Massachusetts Annual Report

If you are doing business in Massachusetts, you must file an Annual Report with the Secretary of the Commonwealth by November 1* every year. It’s a simple form which doesn’t ask for any financial information (yay!). But, as the bookkeeper, you are the person most suited to remember to file it. There is also a $15 fee.**

The Annual Report may be filed online (assuming you have access to payment information for the fee) right here. You’ll need a customer ID number and a PIN, both of which can be very easily obtained by writing an e-mail to They will reply promptly with a CID and PIN as well as a 9-digit state ID number. They may call the latter a FEIN, but it’s a state number used by the Corporations Division of the Secretary’s office.

One peculiarity is that the online form may ask you to quantify the organization’s capital stock. Of course, the nonprofit you are filing this form for has no stock, because it’s a nonprofit. Choose “nondesignated stock” and enter zero in all fields. The form will ask you to confirm that you are a nonprofit when you click submit.

I have also had difficulty submitting the form when the board is composed only of officers, with no “directors” (ordinary board members). The form returns an error message saying you must enter the names and addresses of directors. If you encounter this, add one of the officers again as a director and it should go through.

Finally, you have to be an officer to “sign” this form (though not to file it). You didn’t hear this from Cathy Keeps Books, but if one of the organization’s officers is willing to let you type in her name as signer, your problem is solved.

*Unless you are a foreign corporation (i.e., incorporated in another state). Then it’s due two and a half months after the close of your fiscal year.
**And if you’re a foreign corporation, you have to pay $109.