LLC renewal must be completed by filing an annual report to keep a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in active status with the Secretary of State within the state that the business operates. 

Annual Business Renewals

All of the following business structures are required to file annual renewals (annual reports) with their home state's Secretary of State (SOS):

  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Limited Partnerships 
  • Corporations
  • Non-profits
  • Cooperative (Co-Ops)
  • DBAs (companies with a "doing business as" or certificate of assumed name)

Any business that wishes to conduct business in a different state from their home state as a foreign LLC or other foreign entity type will need to file an annual business renewal with their home state and all other states in which they do official business. 

Annual renewals must be filed beginning with the first calendar year that follows when the business was first formed.

Failure to file an LLC renewal for your company will negate its good standing status with the state and could result in the dissolution of your company.

Companies that have been “statutorily dissolved” (or forced into dissolution by the state) are able to be reinstated if the owner pays a fee and files an annual business renewal for that current calendar year. 

When a company is dissolved, they could lose their business name, so they'll need to check name availability again before reinstatement.  

How to File a Business Renewal Online

In order to file your annual business renewal online, follow these steps:

  • Head to the website for the Secretary of State of the state in which your business is formed
  • Find their page for business formation and filing (this will usually lead to a corporate division of the SOS)
  • Login or create an account (you'll need to create an account for your first filing)
  • Search for your business by entering the business name or EIN
  • Once you've found the correct business, select it and review the information
  • Make sure all information is updated and make any necessary changes
  • If no changes need to be made, simply submit with no changes
  • You'll need to pay the renewal fee when you submit the filing 

Keep in mind that if you are attempting to reinstate a dissolved business, you'll need to search under inactive entities in the database. 

Each state has different LLC requirements for maintaining good standing, so be sure to keep track of what you need to do to keep your business up and running. 

How to File Via Mail

When you file via mail, you'll need to fill out the LLC renewal form provided by the state, these are available on the SOS website to print, or can be acquired in person at the SOS office. 

Once the form is filled out, mail it to your Secretary of State's address (check to see if it should be mailed to a specific division). Attach a check or money order for the renewal fee to the form. 

Payments have to come from United States banks and in the form of United States currency. Any invalid checks will incur added fees and delayed or canceled renewals. 

Filing the LLC renewal online will take between two to three business days for completion, while doing it via mail can take as long as five business days to be filed and sometimes longer if the office is in a peak period. 

LLC Renewal Fees

The names for the annual business renewals vary from state to state. Here are other titles for an LLC renewal:

  • Annual Report
  • Annual Certificate
  • Annual Registration Fee
  • Biennial Report (or Statement)
  • Franchise Tax Report
  • Periodic Report

Fees for annual business renewals also vary depending on the state. Some states require a renewal and payment every year, some every two years. The average amount of the renewal fee throughout the United States is $101. 

LLC startups will usually pay an initial filing fee to the state, which is a one-time payment upon the formation of the business. Renewal fees are different and continue to be required while the company is in business. 

All business owners will want to keep up with their annual filing requirements to ensure good standing for their company and liability protection for all company members. If this is more than you want to keep track of, there are several online services that will help take care of your business's filing needs for a fee. Keep in mind, the service will charge a fee in addition to the fees owed to the state. 

If you need help with an LLC renewal, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.