Starting an LLC in Louisiana 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 Louisiana: 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 Louisiana. 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 Louisiana will require from you:
- Legal name of your LLC
- Mailing address for the business
- Name and address for your registered agent
- Names and addresses for each member or manager
- Contact information for the person filing the form
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 annual report, your gut might tell you to go to the same place you filed your Articles of Organization: the Secretary of State’s website. And your gut would be right. But more specifically, you’ll head to geauxBIZ. There, you can file your annual report online, keeping all your paperwork in one place.
If you’d rather, you can file by mail. All you have to do is search your LLC name, click on it, find the “details” button, and download the paper form.
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 Louisiana 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 Louisiana’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. Louisiana falls on the lower side of the average, though. The filing fee is just $30. And that fee stays the same no matter how you file.
The only thing that changes on the basis of how you file is how you pay the $30 fee. If you pay online, you’ll need to have a credit or debit card on hand. But mail-in filings will need to send a 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 Louisiana, the annual report fits its name; you’ll file every year.
More specifically, you’ll need to file your annual report by your LLC’s anniversary date. So if you filed your Articles of Organization on May 7th, you’ll need to file it on or before May 7th next year. So everyone has a different due date.
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.
Louisiana is more lenient than most other states when it comes to late reports. You won’t get hit with a late fee. However, you will lose your good standing with the state. On the surface, that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing.
But if you stay out of good standing long enough—three years to be exact—your state will administratively dissolve your LLC. If that happens, don’t panic; you can get reinstated. But it’s a big hassle to do so. It’s much easier to just file the report on time. In the long run, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and money.
Maintaining a Louisiana 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.