Last year, the renewal notice never arrived in the mail. Instead, we just got a postcard from the Division of Corporations in early October that our business registration was now late for 2011. It wasn’t that big of a deal; the renewal costs $15/year and the late fee was only $10, but it was irritating that they wouldn’t give us any leeway when we didn’t even receive the first notice. In an informal survey of clients and companies we’ve worked with, it seems like that first postcard goes missing as much as 50% of the time.
To prevent us from being late again, I looked up when our real renewal deadline was, and I entered a memorized transaction in Quickbooks a month in advance of the deadline. So when I went to reconcile my bank account for August, I saw this $15 transaction that was supposed to clear, with a note to myself in the memo to be proactive about paying it. No need to wait for the postcard! I called and got instructions for paying online, well in advance of the due date.
What happens if you don’t pay your annual business renewal in Utah? Besides the obvious–possibly losing the rights to your business name–it can get you in a lot of bigger trouble, if you don’t catch it in time, or if combined with other problems. For example, if you let your business license lapse, your company may be dissolved by the state. And in order to reinstate, one of the things you have to do is get a letter from the Utah State Tax Commission that you are in good standing, meaning that you have no past due amounts on any of your company and personal accounts. So if you are behind on any of your taxes, you will be out of luck. In which case, your company reverts back to being a sole proprietorship, and if in the meantime you get hit with a lawsuit against the company, you could lose everything you own because you lost the legal protection of your corporation or LLC.
But that’s the worst-case scenario. Instead, just check the status of your DBA, LLC, or corporation online here: https://secure.utah.gov/bes/
You can also call the Utah Division of Corporations at 801-530-4849 for more information.