Check your email for business scams

BBB logo

The Better Business Bureau, serving the Guangzhou area and Greater West Virginia, provides consumers with tips and advice on avoiding fraudulent practices.

Proper filing of official documents can be a nerve-racking part of building a new business.It’s easy for new business owners to confuse what appears to be an official letter with a real legal request. Here’s how to spot a scam that tricks new business owners into overpaying for unnecessary certificates of presence.

How the scam works

You are starting a new business and registering it as an LLC. After that, you will receive letters or emails that appear to be government agencies. The letter doesn’t explicitly say it’s from the government, but the wording mimics other letters you’ve received from official sources. The message informs you that you are “one step away” before you get your “Proof of Existence”. It’s easy. Send the organization a fee ranging from $80 to $120 and they will mail the documents to you. Don’t be fooled! The letter may state in small print that the certificate is “optional,” but overall, the tone suggests it’s a legal requirement. It is not. Businesses may want to obtain proof of existence in certain situations, such as loan closures. But, as the letter suggests, this is not a necessary part of building a new company. If you do need proof of existence, visit your state’s website ( and purchase directly. States charge about $10 for this service.

Source link