All domestic limited liability companies (LLCs) in the state will be required to file an annual report with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions in 2004. The requirement, which was recently signed into law by Gov. Jim Doyle, begins this month and is needed to help the state keep track of the skyrocketing numbers of LLCs and their business names, according to Kathryn Carlson, executive assistant for the DFI in Madison.
The number of registered LLCs in Wisconsin jumped by 20,394 to 93,278 in 2003, Carlson said. By contrast, the number of regular new incorporations increased by only 4,500, she said.
The new law requires all LLCs to file the reports in the same quarter of 2004 that they originally incorporated. For example, an LLC that was organized in the months of January, February or March in a previous year would be required to file an annual report by March 31, 2004.
Companies that were originally formed in the second quarter will have a June 30 filing deadline this year; companies formed in the third quarter will have a Sept. 30 deadline; and companies formed in the fourth quarter will have a Dec. 31 deadline.
The report forms will be mailed by the DFI in the first month of each quarter to every LLC registered agent at the registered office address, as listed with the department.
The businesses will be required to provide the following information in the report: The name of the LLC and the principal office address; the name of the registered agent and registered office address; the nature of the business; and an indication if the company is vested in managers (and a listing of their names and business addresses).
The annual reports will help the state determine if business names already are registered, which will help expedite new LLC applications, Carlson said.
"The benefit is to the viable entities and the public," Carlson said. "It's just maintaining a well-run data base."
Although all Wisconsin LLCs will be required to register their annual reports this year, the DFI plans to be flexible as it attempts to make all companies aware of the new law, Carlson said.
"The first year, we're doing massive outreach and mailings. When we finish the first year, we will have to take a look," Carlson said. "We work well with stakeholders."
The annual report form will be available on line at www.wdfi.org or in paper form from the department. The filing fee for the report is $25.
Jan. 4, 2004 Small Business Times, Milwaukee