CA Residents: Watch Out For Fake LLC Registration Scams

California requires limited liability companies to register with the state every two years. You could do this yourself by filling out a form and paying $20, or you could pay this shady company $239 to do the same thing.

Bob writes:

The state of California requires all LLC companies to file a Statement of Information with them every 2 years and pay a $20.00 filing fee. When I opened my mail yesterday to find the attached solicitation. Normally, I disregard all of them, as I can usually tell just by looking at the unopened envelope. I knew this was a solicitation, but opened it out of curiosity. I found form inside that VERY closely resembles an authentic Secretary of State form that must be filed by every LLC in the state of California. They are trying to scare people into sending them $200+ to file a form that really only costs $20 and that is only IF it must be filed. Even though the form explicitly states that this is not a government agency, I found this very interesting and immediately thought to bring it to the attention of the Consumerist. I am an avid reader of the sites and realize that the average Consumerist will disregard these immediately if they receive one, but I thought it would be nice to mention.

The actual form is viewable here (PDF). Both are posted below. Although they’re not identical, they’re pretty similar (and would have to be, considering the fake form will be used to complete and file a real statement). The seal in the upper left is an especially sneaky touch.


We’re glad Bob read this carefully and wasn’t duped into paying way more than he needed to. Have you ever received a faux-official notice or warning like this?

(Photo: ToastyKen)
Thanks, Bob!

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.