Businesses Beware! New Scams to Prepare Annual Minutes Circulate Again!

Not all scams come from a Nigerian Prince asking for a few dollars so he can send you 5.4 Million dollars that was hidden during the latest military takeover.

The Better Business Bureau sent out another warning just when local businesses were receiving the latest round of solicitations for "shadow companies" to prepare documents, such as annual minutes, for them. Business owners need to be cautious when receiving such letters. These companies will use official sounding names like "Annual Business Services" and "Mandatory Poster Agency" to solicit small businesses to use their services, hinting that their services are needed or mandatory. They will even use local naming like "The Nebraska Council for Corporations" to trick you into thinking the service is necessary and they are only watching out for your best interests. Even when looking further into the solicitation, it is unclear that the documents are mandatory to create and file. Unfortunately disclosure laws don't dictate full transparency.

These companies have to say "you are not obligated to use our services" and "this company is not a government agency and does not represent a government agency", but that is usually after a paragraph or two about the legal statutes that describe mandatory reporting of minutes or corporate records. Most solicited businesses will see the small fee ($125.00) as a small price to pay to stay within government regulation. The truth is that most companies that are incorporated already keep these documents and don't need a third-party company to prepare them. Also, the document service they offer usually doesn't fulfill the Nebraska corporate filing requirements. Furthermore, the company will use a location so it seems like it coming from the state capital, when it is only a P.O. Box located in the same city. You have to hand it to these "helpful companies." They are getting better at scamming people out of hard earned money.

Bottom line is that you could end up paying $125.00 for a service that is either not needed or that you are already accomplishing in your own recording of documents. Businesses with questions regarding state annual filing requirements should contact the Nebraska Secretary of State, your attorney or their certified public accountant. The BBB warns businesses to read any similar mailings carefully before paying money or sending private information.

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