The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office is again alerting small business owners about more potentially misleading notices requesting an extra fee for a third party to file business documents.
According to a news release, the Secretary of State’s Office has continued to receive reports about third parties sending additional deceptive and misleading solicitations to Colorado businesses. The Colorado secretary of state maintains an easy-to-use online filing system for businesses. Use of a third party to complete filings with the secretary of state is not required.
The newest versions of these solicitations offer to obtain a “Certificate of Good Standing” or a “Certificate of Existence” from the Secretary of State’s Office for a fee. Any business can download a Certificate of Good Standing for free from the secretary of state’s website at www.sos.state.co.us. In addition, the office does not offer anything called a Certificate of Existence.
Another misleading solicitation offers to file a “Statement Curing Delinquency” with the office to bring a business back into good standing. In addition to the required state filing fee, the form requires payment of a processing fee.
These misleading solicitations may appear similar to a government form, cite specific Colorado statutes and require a fee. They might contain your business entity’s actual business ID number and date of formation, as reflected in the secretary of state’s business records; contain a customer ID number that does not match a number given to you by a state or federal agency; contain a warning to make sure that the form’s instructions are followed exactly when completing the form; or contain a due date for your response.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office does not send these solicitations, nor does it mail out business filing forms. Compliance with these notices is not required, the release said.
All business filings are filed online. Business owners can find instructions to directly file business forms at www.sos.state.co.us under the Business Organizations heading.
“Once again we are seeing people trying to profit off of misleading and unnecessary solicitations to business owners. Our office takes pride in having an easy-to-use and affordable business filing system, which is why we are alerting business owners about these third-party solicitations,” Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in the release.
To receive advance notice of when Periodic Reports, Trademark renewals, or Trade Name renewals are due, business owners can sign up online for free email notifications. Additionally, business owners can visit www.sos.state.co.us to verify their business status, file a form or obtain a free certification. The Secretary of State posts alerts and notices about misleading filings here: www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/business/alert_notices.html.
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