A biennial report LLC is filed with the purpose of maintaining an updated record of your business activities. Its main purpose is allowing people who are interested in your company, such as creditors, to have your company's contact information available in case they need to approach you in any matter. The information is also used by the government to make sure your state tax payments are up to date.

In California and Washington, D.C., the biennial report must be completed every two years, while in Iowa it must be done annually. Not updating it in time puts you at risk of getting certain penalties and fines.

How to File a Biennial Report

In California, the biennial report can be found on the website of the Secretary of State and must be submitted by mail. In Iowa, it can be filed directly through the Iowa Secretary of State website, while in Washington, D.C. it is submitted through the website of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

In Iowa and Washington, D.C., you can either file the report yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

Filing it yourself can be done by accessing the Biennial Report Filing Portal from either of the states' Secretary of State websites. Then you will be required to enter your PIN number and filing number. You should receive those once a year from the state via a postcard, but a temporary code can be generated if you can't locate your postcard.

The information that needs to be updated on the annual report is the mailing address for your business, the name and address of your registered agent (in Iowa), the name and address of at least one director in the case of corporations, the signature of an authorized person within the company, and a signature.

You can hire a company to take care of filing the LLC biennial report for you for a fee that varies depending on the state and the kind of company filing the report.

Hiring a Registered Agent

Your company can nominate a business or a person to send and receive official documents on your behalf. This way you can be absolutely sure that every report will be filed on time. Advantages of hiring a registered agent include:

  • No risk of penalties for filing later than the due date. In California, the late fee is $250, while in Iowa failing to submit the report may result in the company being dissolved after a few months.
  • Increased flexibility. A registered agent works around your schedule, and it will also be helpful when expanding your business to another state.
  • It ensures a high level of privacy. Your personal information will be kept off any public record, and if your company is ever sued, your agent will be the one being served the papers instead of you.

Submitting the LLC Biennial Report by Mail in Iowa

  • Access https://sos.iowa.gov/file/br/login.aspx.
  • Using your company's Corporation Number and the temporary code you received, go to “File by Paper.”
  • Submit the email address of your registered agent for future reminders to submit the biennial report.
  • After carefully reviewing all instructions, click on the “Click For Your Paper Report” button.
  • You will be able to download a PDF file containing your biennial report. You will need to print it.
  • Complete the report by updating your company's contact information and answering a few questions, and then sign at the bottom. Mail the completed form, along with a $60 money order, to the Secretary of State at the following address: Secretary of State, Lucas Building, 1st Floor 321 E. 12th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319.
  • It will take 7-14 business days for your form to be processed. You will not be notified after it has been filed, but you can check its progress online.

Submitting the LLC Biennial Report Online in Iowa

Filing the report online is basically the same process with the main difference being that, instead of printing, completing the form, and mailing it to the Secretary of State, you just fill and submit it online. The payment is $45 and can be paid by credit card or electronic check.

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