Corporation Scams

If you have formed an entity in Washington, you know that there are several forms that must be filled out and exchanged with the Secretary of State’s office. Because the creation of a business entity is visible to the public, some bad actors have recently attempted to take advantage of new business owners by mailing them official-looking letters requesting payment for documents from the Secretary of State. The picture below is an example of one such scam letter.

"Example of scam letter

"Example of scam letter

This document is designed to induce the new business owner into ordering a certificate of status. A new business is not required to order such a certificate immediately after forming, it is done as needed during various business transactions. Be wary of entities that are not official Washington government agencies, have e-mail addresses that are not “.gov,” or require you to respond within a narrow timeline.

If you form a new business and receive a similar document from any entity other than the Secretary of State’s office claiming to require payment for any certificate, you should contact your business attorney or the Secretary of State’s office immediately to determine whether the sending entity is legitimate.

Should you have any questions or need assistance with your corporation or business matter, contact the attorneys at Holmquist + Gardiner, PLLC.