The Wisconsin LLC annual report is required for all Wisconsin LLCs, both domestic and foreign. The annual report forms will be sent to your LLC’s registered agent prior to the deadline for filing. You can file your annual report either by mail or online via the state’s Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) website. However, foreign LLCs must send in their annual report by mail.

The annual report updates important business information, such as the members’ names and/or addresses, the business and/or mailing address, and the registered agent information. It is primarily used for tax purposes, to ensure that all business information is up-to-date, particularly for ongoing tax legal and regulatory requirements.

How to File the Annual Report

As previously noted, if you operate as a domestic LLC, you can simply visit the Wisconsin DFI website to submit your annual report or mail it in if you choose. If you are a foreign Wisconsin LLC, then you will have to submit the annual report by mail. You can initially obtain this document from your registered agent, who will receive the hard copy of the paperwork prior to the deadline. You will have plenty of time to obtain the paperwork and either submit the information online or by mail.

Cost to File Annual Report

The cost for Wisconsin domestic LLCs is $25, and the cost for foreign LLCs is $80. The state doesn’t charge a late filing fee; however, failure to file the annual report by the deadline could result in an automatic dissolution after a period of one year.

Annual Report Deadline

For Wisconsin domestic LLCs, you’ll have to file the annual report by the end of the quarter in which you initially registered. For example, if you formed your LLC on June 15, then your annual report will be due by September 30. The filing due dates are as follows: March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31. For foreign Wisconsin LLCs, the annual report is due by March 31.

Wisconsin State Business Taxes

Most LLCs operate as pass-through tax entities, meaning that the business passes all of its profits to the LLC owners who report a portion of the profits on their personal income tax returns. That portion is equivalent to each member’s ownership percentage. This means that the LLC doesn’t pay corporate income taxes. However, not all LLCs operate as pass-through tax entities. For example, when you initially form your LLC, you will need to elect how you want your LLC to be taxed. Since the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) treats the LLC as a disregarded entity, the business will need to choose how to be taxed as follows:

  1. Single-member LLCs (one owner) can choose to be taxed as a sole proprietorship, S Corporation, or C Corporation
  2. Multi-member LLCs (2 or more owners) can choose to be taxed as a partnership, S Corporation, or C Corporation

Whatever you choose, you will have to submit IRS Form 2553 indicating as such. Keep in mind that your business will still operate as an LLC, and therefore, you won’t lose any of the benefits that the LLC offers, i.e., limited liability protection, management flexibility, few formalities, and inexpensive formation.

However, some states do in fact impose taxes on the LLC separate and apart from what the members report on their personal income tax returns. This tax is essentially a fee incurred by the LLC for having the privilege of doing business in that state. Wisconsin doesn’t charge such state tax.

But, if the LLC is taxed as a C corporation, then the business will have to pay corporate income taxes. And in the State of Wisconsin, this tax is called franchise tax. The state charges a flat 7.9% of net income for the franchise tax, which is payable to the state’s Department of Revenue.

State Employer Taxes

If your Wisconsin LLC has employees, then you will need to pay employer taxes, and your employees will also need to pay state taxes. As any other business with employees, you will be required to withhold and pay employee income taxes to the Department of Revenue. Such withholding taxes will have to be paid quarterly by submitting payment along with Form WT-6. You will also have to register for unemployment insurance taxes, which can be obtained through the state’s Department of Workforce Development website.

If you need help filing your Wisconsin LLC annual report or forming your Wisconsin LLC, 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, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.