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Have you received a solicitati...

Have you received a solicitation for your business asking for payment?

  • April 27, 2020

If you are a local business owner, you are aware of the need to file and re-file paperwork regularly. You may not, however, be aware of the many solicitations that are from non-government agencies requesting payment 3x, 4x or 5x more than what you would pay if you filed the paperwork on your own. But how can you tell what you should pay and what you shouldn’t?

Example #1. Biennial Statements.

Due every two years for NYS entities such as corporations and LLCs are required to file a biennial statement updating certain information and pay a $9 fee in order to remain in good standing. Whether you are keeping track or not, be aware, someone else is.

When your fee is due you may receive a notice that appears to be an official NYS form, but it may be a solicitation from a company like “XYZ Filing Services” offering to file the form for you. The form they mail you makes it seem like you are paying a $100 fee to NYS, when you are actually paying $100 to XYZ Filing Services, to have them pay the $9 fee for your business– something that would take you two minutes to pay online here.

Business owners are very busy, and quite often do not have the time to review everything that comes in especially when things look so authentic. You should always understand exactly what it is that you’re paying for. Filing this form online will save you $91.

Sample Biennial Statement form below. Company and contact information for filing company has been removed.

Example #2. 2020 Certificate of Status Request Form.

Sample 2020 certificate of Status form below. Company and contact information for filing company has been removed.

If you have received, or do receive anything that doesn’t make sense to you, please contact our offices and let us help you determine whether it’s official before making any payments.

It certainly isn’t illegal to offer outsourcing services for administrative tasks like filing forms and paying fees, but companies like the XYZ Filing Services take it a step further by relying on you knowing the process, or doing your research. “I recently got the form in the mail and took it into my office, started to fill it out, and once I saw the amount due, I stopped and looked it up. Sure enough, it was a scam, but a good one…they almost had me,” says one of our business clients.

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