PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis is reminding business owners that state law requires them file annual reports with his office by March 31 or face penalties.
Failure to file an annual report can result in fines and the revocation of a company's Certificate of Incorporation or Certificate of Authority. Those certifications provide for-profit corporations with the legal basis for conducting a variety of business-related activities such as direct sales in Rhode Island.
Mollis urges companies to use the on-line filing tool on his website to beat the deadline. The 32,000 for-profit corporations that are registered to do business in Rhode Island are subject to the requirement.
"We've made improvements to our website that make it easier for companies to do business with us. By providing 24/7 access, we enable our customers to do what they do best, innovate and build their business," said Mollis.
Filing on-line is easy. Every corporation has been assigned its own unique Customer Identification Number and Personal Identification Number in order to ensure security. Annual reports can be filed at late as midnight March 31 and still make the deadline.
Business owners can also file by mail or in person at the Secretary of State's Division of Business Services, 148 West River St., Providence by 4:30 p.m., March 31.
At other times of the year, non-profit corporations and limited liability companies are also required to file annual reports with the Secretary of State's office.
"Corporate record-keeping is one of the duties we have under the law, and our priority is to give the public access to up-to-date information. The business community should be recognized for its contribution to that goal," said Mollis.
The Secretary of State's office works with 60,000 corporate entities that registered to do business in Rhode Island – more than 60,000 in all. The office oversees recording commercial liens, protecting corporate trademarks and providing 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 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.
MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Barnett at 222-4293