Starting an LLC in New York 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 York: 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 York. 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 York will require from you:
- Legal name of the business
- Address for service of process (usually your registered agent’s address)
- Name of the person signer for the form
- Credit card information
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 head to the Department of State’s website. And that’s the right place to go. But more specifically, you’ll want to head to the state’s Online Filings System.
New York uses this portal as their one-stop shop for nearly all their filings. In fact, for online reports, they’ve phased out their paper filings. Honestly, we generally recommend online filing anyway; it’s far easier, and it usually cuts down on processing times.
One quick note: New York refers to this filing as a biennial statement. In principle, it’s the same as an annual report, so don’t let it confuse you. The only real difference is that New York’s report isn’t filed as often as a true annual report (more on this in a few minutes).
The biennial 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 York 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 York’s Biennial Statement 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. And since New York only has their biennial reports due every other year, you might suspect that the filing fee would be higher. But thankfully, that’s not true. In fact, New York charges just $9 for biennial statements. It shouldn’t impact your budget too much.
Since you file your biennial statement online, you should have a credit or debit card on hand to pay the filing fee.
When is the Biennial Statement 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 as we mentioned earlier, in New York, the report is due every other year instead of annually. It’s in the name: biennial statement.
More specifically, New York LLCs need to file their biennial statements by the end of their LLC’s anniversary month (every other year). For example, if you filed your Articles of Organization in July of 2022, you’d need to file the report by July 31st in 2024 (and the same date in 2026, 2028, and so on for as long as your business exists).
What happens if you don’t file your biennial statement?
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.
Thankfully, New York doesn’t hit you with a late fee if you don’t file on time. However, failing to file your biennial statement can cost you your good standing in the state. Stay in that defunct state long enough, and in extreme cases, the state might dissolve your LLC. Long story short, they’d shut down your business by force. If that happens, don’t panic; you can get reinstated. But it’s a hassle to do so. It’s far easier to avoid that hassle entirely by simply filing on time every other year.
Maintaining a New York 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.