Annual reports filed online have hit an all-time high - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Annual reports filed online have hit an all-time high

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The number of business owners filing their annual reports online hit an all-time high in 2013, Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant announced Monday.

The total number of online annual reports this year, 60,295, is more than four times the amount filed online when Tennant took office in 2009. More than 72 percent of all annual reports filed in 2013 were filed online.

"This shows that entrepreneurs in West Virginia will take advantage of an easy-to-use and convenient tool to file some important paperwork and keep their business open," Tennant said.

The popularity of online filing has increased every year since 2009. That year, 14,399 annual reports were filed online. 23,939 were filed in 2010 and 28,640 were filed in 2011. 46,775 were filed in 2012.

Annual reports are required filings of each corporation and limited liability company in West Virginia. The documents contain information such as a company's officers, service of process address and the address at which they are conducting business. Annual reports do not contain any of a company's financial information.

The number of annual reports filed manually in the Secretary of State's Office has fallen from 40,390 in 2009 to just 22,919 in 2013. Prior to online filing, each annual report had to be entered into a database by a business and licensing specialist in the Secretary of State's Office. That process took months. Now, because of efficient programs like online filings, business owners do not have to wait to receive confirmation that their annual report has been accepted.

"Online filing speeds up the whole process of taking care of business in West Virginia," Tennant said. "We are helping to facilitate commerce by helping business owners focus on their product and not paperwork."