skip. Usually, there isn’t a big penalty if you skip them for a year or two (aside from a minor scolding from your doctor).
However, that isn’t the case with annual reports. You should never skip filing your annual report, and you should always do it on time. For one thing, filing on time ensures that you don’t spend any more than you have to.
Technically, there isn’t a late fee for the annual report, but it will cost you in other ways. Most importantly, it can cost you your Certificate of Good Standing (which you need for expanding your business, certain financial transactions, and more).
In extreme cases, the state might even administratively dissolve your LLC. Long story short, they’d shut down your business by force. If that happens, don’t panic; you can get reinstated. It’s simply a big hassle to do so. It’s far easier to just file your report on time.
Maintaining a Connecticut LLC is no laughing matter, and the annual report is without a doubt one of the most important annual filings. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Hopefully this guide has helped take out some of the guesswork. And don’t forget: an LLC Service can make things even easier.