More than 17 million business online records in California are safer with the roll out of the new bizfile Online portal on April 7, 2022. In response to the growing threat of business identity theft and mistaken filings, the California Secretary of State developed security enhancements called User Access Controls, which limit who has access to create or change an online business record.
Full access users manage access to the online entity record by controlling who is able to file online amendments on behalf of the entity. Access also requires the Okta multifactor authentication which facilitates secure login, adding another layer of protection.
Full access users may grant a person(s), such as an attorney, CPA or staff basic access an online record to maintain and update the business record. Those with basic access cannot grant others access to file online amendments on behalf of the entity.
For more information on User Access Controls, see the bizfile Online Help Guide.
Action to Take
Business documents filed with the California Secretary of State are public record. Never include information that is not required such as a social security number or EIN. Consider carefully whether to use a home address in a business document filed with the California Secretary of State.
Keep business records up to date to maintain an active status. File addresses changes right away. Conduct periodic checks on your business record with the California Secretary of State. Use the Business Search tool on bizfile Online to check the business record.
Opt-in to E-Mail Notifications
The Secretary of State provides notice to corporations and limited liability companies in advance of the deadline to file a required Statement of Information. The law requires the notice be sent to the last address of the business entity according to the California Secretary of State’s records or to the last electronic mail address according to the Secretary of State’s records if the business entity has elected to receive notices from the California Secretary of State by electronic mail. The failure of the business entity to receive the notice is not an excuse for missing to file a required Statement of Information. File a current Statement of Information and opt-in to electronic mail notifications.
Monitor for Fraud and Report Promptly
Monitor your bank accounts and mail. Check business and personal credit reports for suspicious activity. Report any fraud to all credit bureaus and the specific financial institution(s). Timely file state and federal tax returns. Criminals target inactive businesses. If your business ceases operations, promptly file a termination document.
** Disclaimer: Although every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained on the bizfile Online portal is accurate, the California Secretary of State's office is not responsible for any loss, consequence, or damage resulting directly or indirectly from reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of the information that is provided. All such information is provided "as is."