Many people are aware that they need to file their annual 990 form at the end of the year with the IRS in order to keep their 501(c)(3) status. But did you know that you might also have to submit an annual report to your Secretary of State?

Don’t worry – this form is a lot simpler than the 990. Filing an annual report, ensures that your organization is staying compliant and has a good standing status within your state.

Although annual report requirements vary by state, most simply request that you provide any major updates that your organization has made in the past year: This may include:

  • the names and addresses of members/officers,
  • business and mailing addresses, and
  • registered agent information.

The due date for these reports also vary according to state. For the majority of states, your annual report is due on the anniversary of your date of incorporation.

Having a good standing status is essential to operate as a high-functioning organization. Often, donors will require you provide them with a certificate of good standing so they know that your organization is acting in compliance to state law. A certificate of good standing is also often required when registering to do business, such as fundraising, in other states. They need to know that you are in good standing within the state that you are located before they allow you to transact business in their state.

If you file your annual report late, or not at all, you might be charged a fee and risk losing your good standing status. If your organization does lose it’s good standing status you will not be able to make any major changes to your organization, such as filing amendments to your articles of incorporation, changing your registered agent, changing your name, or merging/dissolving the organization.

For more information regarding annual reports and your state specific requirements, check out your state’s Secretary of State website.