Customer Alert – Misleading Business Solicitations

Letters are being sent to California businesses directing them to go through a third party to comply with their California Corporations Code filing obligations or to order a Certificate of Status rather than submitting filings or certificate requests directly to the Secretary of State's office.

  • Posted May 27, 2014
    Misleading Certificate of Status Solicitations: A private company has been mailing documents to businesses through mass mailings to entities registered with the Secretary of State demanding they respond by a certain date to obtain a "certificate of status." A Certificate of Status is only issued by the Secretary of State and cannot be issued by any private company.
  • Posted November 23, 2009
    Misleading Termination Solicitations: A private entity has been soliciting business through mass mailings to corporations and limited liability companies, implying the entities must go through a private, third party vendor – and pay an exorbitant fee – in order to file a termination document with the California Secretary of State.
  • Posted February 19, 2009
    Misleading Statement of Information Solicitations: A private entity has been soliciting business through mass mailings to corporations and limited liability companies, implying the entities must go through a private, third party vendor – and pay an exorbitant fee – in order to file a Statement of Information with the California Secretary of State.

These solicitations are not being made by the California Secretary of State's office and are not being made by or on behalf of any governmental entity. Although a business entity can use an intermediary to submit filings, certificate requests and fees to our office, no business is required to go through another private entity in order to file or obtain documents or certificates from the Secretary of State's office.

Forms that meet the minimum content requirements of the California Corporations Code and instructions for these filings are available through our website at www.sos.ca.gov/business/be/forms.htm.

Stronger Laws to Prevent Fraudulent Solicitations: Effective January 1, 2012, there are new laws to prevent people from sending misleading solicitations to Californians.

Action for Fraudulent Letters

California businesses that receive one of these fraudulent solicitation letters can mail a written complaint along with the entire solicitation (including the solicitation letter, the outer and return envelopes, and all related documents) to the California Attorney General’s office, Public Inquiry Unit, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, California 94244–2550. A complaint form, which can be completed online and printed to mail, is available on the California Attorney General’s website at www.oag.ca.gov/consumers