Staying in compliance with federal and state laws regarding submitting the proper paperwork for your LLC or corporation is no easy task. First, there’s the process of filing for incorporation, and then the real work begins: obtaining a Federal Tax ID number, filing an Initial Statement of Information, choosing a DBA (Doing Business As) if needed, submitting the annual state of information, meeting the Articles of Amendment, and the list goes on.
It’s almost like the government doesn’t realize you have a business to run.
The upkeep list is so long that the federal government has had to implement heavy fines and penalties as an incentive for businesses to file on time. These fines can range anywhere from $175 to $400, and increasing state budget deficits have governments looking to boost penalties even more.
To help you avoid the pitfalls of fines and penalties when incorporating your business, review this checklist of paperwork that needs to be submitted before you are considered in compliance. Note: Specific requirements may vary by state and type of business.
1. File an annual report.
On the anniversary of your businesses’ incorporation date, most states require a comprehensive annual report that records all the company’s activities the preceding year. These reports are for shareholders and the public. Happy anniversary to you.
2. File amendments for any changes.
If you’ve made any major changes in your business, such as company name, registered agent, business address, number of shares, or company activities, you may need to keep the state up to date by filling out an Articles of Amendment form.
3. Get a Federal Tax ID Number.
You only have to do this once, but it is vital that you obtain a tax identification number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Your EIN will be issued by the IRS, and allows them to track you company’s transactions.
4. Keep meeting minutes up to date.
Whenever you hold a corporate meeting, you’ll need to record minutes that specify the meeting’s time and place, attendance and chair, any actions or decisions, and a signature of the recorder.
5. Use proper name on contracts.
You will also need to file any DBA names as needed, but on business contracts and other forms, be careful about identifying your business as a corporation (Inc. or Corp.), whichever your state requires. Never use your name proceeded by “DBA” on a contract.
One option owners have when incorporating their business is hiring an incorporation service to ensure that they stay in compliance and avoid costly fines and penalties.
MaxFilings will take care of the time-consuming legal process of keeping your business in accordance with state and federal regulations, and allow you to get back to important job of growing your business.
Learn more about incorporating with MaxFilings by visiting our knowledge center today.