Business Owners Beware!

When it comes to forming your own business, there are so many steps that it can often times be a daunting task just to get everything you need.

But know this, you can be scammed at every step of your business registration, and once you are registered, your information is public and the scammers are the first people to reach out to you with deceptive compliance solicitations meant to confuse you, alarm you, and most importantly, trick you out of your hard earned money.


While many of these solicitations relate to annual reports, some of them focus on annual minutes, business license requirements, status forms and certificates, or filing services. These misleading solicitations are made to look official and appear to be coming from the state. The common theme is that they direct the recipient to send a fee, usually much higher than the state would charge, often for services that are totally unnecessary.


One thing to look for when reviewing these solicitations is the fine print, which will usually say something like, “This product has not been approved or endorsed by any government agency and this offer is not being made by an agency of the government”, or some other subtle variation of this statement that seems official. Remember, some of these solicitations may not include headings that appear to come from the state, but may instead include details about the entity, such as Employer Identification Number (EIN), document numbers, names and addresses of officers, and warnings about penalties and fines that appear urgent and official and are specifically geared towards eliciting an immediate response from the recipient.


These scams have become so widespread that has a special “Consumer Notice” page to alert you of some of the SCAMs. The following is a small piece of the state of Florida’s warning to business owners:

Carefully review all solicitations, notices and websites that offer various business filings, registrations and/or certification services at prices above the required statutory fees. (You can check the Fees on website)

– Do not confuse suspicious communications by mail or online with the Florida Division of Corporations’ official notices or website.

– Check for non-governmental agency statements before complying with any instructions or using filing or certification services.

– Disregard “Annual Minutes” or “Annual Corporate Record Forms” notices.  Neither form is required by this office or any other state or government agency. (You only need to file an Annual Report on


As a business owner you must constantly be on the lookout for these scams and be sure to report any scam letters you receive to help other business owners know what to look for and help stop the scam.

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