PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis is reminding Rhode Island's small businesses that they can beat the Dec. 1 deadline for submitting annual reports to the state by using his website to file on-line file on-line.
Approximately 20,000 Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) ranging from car dealers to lenders to restaurants are subject to the requirement. LLCs that miss the deadline face fines and the revocation of their Certificate of Organization or Certificate of Registration.
Every LLC has its own unique Customer Identification Number and Personal Identification Number order to ensure security. Annual reports submitted by midnight Dec. 1 will not be considered delinquent.
"Our customers have really embraced the upgrades we have made. More than half the annual reports filed last year came over the web," said Mollis. "Our goal is to make it easier to do business in Rhode Island."
While the on-line option enables LLCs to file at the last minute, reports can also be mailed or dropped off at the Secretary of State's Business Services Division, 148 West River St., Providence, during normal business hours. The reports must be received by 4:30 p.m. Dec. 1.
LLCs are a type of business entity that has the liability-shield advantages of a corporation and the flexibility and tax pass-through advantages of a partnership.
At other times of the year, non-profit and for-profit corporations are also required to file annual reports with the Secretary of State.
"State law makes my office responsible for corporate record-keeping. I am committed to giving Rhode Islanders access to current and accurate information. The business community deserves credit for being my partner in this effort," said Mollis.
Mollis posts the reports on his website. The public can search the database by the name of the business as well as its location and purpose among other topics. There is even contact information for every company's key contact.
"This transparency is consumer-friendly and ensures that the public has a place to turn for information about businesses," said Mollis. "Filing annual reports shows their commitment to openness. And that can make people thinking of doing business with them more confident."
The Secretary of State's office works with 60,000 corporate entities registered to do business in Rhode Island. It also oversees recording commercial liens and protecting corporate trademarks and provides advice to start-up businesses.
Secretary of State Mollis is committed to making it easier for Rhode Islanders to vote, making it easier to do business in Rhode Island and making government more open and accessible. For more information about the programs and services the Secretary of State offers Rhode Islanders, visit sos.ri.gov.
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