Secretary of State Jena Griswold warned businesses on Thursday of misleading notices from third parties requesting fees to file documents.
“The Colorado Secretary of State’s office takes pride in having an easy-to-use and affordable business filing system, which is why we are alerting business owners about these dubious solicitations,” Griswold said.
Her office noted that there is no need for third-party involvement when filing with the state.
Some of the deceptive offers seek to charge business to provide a “Certificate of Good Standing" or a "Certificate of Existence,” both of which are free and are on Griswold’s website for download.
One letter informed the recipient that they have “one step left in order to attain your elective Colorado Certificate of Good Standing from CO Services. Below is the form for your newly registered business.” The letter, with an identification seal reading “Colorado Certificate Services,” then asks for $74.50, only providing a check or money order payment option.
A search of the secretary of state’s business database showed no company registered under that name.
In small print in the middle of the letter comes the admission that this is purely a marketing ploy. “Co Services is not affiliated with any government or state agency and this notice is a solicitation for your business,” it reads.
Griswold reminded businesses that all filings occur online, with no forms mailed.
A spokesperson did not immediately respond to a question about whether the state is investigating Colorado Certificate Services.