Starting an LLC in New Jersey 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 New Jersey: 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 New Jersey. 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 New Jersey will require from you:
- ID number for your business
- Your business type (LLC)
- Date you formed your LLC (month and year)
- Name and address of your registered agent
- Main address for the business
- Principal office address
- Name and address for each member/manager
- Proof that you carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance
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 your annual report comes due each year, your gut might tell you to run to the Secretary of State’s website. And that’s a good instinct, but it’s not quite right. Instead, you’ll want to head to the Division of Revenue. New Jersey only offers online filings, so you’ll need to go to the revenue department’s online portal. There aren’t any options to file by mail. But don’t worry; it’s very straightforward to file online.
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 New Jersey 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 New Jersey’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. New Jersey falls on the more affordable side of things; they charge $75 per report. Since online filing is the only option, make sure you have a credit or debit card on hand to make the payment.
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 New Jersey, the annual report fits its name; you’ll file it every year. More specifically, you’ll need to file every year by the end of your LLC’s anniversary month. Basically, if you formed your LLC on May 10th, you’d need to file by May 31st.
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 have drastic consequences in the long term. The state doesn’t charge a late fee for your report if you don’t file it on time. That said, if you leave your report unfiled for two years, the state will administratively dissolve your LLC.
Long story short, they’ll shut down your business by force. If that happens, don’t panic; you can get reinstated. It’s just a hassle to do so. It’s much easier to avoid the hassle completely by filing your reports on time.
Maintaining a New Jersey 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.