We often get calls from clients who just filed for an LLC or filed for a corporation about documents they receive in the mail that are requesting a fee to be paid of some sort. More often than not, these documents are very "official looking" and appear to be legit, many small businesses are so busy with other aspects of their business they don't read the documents they receive carefully. Most of these renewal notices are scams, be sure to look at where the envelope comes from, real state documents will almost always come from your state capital, therefore if you're in California and documents are coming from Los Angeles or San Diego, they may not be legitimate. Also be sure to look for not only on the envelope but in the document, if it's a solicitor trying to get you to pay for their services, which you can do yourself, the document should say "THIS IS NOT A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT" if you're still unsure, call the state directly and ask them if you've got any documents that are to be renewed, if you do, make sure to submit payment directly to the state. These businesses survive on people who don't pay attention to who they're paying, they make their documents look real and stay in business because people don't want to be "penalized" yet there is nothing for that company to penalize them on, and their fees are often 5 times what the state fees are for the same document that this solicitor will be submitting. The bottom line is to be careful who you're sending money to, and to read all mail materials, most documents you receive will probably be legitimate but there might be a few random documents that are not.
We've been notified that a lot of our clients in certain states are receiving mail requesting payment for services that are required by the state. Our policy is to never sell any of your information though some states do provide your information to marketers.
California is one of the biggest states that has marketers targeting new business owners. The marketers will send out a document that looks very official requesting payment for the Statement of information. The statement of information in California only costs about $25 to file, while the solicitors ask for up to $100 over that fee. If you receive any suspicious documents be sure to read them thoroughly as the these companies are required to have "THIS IS NOT A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT" on the document as well as the envelope, if you're still unsure, give the company a call and find out if they're just proving a service or if they are actually the state corporation office, they will tell you if they are an actual state office or just a company soliciting business.
Florida has also issued a statement on their website regarding the same kinds of solicitations in their state.
Because the documents look official many new business owners get tricked into paying these extra fees. If you have any questions about California LLC, California Corporations or any other state business filings, please give us a call at 866-999-8200.