NOTE: This article is specifically for single member LLCs (where there's only one person involved and no partners). If you have one or more partners in your LLC, you've got a partnership and a good chunk of what's written here may not apply to you.

There's Only One Federal Requirement

Starting on Jan. 1, 2024, all LLCs must fill out a Beneficial Ownership Information Report (BOI). This is because of the passage of the Corporate Transparency Act. The good news is that filing the report is free, easy, and has to be done once, but the fines are high if you miss it, so get this done. More info on how and where to do this can be found here.

Everything Else is a State Thing

One of the most important points to understand is that we register our LLCs (Limited Liability Companies) at the state level. That means most of the stuff you have to do to keep it going happens at the state level.

This is also important because, generally speaking, if you move (i.e. your business moves) to a new state you'll need to move your LLC too. Here's a good overview of the primary options for doing that.

Also, remember to keep the info for your registered agent up to date if anything changes. Every LLC has a registered agent (the person people can get in touch with if questions come up about the LLC), oftentimes freelancers opt to be their own registered agent.

State-Specific Maintenance and Notes

So, what are the things you have to do to maintain your single member LLC at the state level? Like pretty much everything else to do with states, it varies depending on where you are.

We're not going to get into all 50 states in detail here, just some of the ones we encounter most often, but we can often help you figure out the specifics for any state in your tax appointment or if you sign up for a consultation.

New York Single Member LLCs 

  • Every year, you'll need to file Form 204-LL. The deadline is March 15. (There is a penalty for filing late.) There is also a fee that you'll have to pay when filing this form, which is based on the gross income of your LLC in the prior year, even if the income was zero in the prior year:
    • $0 to $100,000, filing fee = $25
    • $100,001 to $250,000, filing fee = $50
    • $250,001 to $500,000 filing fee = $175
    • Additional tiers can be found here.
    • We can help you file and pay this during your tax appointment.
  • Every two years, in the same month in which your LLC was formed, you'll need to submit a Biennial Statement and pay the accompanying $9 fee.
    • We can't do this for you, but you can do this online and it's very easy to do. Instructions can be found here.
    • Some folks get scammy snail mail letters saying you have to pay them $90 or more for this. Take it as a problematic reminder that you need to take a few minutes to follow the instructions above, and then chuck that letter.
  • Check to see if you're subject to any local business taxes.

California Single Member LLCs 

  • All active LLCs, including single member LLCs, that do business in California (even if the LLC is not based there) must file Form 568. You will also have to pay the annual Franchise Tax (there's an $800 minimum for this tax and it's based on total income). This form, as well as the tax, is due on April 15.
    • If it's your first year as an LLC in CA, as long as you file on time, the Franchise Tax will be waived, but you still have to do the paperwork.
    • We can help you file and pay this during your tax appointment.
  • You also need to file a Biennial Statement of Information every other year, within 6 months of the anniversary of your LLC forming. There is a $20 fee for filing this.
    • We cannot do this for you but it's very simple to do on your own, here on this website.
  • Check to see if you're subject to any local business taxes.

Oregon Single Member LLCs 

  • In Oregon, all LLCs have to file an annual report (due within 45 days of your yearly formation anniversary), but it's really simple and can be done online. There is a $100 fee when you file this report.
  • We cannot take care of this for you, so make sure you put a note in your calendar. You can take care of it here.
  • Check to see if you're subject to any local business taxes.

States Not Listed Above

  • Check out this handy reference that goes into many of the state-by-state requirements for maintaining your LLC.
  • Remember local business registration and taxes may also apply, separate from the state. Your local city or county government, or the local Chamber of Commerce should be able to help you figure out if there's something you need to be doing.

A Note About EINs for Single Member LLCs

WARNING: This is gonna be a little in the weeds, feel free to skip it and we can explain in your appointment.

When you register your single member LLC, many of you will be issued an EIN by the IRS. But unless you're planning to hire employees (i.e. salaried workers, not other freelancers), then for a single member LLC, the IRS is actually going to completely disregard that EIN. Why? Because your single member LLC is actually just you, not a separate entity (they call it a "disregarded entity"). Because of that, they're going to simply use your social security number to reference your tax activity.

If you want an EIN in order to protect your privacy on W-9 forms or to get a bank account, then you should just apply for one as yourself (it's free!):

  • Go to this web page
  • Click "Apply Online Now"
  • Choose "Sole Proprietor" when asked about your legal structure
  • Fill out the rest of the requested information and submit the completed form

Have questions, or need help with any of the above? Reach out to to set up a consultation.