PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis is reminding business owners that they can use his website to beat this month's deadline for filing their annual reports with the state
State law requires for-profit corporations doing business in Rhode Island to file annual reports with the Secretary of State's office by March 31 or face fines and penalties. More than 30,000 companies ranging from car dealers to mortgage lenders to restaurants are subject to the requirement.
Filers can take advantage of the on-line option by visiting sos.ri.gov and clicking on the File Annual Reports" link. Every corporation has been assigned its own unique Customer Identification Number and Personal Identification Number in order to ensure security.
Since Mollis added the on-line option a few years ago, more than half of all annual reports have been filed electronically. Annual reports can be filed on-line at late as 11:59 p.m. March 31 and still make the deadline.
"The improvements we made to our website have made it easier for companies to do business with us. Offering 24/7 access frees our customers to do what they do best, manage and grow their business," said Mollis.
In addition, business owners can still file by mail or in person at the Secretary of State's Corporations Division, 148 West River St., Providence, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
"But since March 31 falls on Sunday this year, filing electronically gives companies a couple of extra days to comply compared to the mail or dropping their reports off at our office," Mollis points out.
Failure to submit an annual report can result in fines and the revocation of a company's Certificate of Incorporation or Certificate of Authority. 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.
Mollis posts the reports on his website. The public can search the reports by business name or address among other options.
"Corporate reporting is one of our duties under the law, and our priority is to give the public access to up-to-date information about the firms they do business with. The corporate community deserves credit for its role in achieving that goal," said Mollis.
The Secretary of State's office works with more than 70,000 corporate entities that are registered to do business in Rhode Island. The office also 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 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.