The Colorado Secretary of State’s office today is alerting small business owners about potentially misleading notices requesting an extra fee for a third party to file business documents.

The Secretary of State’s office has received multiple reports of these potentially deceptive or misleading solicitations being sent to Colorado businesses. The SOS’ office 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 solicitation may:

• Appear similar to a government form.

• 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.

• Contain a due date for your response.

• Mention a periodic report.

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office does not send these solicitations.The SOS’ office does not mail out business filing forms and compliance with these notices is not required.

All business filings, including annual periodic reports, are filed online. The current fee for filing the periodic report is only $10. Business owners can find instructions to easily and directly file business forms on the Secretary of State’s website under the Business Organizations heading.

“We want to make sure Coloradans have the tools they need for their businesses to succeed. We have an easy-to-use and affordable business filing system. Business owners should be wary of third-party solicitations related to filing requirements,” said Secretary of State Jena Griswold.

In order 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 sos.state.co.us to verify their business status, file a form or obtain a free certification.

Information from Colorado SOS Office news release.

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