How to File an LLC Annual Report in California? (Guide)

Atty. Danya Shakfeh
Published by Atty. Danya Shakfeh | Author
Last updated: April 10, 2024
Methodology
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As a California business owner, you and your LLC members must file an annual report per state rules and regulations.

To help you file correctly, we worked with our licensed business experts with more than fourteen years of experience in the business sector.

After spending three weeks researching the California Secretary of State's website for the correct annual report filing information, we've compiled this detailed guide to help you take the right steps.

Quick Summary

  • It costs $20 to file a Statement of Information in California.
  • The deadline is the last day of the 60-day filing window.
  • Failing to file a Statement of Information in California will result in a $250 penalty fee for for-profit corporations.
  • According to the US Small Business Administration's 2023 report, California has the highest count of small businesses, totaling 4.1 million, making up 99.8% of all businesses in the state, highlighting the importance of timely annual report filings​.


What Is a California LLC Annual Report?

Filing an LLC annual report in California

A California LLC annual report is a document that serves as a way for the state to be notified about a company's operations and key basic data.

In California, the annual report is called a Statement of Information [1].

The latest US Small Business Administration data shows that California, with about 4.1 million small businesses as of 2023, leads the nation.

This accounts for 99.8% of all its businesses, emphasizing the importance of timely filing of annual reports for maintaining legal compliance.

Moreover, business owners must submit California statements of information/annual reports to update any significant changes, such as LLC name or business address changes, as required by the Secretary of State.

The California annual report is a significant administrative task since, if the state wants to get in touch with the LLC, it needs to have the most recent information available.

And if your LLC information is outdated, the state will issue service of process notices. This might lead to the case moving forward in court without the LLC owner ever having the chance to respond.

After filing the first initial Statement of Information, the next California annual report is due biennially or every two years.

Free Download California LLC Annual Report

How to File a California Annual Report?

Checking files to place on annual report

To file a California annual report, you must submit the correct documents online or by mail.

1. Online

To file online, you can use the California Bizfile Online website.

You must create an account with your username and password if you're a new user on the state’s business portal.

To file online, log in with your username and password.

  • Scroll to the "Business Entities" section and select "File a Statement of Information."
  • Fill out the required details, including your business name, entity number, and address.
  • Complete the process by paying the filing fees using a credit card.

During our first annual report submission, we used the online filing method, and the document was processed within three business days after submission.

2. By Mail

For mail/hard copy submissions:

  • Visit the Secretary of State's website
  • Scroll down and click on Forms, Samples, and Fees.
  • Under the "Locate your Form" section, select LLC "Statement of Information."
  • On the next section click the PDF option next to Form LLC-12 and you'll be redirected to the PDF form or the annual report.
  • Fill out the correct details of your business, and sign, and print the form.

Attach the $20 filing fees as a check or money order and mail the California annual report directly to the following address:

Secretary of State
Statement of Information Unit
P.O Box, 944230
Sacramento CA
94244-2300

Or, you can personally drop off your Statement of Information document at the following address:

California Secretary of State
Statement of Information Unit
1500 11th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

In our third filing, we also completed a submission cover sheet to make it easier for the SOS to receive our California annual report.

The details we shared on the cover sheet included the business name, entity number, and primary address.

We also included the authorized agent's contact details and return address on the cover sheet for easy correspondence from the state.

Once you file the LLC annual report, the SOS will take time to review and approve. If you filed incorrectly or there’s missing crucial information, the SOS will return the annual report for correction before eventually approving.

What to Include in the Annual Report?

Writing information for LLC report in California

The following information is included in the California Statement of Information form:

  • Name of the LLC.
  • 12-digit business entity number issued by the California Secretary of State during registration.
  • Correct street address of the principal office.
  • Full names and addresses of the LLC managers and directors.
  • Foreign country or state of incorporation ( applicable to foreign LLCs).
  • Name and addresses of the California registered agent service, either an individual or a company.
  • Brief description of the type of business structure.
  • Full name and residential address of the chief executive officer.
  • Official filing date.
  • Name, title, and original signatures of the authorized officers filing the Statement of Information.

Corporations also provide these same details on their Statement of Information; however, they must include the managers listing, which lists three statutory officers: CEO, CFO, and secretary.

How early can I file my Annual Report?

Writing a California LLC Report

All registered domestic and foreign limited liability entities, corporations, and limited partnerships can file their annual reports with the state as early as the first day of the 60-day filing period.

Related articles:

What is the filing fee for the report?

The annual report filing fee in California is $20 for limited liability companies and $25 for domestic corporations.

However, if you request a certified copy of the annual report/Statement of Information, you must add $5 plus copy fees.

The copy fees are $1 for the first page and $0.50 for each additional attachment page.

What is the due date for submitting the report?

Using a laptop to check due dates

For LLCs and domestic nonprofit corporations, their annual report filing due date is every two years; if you formed your LLC on an even year, you'd file your biennial statement every even year.

Domestic profit corporations, foreign stock corporations, and agricultural cooperative corporations must submit reports annually to the California Secretary of State.

California requires all new companies that have just been registered with the state to submit their first/initial Statement of Information within 90 days.

"Timely and accurate filing of your LLC's annual report is crucial for maintaining good standing and operational legality."

- Danya Shakfeh, Corporate Attorney at Motiva Law

For example, in our case, we registered our domestic nonprofit corporation on March 14, 2021, and our initial 90-day LLC Statement of Information was due on June 12, 2021. After that, the next filing was due on June 12, 2023, and the next will be due on June 12, 2025 (every two years or biennially).

The filing timeframe is a six-month window; California LLCs can submit the reports anytime within that window or in the five calendar months preceding that month.

Also, if your LLC changes any information after filing the last Statement of Information, you must submit an amendment within 90 days.

What are the penalties for not filling out the LLC Annual Report?

The penalty for late annual report filing in California includes a $250 fine for for-profit corporations and $50 for nonprofits.

Beyond financial penalties, non-compliance can lead to administrative dissolution, endangering jobs, especially since small firms with fewer than 20 employees are significant job creators, having added 147,780 net jobs as of 2023.

Timely filing is essential to sustain economic growth and job stability in the state.

FAQs

Are New LLCs in California Required to File an Annual Report in Their First Year?

Yes, new LLCs in California are required to file an Annual Report in their first year specifically 90 says after incorporation. After that, the report is due every two years.

Can I Get an Extension For Filing My LLC Annual Report in California?

Yes, you can get an extension for filing your LLC Annual Report in California. The state offers a 60-day grace period for completing the annual report.

Who Is Authorized to File the LLC Annual Report in California?

The LLC owner, a director, or an entity member is authorized to file a California Statement of Information. Alternatively, you can delegate the filing to your authorized California registered agent listed as your agent for the service of process.

References:

  1. https://bpd.cdn.sos.ca.gov/llc/forms/llc-12-112021.pdf

About The Author

Author
Atty. Danya Shakfeh, with over ten years of experience as a corporate attorney, leads Motiva Law, offering strategic legal advice to entrepreneurs. She is skilled at transforming complex legal concepts into clear strategies, allowing clients to pursue their goals. A "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers and an alumna of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Danya is distinguished in business law.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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