Sunday, October 30, 2016

Statement of Information Notice, Part 3

We didn't receive a Statement of Information notice from the California Secretary of State this year. According to a customer-service representative in the business entities division, these notices are typically mailed out several weeks before an LLC's filing deadline, providing adequate time to comply with this biennial obligation; however, given that the penalty for non-compliance is $250, we recommend not relying on these notices. Fortunately for us, InCorp Services, our registered agent,* sent us email reminders at the beginning and end of this month, so we didn't miss our filing deadline.

This year, in addition to the standard Statement of Information (Form LLC-12), there is a new form that can be used when there are no changes to any of the information contained in the previously submitted form. Appropriately, it is called the Statement of No Change (Form LLC-12NC). It is similar to the obsolete Form LLC-12R, which, according to two commenters, was still being referenced on Statement of Information notices as recently as last year, despite not existing for at least four years. Since we didn't receive a notice this year, we cannot confirm whether the error has been corrected.

Regarding the filing fee of $20, it still must be submitted by mail or in person. Corporations have had an online payment option for at least six years, but the Secretary of State still hasn't seen fit to extend this simple convenience to LLCs.
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*Every California LLC is required to have a registered agent, which must be specified on its Statement of Information. We highly recommend InCorp Services for their entity-management system, excellent customer service, and unbeatable prices. See these posts for more information.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Statement of Information Notice, Part 2

We recently received our biennial notice from the California Secretary of State informing us that our Statement of Information (LLC-12R) is due. The only problem is that this form no longer exists! I spoke with a customer-service representative, and she informed me that Form LLC-12R had been merged with Form LLC-12 to make a hybrid with the latter's name; however, budget cuts have prevented them from updating the notices.

Online filing and payments are still not available for LLCs as they are for corporations, so you still have to print out the form and mail it with a check for $20. They are currently 11 weeks behind in processing statements of information, so it will likely take that long for them to deposit your check. Use a cashier's check or money order if you plan on changing banks during that time.

Update: Form LLC-12NC is now the correct form to file when there are no changes to the Statement of Information.

Friday, August 31, 2012

We're Back, Baby!

To paraphrase Mark Twain, the news of our death has been greatly exaggerated.* After working on other projects for a while, the Truth Rally team is back in action. And when it comes to announcing comebacks, no one can top Señor Rodríguez:



Stay tuned for updates!
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*For those who like to quibble, Twain's original quip was: "The report of my death was an exaggeration." However, I've always preferred this common misquotation.

Friday, September 30, 2011

LLC Registered Agent, Part 4

We recently received an invoice from InCorp Services to renew them as the registered agent for our LLC, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had already applied the same price-guarantee discount we received last year to this year's price—without us having to reapply. InCorp's normal annual fee is $99, which is cheap compared to LegalZoom* at $159 per year, but we had to pay only $49. InCorp FTW!

For further information on registered agents, including whether your LLC needs one, and how to get the first year of InCorp's service absolutely free, review the first installment of this series. If you read carefully, you can also find the company that we cited to qualify for that huge price-guarantee discount; this company, unfortunately, only serves California, so if your LLC operates in another state, you'll have to do your own research.

If you decide to use InCorp Services after reading this blog post, please consider using our referral code.

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*We highly recommend LegalZoom for their LLC-formation service, which is of the highest quality; however, the price of their registered-agent service can easily be beat—in our case, by 69%.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Disclaimer Game, Part 2

As mentioned in part one, our website needs to have a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service before we open it to the public. Like most bootstrapped startups, however, we never seriously considered hiring an attorney to draft these legal disclaimers for us. Fortunately, the Web is chock full of examples, templates, and even generators that will come to your rescue.

After Mike and I did our research, we decided to use Automattic's privacy policy and terms of service, which are each available under a Creative Commons Sharealike license. In short, this means we are free to adapt the documents to our specific needs and to make commercial use of them. Automattic doesn't even require an attribution, though we are more than happy to oblige.

Unlike most of the other examples and templates available on the Web, these particular documents are being actively used, which adds a level of assurance that they will hold legal muster; in fact, Automattic uses them for widely visited websites, such as Wordpress.com. As they write:

"We spent a lot of money and time on [these documents], and other people shouldn’t need to do the same."

Another nice feature is the change log, which allows us to keep our privacy policy and terms of service in sync with theirs as they evolve over time. As Mike can attest, editing these documents will require some research as to which sections are actually applicable to your business, as well as which additions you will be required to make by third parties, such as any companies that run ads on your website.