Important Warnings For Ohio Businesses
WARNING: Some businesses are receiving mail from organizations posing as fake state agencies, and YOU may be at risk!
It is increasingly common for business owners like yourself to receive official-looking offers that are deceptive, suspicious, or even fraudulent. Some may even pose as fake state agencies to sell their services.
If you are unsure about the legitimacy of any correspondence, please reach out to our office at [email protected] or 877.767.3453.
Below are a few examples you should be aware of:
The Secretary of State's office has learned of letters being sent to some business owners from companies with official-sounding names, like “OH Certificate Service.”
These letters imply that business owners require a Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State’s Office and seek to charge an exorbitant amount.
If you should ever need a Certificate of Good Standing, our office offers these certificates for only five dollars and it can be downloaded instantly at https://cogs.ohiosos.gov/
Businesses should also be aware of false solicitations offering an "Annual Report" for your businesses at a considerable cost. These solicitations are not from or approved by the Ohio Secretary of State's office.
Additionally, Ohio law does not require annual reports.
A common misleading solicitation targeting businesses offers an “expedited filing” for your business. Business filings in Ohio are quick and affordable. In fact, most filings are processed same day. You can also file online at OhioSoS.gov/business in a just a few clicks. Do not fall for scams that offer an upcharge to file your paperwork faster.
One of the newest misleading mailers involves Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings. A recent mailer claimed to “obtain and mail a hard copy of your Ohio UCC Financing Statement Form” for a $90 fee. That PDF can be downloaded and printed for free at https://ucc.ohiosos.gov. The only option to pay for a service is a UCC 11, which is a certified search report which costs $20. If you have questions about UCC filings, email [email protected]