Thursday, November 9, 2023

Secretary Bellows Warns of Misleading Corporation and Non-Profit Solicitations

Secretary of State Shenna Bellows is warning Maine corporations and non-profits to watch out for a misleading solicitation they may have received in the mail which offer to file annual reports on their behalf, for a $210 fee.

“Small business owners and nonprofit directors are understandably quite alarmed receiving these solicitations in the mail. We know they’re trying to do the right thing with their filings, but they should be wary of any solicitation that urges someone to take immediate action for something they’ve long done themselves without paying some other entity an additional couple hundred dollars,” said Secretary Bellows. “Scammers often try to scare people into urgent action because that’s an easy way to separate an honest person from their money.”

The Division of Corporations does not mail out the annual report form, making the form available online instead.

The misleading solicitation form is from an organization identified as C.F.S. and looks similar to the Maine Secretary of State Department’s Division of Corporations' annual report form, but it is neither authorized nor recognized by the Maine Department of the Secretary of State, and this mailing does not come from the Department’s Division of Corporations. Maine corporations have received similar solicitations in recent years from entities operating under various names.

The 2024 annual report is not available until January 2024. At that time, the updated form will be available online and corporate entities will have until the deadline of June 1, 2024 to complete the report filing with the Secretary of State’s office. The annual report filing fee for established domestic business entities is $85, nonprofit corporations is $35 and foreign business entities is $150.

Any corporation that has questions about the solicitation they received is encouraged to obtain advice from a lawyer or business advisor. In addition, those with questions about corporate annual report or other business entity filing requirements can contact the Maine Division of Corporations at (207) 624-7752.