Charleston, W.Va. – Business friendly initiatives from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office have resulted in a record number of business owners filing their annual reports online using the website www.business4wv.com.
Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant said today that 43,678 annual reports were filed online during the 2012 filing period, which ran from January to June. That’s about 49 percent of all annual reports that were filed this year.
The staff of the Secretary of State’s Office entered 28,199 annual reports by hand, and about 17,762 business owners missed the filing deadline and will now have to pay a late filing fee to keep their business in good standing.
“Filing online means a business owner can take care of this very important paperwork when it is most convenient for them,” Secretary Tennant said. “They don’t have to make a trip to the post office and wait several days for it to arrive here and be entered by hand. It means a business owner can focus on their product and not paperwork and get back to what is really important – running their business and keeping the economy of West Virginia strong.”
In 2009, there were 14,300 annual reports filed online. That number increased to 23,939 in 2010 and 28,640 in 2011.
The Secretary of State’s Office has also produced an online video tutorial that walks business owners through the filing process. And in addition to outreach effort such as “SOS On The Road” where the staff of the Business and Licensing Division travel the state to meet one-on-one with business owners, text and email alerts with information about online filing and also an option.
Annual reports contain information such as a business’s managers and officers, service of process address, and business address. There is no financial information contained in an annual report. These documents also allow a business owner to provide an email address that can be used to notify them if an unknown person has modified their annual report without their knowledge, which could suggest business identity theft.