Secretary of State of State Nellie M. Gorbea is warning Rhode Island business owners not to be misled by a deceptive letter that appears to come from an official government source. The letter is being mailed by an entity calling itself "Annual Business Services."
Several businesses have reported receiving the solicitation, which includes an official-looking form titled "2015 Annual Minutes." The mailing cites Rhode Island General Laws requiring corporations to keep records of accounts, minutes and the names and addresses of all shareholders and directs recipients to submit the form along with a $125 fee payable to "Annual Business Services."
"We are constantly looking out for small businesses and don't want them to be misled into filing the form and paying the $125 fee thinking they are filing their annual report with us," said Gorbea. "That solicitation did not come from us. Companies do not need to pay third-party fees to file with the Department of State."
Gorbea urges anyone with questions about this or any similar solicitation to contact the Department of State's Business Services Division at 401-222-3040 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the programs and services the Department of State offers businesses, visit sos.ri.gov.