Scam Alert to California Business Owners

California’s Secretary of State recently sent out a consumer alert warning California businesses about a scam operation.  (The full alert can be found here.)

If you receive a letter requesting that you submit $49.50 along with a form, etc. to “California State Corporations”, to receive a Certificate of Status for your business entity, do not respond.  This is not an official government document. It is from a private enterprise attempting to extract unnecessary fees from unsuspecting business owners. Only the Secretary of State issues Certificates of Status.

Should you receive such a request, here are some suggestions:

  1. Verify that the letter/contact is authentic (or not).
  2. If not authentic, submit a written complaint to the California Department of Justice (here).
  3. Check with a lawyer who is familiar with the formation and operation of California business entities to make sure your business is in compliance with State and Federal regulations.


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