Customer Alert - 2020 Fire Disaster Assistance for Businesses
As communities continue recovering from the devastating effects of the wildfires, the Secretary of State has established a team to work with impacted businesses and as provide those businesses important resources.
We are here to help. Our staff is prepared to streamline recovery efforts when businesses are ready to re-establish their business.
Re-establishing a business can be a daunting task if business records, insurance and employment documents, personal identification and other materials are lost, damaged, or destroyed. Additionally, there may be consequences if legal and other notices don't get delivered to the business.
To help all impacted businesses get back up and running, we have established this page with useful recovery resources and information.
We are in this together, and we are here to help ensure that California remains open for business.
How We Can Help
If you need copies of your business records, need to change address information for your business, or want to file new documents, the bizfile California portal on the Secretary of State’s website provides access to business filing and search services and other useful information.
Online Access to Records
The Secretary of State provides free online access to most filed business documents through the California Business Search tool. California Business Search has more than 15.6 million images of filed Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC) and Limited Partnership documents.
If fire victims need certified copies or copies of filings that are not available online, records can be obtained by sending a request by email to BizDisasterAssistance@sos.ca.gov. For expedited service, complete the Business Entities Records Order Form and attach it to your email. Please be sure to include a return address for mailing the copies or email address if you prefer to receive electronic copies.
Updating Business Addresses in Business Filings
Corporations and LLCs can update their business and mailing addresses by filing a Statement of Information online so that they continue to receive legal and other notices relative to their business. To file a Statement of Information online, click on the applicable button above.
Forms for filings to update information for other types of business entities are available on the Secretary of State's Forms, Samples and Fees webpage.
Further Assistance with SOS Business Filings
Staff are standing by to help businesses impacted by the recent fires:
- Phone: (916) 657-5448
- Email: BizDisasterAssistance@sos.ca.gov
- Eureka Online Chatbot: click on the bear icon in the lower right-hand corner
Please note that contractors who wish to assist with recovery efforts must be registered in California prior to commencing work. More information is available through the California State Contractors Licensing Board.
The California State Archives has put together procedures for recovering materials after a disaster and salvaging records from damaged electronic media. More information can be found in the following guides:
Other Resources to Assist
State Taxing Agencies
Additional State Agencies
Governor's Office of Emergency Services (OES)
OES is the best resource for obtaining the most current information and location of resources available to fire victims to assist with their recovery efforts, including Local Disaster Recovery Centers, which offer a variety of services and assistance such as for home and personal property losses, business loss and recovery, replacement of vital records, driver's license replacement, tax assistance, and unemployment information. Information specifically tailored to 2019 wildfire victims is available through their website at response.ca.gov.
Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz)
Go-Biz and OES have created a resource guide, State Resources for Businesses Impacted by Disaster, which is full of useful information for businesses impacted by a disaster in California. Go-Biz also actively works with local agencies and businesses to identify specific needs and coordinates the availability of assistance from other State agencies. You can contact Go-Biz at (877) 345-4633.
California Franchise Tax Board (FTB)
FTB has information specifically tailored to providing relevant information to California disaster victims for claiming disaster losses and other disaster relief that is available to victims through a Disaster Loss webpage.
California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA)
CDTFA has specific information related to emergency tax or fee relief, extensions, penalty and interest relief and replacement of tax records for business owners and feepayers that are victims of disasters declared as state of emergencies at State of Emergency Tax Relief.
California Employment Development Department (EDD)
EDD has a EDD Disaster-Related Services webpage that includes specific information for individuals and businesses impacted by disasters, including payroll tax payment extensions for employers, unemployment insurance, job search assistance, disability insurance and paid family leave.
California Department of Insurance
The California Department of Insurance also has created a website specifically to assist victims of California wildfires to obtain information on how to make claims or address other insurance issues, at http://www.insurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/140-catastrophes/WildfireResources.cfm.
If you have home, auto or other insurance coverage for your damaged property, you should contact your insurance agent or insurance company for information on how to make a claim. Please note if you do not go directly through your insurance company and you hire a "public adjuster," the public adjuster must be registered with the Department of Insurance. You can check the public adjuster's status searching by name or by license number through the Department of Insurance website.
California Department of Motor Vehicles
If you need to change your address or obtain a duplicate driver's license due to loss in California wildfires, information specific to fire victims is available at their website Wildfire Information.
Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by calling 1-800-621-3362 or register online at Disaster Assistance.gov.
Small Business Administration
Information on disaster assistance available such as low-interest loans for businesses, homeowners and renters is available at Disaster Assistance.