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How to File a Business Corporation Annual Report with the NC Department of the Secretary of State

How to File a Business Corporation Annual Report with the NC Department of the Secretary of State


Welcome to the North Carolina Secretary
of State’s tutorial for filing a business corporation annual report.
My name’s Mary Jones and I’m president of Test Company, a business corporation. I
started my company last year by filing articles of incorporation with the
Secretary of State’s office. I’m filing my first annual report online.
I’m filing online because I want my report to be filed with the office today
and visible on the website when I’m done. If I send a paper document for filing, I
may have to wait up to 12 weeks to get the data entered into the system and
visible to my stakeholders. From the Secretary of State’s website, I click the
“File an Annual Report” in the online services toolbar located in the center
to bottom of the page. This brings me to the main Annual Reports page which has a
link to begin the online annual report process. This page also has
information regarding due dates, mailing a paper filing, and a summary of the
process. I click the “Get Started” button to begin the annual report filing
process which takes me to a search page to search for my company. I found out
that North Carolina is a “Distinguishable Upon the Records” state and one
character’s difference could be an entirely different company. I enter the
name of my company exactly as it’s on file with the Secretary of State, but
without the ending “Co.” and click “Search”. A list of all companies beginning with
my company name, “Test”, appears. I find my company, and in the “Actions” column I
click the “monitor” icon. If I hover my mouse over the icon, it tells me what
action it will take. I choose the monitor icon to file an annual report online. This step in the process provides a listing of all past annual reports filed
and the creation filing. Because this is my first annual report, the only filing
in the list is my creation filing, the Articles of Incorporation. I click the
“File Most Recent Report” button to begin entering my company information. Specific
information is required in the annual report and the Secretary of State’s
office has broken it down into easy-to-understand sections. The first
page provides the company name and address, and requests that I certify,
first, that the above company is the entity I intend to file an annual report
for, and also that I am authorized to file an annual report for
the company. To proceed to the next page I must click both certifications, then
click the “Next” arrow. On this page, I verify the fiscal year of the report. My
company was formed in January of 2017 with a fiscal year end of December 31st
2017. Therefore, my first annual report is due
on or before the 15th day of the fourth month after the fiscal year’s end, which
is April 15th, 2018. I make sure the fiscal year end date is December 31st,
2017, and click the “Next” arrow. There are a few new questions on the
annual report regarding veteran-owned businesses. These questions are optional,
so if I’m a veteran and don’t want to report this information I click “No” or
“Skip” in the down-arrow menu. The first question asks whether 50% or more of
the company is owned by a US military veteran. I’m not a veteran, but if I
answer “Yes”, two follow-up questions will appear. The first follow-up question asks
if 50% or more of the company is owned by a disabled US military veteran, and
the second asks if the net receipts of the company are less than $1,000,000. I’m
not a veteran, so I check “No” in the down- arrow and then click the “Next” arrow to
go to the “Registered Agent Information” page. My registered agent’s name and
address are already filled in because this is part of the Articles of
Incorporation I filed when I created my business corporation. But I noticed that
I can change the registered agent by either selecting an entity from a
drop-down list, or clicking that another entity not on the drop-down list
has given consent to be the registered agent. If I want to change the registered
agent to someone not on the list, the next page asks for email address and
name of the new registered agent, as well as whether the registered agent is a
registered commercial entity, which is a registered corporation or LLC in North
Carolina. I don’t have a change, so I go back and click the “Current Registered
Agent” name, then click the “Next” arrow. This page asks for the registered agent’s
street address. I don’t have changes to this information, but if
I did, I can make those changes on this page. If the mailing address is the same
as the street address, I click the box directly above the “Next” arrow. If the
mailing address is different than the street address, I’ll be directed to a
page to enter the registered mailing address. When I’m done, I click the “Next”
arrow to go to the next section. A brief description of the nature of business
and a principal office telephone number are required. This information was not
included in my Articles of Incorporation. I enter the nature of business and the
principal office telephone number in the fields. Any fields on this page with the
red asterisks are required, and if left blank, the report will not be filed. Also
on this page are two optional fields for email addresses. The email addresses are
not visible on the website and are used to notify the company when documents are
filed. When I’m done with this page, I click the “Next” arrow. The next page
requests principal office street address information. Again this information was
not included in my Articles of Incorporation because I didn’t have a
principal office at that time. By the time the first annual report is filed,
the company should have established a principal office. The principal office is
where the corporate books are located and/or where business is being conducted.
The principal office street address must be a physical location, and the principal
office mailing address must be a valid address where mail is received. The
principal office street address and mailing address can be the same address.
I enter the principal office street address. I check the box that “This
address is the same as the principal office mailing address”. If it isn’t, just
like the registered agent mailing address, I am asked to enter the
different mailing address on the next page. I click the “Next” arrow and go to
the Company Official listing page. Here I enter the names and business addresses
of all the company officials which are the officers of the corporation, one at a
time. If I need to add an official, I click “Add Official” then enter the name
and business address in the fields provided. Next year, if I need to make any changes
to the company official listing, I’ll click the circle next to the name then
select the “Edit” or “Delete” button. Everything is now correct for my company,
so I click the “Next” arrow and go to the Certification page. This page asks who’s
signing and certifying the annual report. The company’s officials that I entered
in the previous steps are listed. Only those listed by clicking the down-arrow
are authorized to sign the document. Keep in mind, an annual report filed online is
the same as a paper annual report. A company official listed on the report
must sign it, and the signer is certifying that the information provided
is true just as they would a paper annual report. An electronic signature is
the same as an original signature when you’re filing online with the Secretary
of State’s office. I make the selection, then click the “Next” arrow. The next page shows a visual of the
annual report to be filed. To see the entire report, I use the scroll bar to
the right of the annual report. I make sure everything is correct. If I need to make any corrections, I
click the “Back” arrows on each page to the section needing corrections. I can
also print the report by holding the cursor over the document and clicking
the “Printer” icon. When done, I click the “Go To Checkout”
arrow. The report is not filed until I’ve gone through the checkout process and
received a Notification of Filing statement, or receipt for the transaction.
At checkout, the filing fee is indicated, and the payment method is requested. My
payment options are electronic check or credit card. I can choose either option,
but if I’ve already set up an ACH account with the Secretary of State’s
office and I’m logged into my account when filing the annual report, the
checkout portion is faster. I don’t have an ACH account set up and I don’t want
to use my checking account, so I select “Credit Card”. The credit card doesn’t have
to be in the name of the company that’s filing. I can use my personal credit card
for the transaction. Once I click “Credit Card”, more fields open up for information
about the card. I enter the card information and click the
“Submit” arrow. After the transaction is processed, a receipt of the transaction
is provided and the annual report has been accepted and filed. I can print
and/or save the receipt for my files to my computer. I also click the “My Annual Reports”
button to view the annual report just filed along with the Articles of
Incorporation. This completes the process of filing my business corporation annual
report online. Thank you for viewing this tutorial on filing a business
corporation annual report online. For more information, go to www.sosnc.gov,
or call (919) 814-5400, Extension 1.

Comments (2)

  1. Thanks. This feature is saving me a lot of time and effort. Very glad with the changes and upgrades.

  2. this is great help

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