Don’t get scammed! As a business owner, you may have been mailed an “Annual Report Instruction Form,” from a company operating under the name “Workplace Compliance Services” an image can be found here:
Appears official, right? It’s not.
The form even quotes a state statute that states a requirement to file an annual registration! So what? This is not a letter or form from your state official! You may, but don’t have to use this form or this company when filing your annual registration – at a $100.00 upcharge by the way. The fee is reasonable – in fact, that is the same amount Achieve Legal charges, but we take issue with the presentation.
This form looks like something you might receive from your state government. But at the time of this writing, no company is even registered with the State of Florida to do business in the state - at least not to do business operating under the name “Workplace Compliance Services,” in fact.
It is true that businesses have to file an annual report with any state in which they do business, however, third-party registration is not necessary. This letter, or form rather, and others like, are devised in a way to appear as if from state governments, as far as we are concerned.
There IS a disclaimer in THIS form stating that the form does not come from a state agency and is it operating on behalf of a state agency, but despite the disclaimer being in all caps approximately 1/3 of the way down the form, the disclaimer may be easy to miss. We feel it is misleading to many that such a form is used bearing a name that sounds like a state agency, bureau, or department, and quotes statutes, and beginning the form (without any letter of explanation) that starts, for example, “Florida laws require every limited liability company [yours may say “corporation”] authorized to transact business in the State to timely file an annual report every year.”
If filing on your own, at this time the Florida Secretary of State website only charges $150 for a for-profit corporation, $61.25 for a non-profit corporation, and $138.75 for an LLC. Other states charge similar fees. You can usually file annual reports quickly and efficiently online.
If you ever have anything mailed to you that you are unsure of or need helping filing any type forms, please feel free to contact us for advisement.