Starting an LLC in Indiana 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 Indiana: 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 Indiana. 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 Indiana will require from you:
- Legal name of the business
- Type of business (all entity types fill out the same form)
- Email address for the business
- Contact information for the person filing the form
- Principal office address
- Year of filing
- Name and address of the registered agent
- Name and address of each member of the business
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?
When the time comes to file your report, your gut instinct might be to head to the Secretary of State’s website—more specifically, the Business Services Division. And in this case, your instincts would be right. The exact page you’ll want to hit is the Access Indiana login, powered by INBiz.
That’s what you’ll do if you want to file online (which we recommend, since that’s the easiest method). However, if you’d rather file by mail, you can download a pdf of the form.
One quick note: on the state’s website, you’ll frequently encounter the term “Business Entity Report.” There isn’t a difference between that and an annual report; they’re simply different names for the same concept. For the rest of this guide, we’ll mainly use the term “Business Entity Report.”
The business entity 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 an Indiana 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 Indiana’s Business Entity 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. Indiana falls on the lower side of average costs for these business reports, with fees ranging between $32 and $50.
Why the range? Indiana charges a different filing fee depending on how you file your report. Essentially, Indiana adds an $18 surcharge to mail-order filings. Online filings are simply easier for them to process, so they use that upcharge as a way of “encouraging” businesses to file online.
When is the Business Entity 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. Indiana opted to call this a business entity report and not an annual report for one key reason: it’s not technically an annual document. Instead, you’ll file it every other year.
More specifically, you’ll need to submit the report by the end of your LLC’s anniversary month—but only on the years you’re required to file. For example, let’s say that you started your business on March 15th of 2019. Then Indiana would require you to file by March 31st of 2021. That’s all there is to it.
If you don’t file on time, Indiana doesn’t charge any late fees. But there are other potential penalties that we’ll discuss below.
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.
More importantly, though, failing to file your annual report can get you into business trouble. Granted, the state won’t charge you any late fees. However, if you take too long to file (as in, you don’t file within 120 days of your due date), the state can dissolve your LLC.
Long story short, Indiana will shut down your business by force. If that happens, don’t panic; you can get your LLC reinstated. It’s just a huge hassle to do so; it’s far easier to avoid the hassle entirely by filing your report on time each year. You’ll save yourself a lot of time (and avoid stress).
Maintaining an Indiana 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.