Biennial Statement Explained: An Employer Guide

Kaitlin Edwards | May 22, 2024

Biennial Statement Explained: An Employer Guide

A biennial statement is a routine yet essential document relevant for businesses operating in multiple states. Compliance is essential when you have a remote or distributed team. If you have employees scattered across different states, each will have its own set of regulations.

Staying updated means your company maintains good standing with the authorities, ensuring business can run as smoothly as possible, no matter where your employees decide to work from.

What Is a Biennial Statement?

Let’s break down the biennial statement. At its core, it’s a periodic report that companies file with the state where they’re registered. It’s your way of updating the state about your business. However, not every state follows a biennial reporting calendar.

The specifics of your biennial statement will vary depending on the state and whether you’re a business corporation or LLC (limited liability company). Some states also require nonprofits to file these statements. Generally, you’ll provide details like your business address, contact information, and names of key people within the company.

You can think of it as giving the state the most up-to-date points of contact, specifically the Department of State or Secretary of State.

Now, here’s why the “biennial” part matters. True to its name, you’ll usually need to file this statement every two years. It’s a recurring reminder to keep your business information in sync with state records.

What States Require Filing a Biennial Statement?

It’s important to note that only a handful of states follow a biennial reporting cycle, versus an annual reporting cycle — in fact, it’s actually very few. Let’s break it down:

  • Alaska: Has a due date of January 2nd every two years for C corps

  • California: A Statement of Information must be filed every two years for LLCs

  • Washington DC: Requires LLCs and C corporations to file a biennial report due April 1st

  • Iowa: Also requires LLCs and C corporations to file a biennial report due April 1st

  • Kansas: As of January 1, 2024, Kansas now requires filing a biennial report rather than an annual report

  • Missouri: Nonprofits and corporations can choose to file either an annual or biennial report

  • Ohio: Professional associations must file a biennial report within 30 days after the 30th day of June

  • Nebraska: Requires filling out a biennial occupation tax report for C corps

  • New Mexico: C corps must fill out a biennial report on the 15th day of the fourth month after the close of the fiscal year

  • New York: C corps and LLCs must fill out a biennial report on the last day of the month of the initial filing anniversary

  • Vermont: Nonprofits must renew their registration every two years

Why File a Biennial Statement?

Not filing your biennial statement lets your official business contact information become outdated.

The consequences can hit you in a few ways:

Lost in the System

A company might be unable to complete certain business transactions if it’s not in “good standing” with the state. Think of delays, extra hurdles, and potential roadblocks on things like securing permits, opening bank accounts, or even renewing leases.

Outdated Contact Info

The state relies on your biennial statement to keep its records accurate. Think of it as your digital mailbox — the place where important notices, like those pesky legal documents (“service of process”), get sent.

Missing these updates can put you at risk of default judgments — decisions made without your input, resulting in serious legal and financial consequences.

Missed Opportunities

While it might seem like basic admin work, staying on top of your compliance and certificate of status with things like your biennial statement can open doors. Having a certificate of good standing can be a deal-breaker when dealing with investors, lenders, and larger partners who want to ensure your business is above board.

Staying on Top of Things

Business compliance may not be thrilling, but something must be said about having your paperwork in order.

Here’s what you get in return:

  • Peace of Mind: You get to go about your day confident that your business operates within the law. No sudden surprises, no potential legal battles, just business as usual.

  • Protection: You’ve worked hard to build your business. Proper compliance is essentially insurance against bureaucratic red tape and the headaches that come with it.

  • Streamlined Operations: Keeping your state records accurate makes day-to-day operations easier. From quick renewals and updated permits to hassle-free communication with the state authorities, compliance simply makes things run smoother.

Virtually every business evolves over time. New people join, your address might change, or perhaps you add business entities in other states. Your biennial statement is a tool that helps you keep track of those changes and ensure your business always has its best foot forward in the eyes of the law.

The process may not be the most exciting part of owning a business, but the rewards of being compliant far outweigh any hassle involved.

How To File Your Biennial Statement

Some of the fine details of filing your biennial statement can seem dry, but it’s where the rubber meets the road in terms of compliance. It’s important to stay informed because deadlines and processes can vary depending on your state and whether you’re a corporation or an LLC.

Deadlines

The timing of your biennial statement usually depends on your anniversary month — the month your business was originally formed or registered with the state. Many states, like New York, require this to be done during the same calendar month every other year.

Mark your calendar early on so it doesn’t slip through the cracks. If you aren’t sure about your due date, you can usually find this information on the state’s website. In the case of New York, you can reference the New York Department of State or the Secretary of State’s office.

Online vs. Old School

Most states now offer online filing options for your biennial statements, often through an e-statement filing system or service. This tends to be the quickest and easiest way to get it done. You’ll likely need your DOS ID number (or an equivalent identifier) and a credit card to pay any filing fees.

However, some places still accept traditional paper forms. Typically, you can find a printable version on the state’s website or request to have one mailed to you.

Essential Info

Whether you’re submitting your biennial statement online or via snail mail, the required information is usually similar.

Expect to provide:

  • Business Name and ID Number: Double-check that everything matches your official registration with the state.

  • Contact Details: This includes your registered agent (if you have one), business address, and any other relevant phone or email details.

  • Key Personnel: Depending on your state and business type, you may need to list your chief executive officer or other executives (LLC members, board of directors, or limited partnership individuals, etc.).

  • Filing Fee: There’s often a small fee associated with your biennial report. Check the state’s website to confirm the current amounts.

If you’ve had significant changes within your business (moved into a new state, changed your legal structure, etc.), make sure to consult an attorney or legal professional to ensure you’re submitting all the necessary information along with your biennial statement.

What Are Some Key Things To Remember When Filing a Biennial Statement?

It is very important that you file within the filing period. Doing so ensures you avoid late fees and potential issues in your business operations. Late filings might throw a wrench in seemingly basic processes like renewing licenses or permits, leaving you scrambling to get things back on track. Save yourself the hassle.

By following a few simple strategies, you’ll be on your way to being a master of staying compliant.

Here’s how:

  • Centralize Your Compliance Calendar: Whether it’s a shared digital calendar, spreadsheet, or even a physical planner, designate a single place to track ALL your important compliance deadlines. Include those for your biennial statement, payroll filings, annual reports (if applicable), and anything else that keeps your business operating legally.

  • State Websites: Your state’s Department of State or Secretary of State usually has helpful guides, FAQs, and instructions on their website. Find it by searching “[Your state] Secretary of State” or “[Your State] Division of Corporations.”

  • Set Reminders: Put a reminder in your system a month before your biennial statement is due. Then, add another one close to the deadline. Life gets busy, and a friendly alert can prevent a last-minute scramble.

  • Automate When Possible: Mosey sends reminders and offers streamlined filing options to automate annual and biennial reports, making the process far less of a headache.

These tips are your first steps toward creating a proactive compliance mindset. Being organized and informed takes the stress out of deadlines and ensures you can focus your energy on growing your business.

How To Handle Changes on a Biennial Statement

Updated your address? Changed executives? These kinds of changes should be reflected in your biennial statement. In some cases, you might need to file extra paperwork along with your regular update.

If unsure, your state’s website (Division of Corporations or similar department) will have resources and FAQ sections for these scenarios.

Compliance may not be the most glamorous part of running a business, but staying on top of your important filings, like the biennial statement form, will save you from headaches down the line. This ensures your business is in good standing and can operate without roadblocks.

Stay Compliant with Mosey

Staying up-to-date with filings like your biennial statement is an investment in the smooth, long-term functioning of your business. At Mosey, we understand that on-time compliance can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re juggling multiple states and a growing workforce.

That’s precisely why compliance automation systems like Mosey exist. If streamlining your compliance process and minimizing stress sounds appealing, consider booking a demo with Mosey. Our team can give you a personalized look at how our platform could revolutionize the way you handle essential compliance tasks.

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