Maintaining a Business

Business Maintenance Overview

When you form an LLC or corporation in any state, over time you will be required to perform any number of maintenance tasks to keep your business entity in good standing with the state. For example, most states require LLCs and corporations to file reports every year or every other year. These annual reports are fairly simple (just check a few boxes and pay a filing fee), but if you don’t file them on time, your business entity could fall into disrepair and no longer be legally active.

Annual reports are just one aspect of maintaining a business. Should you expand your business into another state, you’ll need to register as a foreign entity in the new state. If change registered agents, you’ll need to file a change of agent form. If you close your business, you’ll need to file Articles of Dissolution. Likely for any change or update you need to make to your business, you’ll find a form that needs to be filed and fee that needs to be paid.

When you hire IncFast to incorporate your company, we automatically provide a free year of registered agent service with our business address. As part of this service we will keep you updated on your business requirements and send annual report reminders when they’re due. We also will serve as a forms resource where you’ll find every state form you might need to file along with pro filing tips to help you maintain your business anywhere in the US!

To learn more, you can find a list of the typical business maintenance required below:

Required Business Maintenance
Annual Reports
In most states, these reports simply require members or directors to verify the company information on file with the state. Reporting due dates vary by state and may be biennial, or in Pennsylvania, due every 10 years. In almost every state, reports also have a filing fee due. Some state annual reports are also known as franchise taxes.
Beneficial Ownership Information Report
After becoming official with the state, most newly formed LLCs and corporations must file a federal Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). You can file online with FinCEN at no charge, and the information you provide will not go on the public record.
One-Time Business Maintenance Filings
S Corp Election
Both LLCs and corporations can elect to be taxed as an S corporation. To choose this tax election, you must file Form 2553 with the IRS.
Change Registered Agent
To change a company’s registered agent, you will need to file a change of agent form with the state.
Foreign Qualification
When your company begins to do business in another state, your business must register with that state. This process is called foreign qualification. Businesses formed in other states are called “foreigns.” The qualification form is similar to the company’s formation documents. You will also be required to get a certificate of good standing (see below) from your home state.
Withdrawal of a Foreign LLC or Corporation
If your company ceases to do business in a state where you had previously attained foreign qualification, you will have to seek a withdrawal. This form cuts a business’ ties to a foreign state.
To formally dissolve your business, you will need to file articles of dissolution with the state. This can be an important step in closing a business, so that your company doesn’t accrue unpaid state fees and fines.
To make an amendment to the company’s articles (formation documents), such as a change in members or directors, business name, or business address,  you can file a formal amendment with the state.
If you have previously dissolved a company or it has been shuttered by the state, you may be able to revive or reinstate the company by filing articles of reinstatement. You will also need to pay any outstanding fees or fines to the state before the company is revived
 Maintenance Documents
Certificate of Good Standing
A certificate of good standing is a document from your home state stating that your company had been formed with the state and is currently active. In many states, you can obtain this certificate online from the division of corporations or secretary of state.
Certified Copies
To obtain a certified copy of your company’s formation documents, amendments, or other document you’ve filed with the state, you can typically pay a small fee and receive either paper copies through the mail, or downloadable pdfs from the state website.
An apostille certifies the authenticity of a document. Typically this is required if you need to provide company documentation in a different country.

Want to learn more about maintaining a business?

Visit our learning library to access information on operating a business and products that can help you run your business.


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