For most businesses, filing forms and records with the government is a necessary evil, a distraction at best. However, some paperwork is required to keep your licenses and other records up to date. Making sure that you know exactly what's required of you and ensuring that you submit appropriate forms, properly filled out and on time, can save you time and money. It's far easier to follow the rules up front than it is to correct an error or deliberate omission after the fact. Exactly what paperwork is required, and when, varies by state. In Maine, for instance, annual filings must be received by June 1, whereas in Indiana, it's May 31. However, some basic guidelines are common to all states.

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Spelling Must Be Strictly Correct

State and federal governments are quite strict in a number of areas dealing with business filings. One of these is the spelling of the business name. A misspelling of a registered business name can result in an entire application or other paperwork being rejected. If the business filing relates to records or submissions governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, then the entire record must be disregarded. This may seem exceptionally harsh, but it also protects you; there are so many businesses active that any variation in spelling could result in a misidentification—your records could be attributed to another company!

Deadlines Are Absolute

Deadlines for business filings are strictly enforced, and missing one may incur penalties. However, most states do allow extensions. The federal government allows business owners to request extensions for everything from tax filings to general employment records. However, you must make an extension requestin time—before the deadline—and provide good cause for being late. Otherwise, even if the extension is granted, you’ll still be liable for the base penalty.

Get Started Start your Incorporation Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get Started Start your Incorporation Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.