The Better Business Bureau serving Canton Region & Greater West Virginia is alerting Ohio business owners of postcards being received from Business Compliance Division giving "Notice of Potential Compliance Violation".
Several businesses have contacted BBB to inquire about the postcard they have received asking they call immediately to avoid potential fees and penalties. The cards show they are from Business Compliance Division at 6545 Market Ave., North Canton with a Tampa, Florida postal permit number. The cards bear a round seal with a scale and two hands shaking and show either the phone number 888-803-7922 or 855-864-9420. The targeted company's name and Business entity number from the Ohio Secretary of State is also listed on the post card.
BBB contacted Business Compliance Division and was told the company is helping all new businesses with potential filing issues, making them aware of all forms they need to obtain and the need for labor law posters. Business Compliance representatives told the BBB that new businesses are not aware of the last step in forming a business is to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing. According to one complainant that called, he was told the certificate would cost $65 to receive, but BBB has been told by other callers the requested cost has been as high as $200.
Upon further investigation, BBB has determined new businesses that have registered with the Secretary of State's office are targeted receivers of the postcards. The local North Canton address being used is an attorney's office that has no ties to Business Compliance Division and complaints have been filed with the Ohio Attorney general and the United States Postal Service. Attempts to find a valid mailing address for the company have only shown other false addresses used in Kansas, Georgia, Colorado and Florida.
When viewing the Ohio Secretary of State website, it is stated "A Certificate of Good Standing will show your business entity is current with all Secretary of State Filings and your corporate franchise taxes, which can be helpful when requesting financing from a financial institution". You can use the Secretary of State's online system to request and print your certificate in minutes. The fee for a Certificate of Good Standing is $5.00.
BBB recommends contacting the Ohio Secretary of State at 877-SOS-FILE (767-3453) for any questions about required documents for businesses in the state of Ohio. Consumers can report questionable activity with the BBB Scam Tracker at www.bbb.org/scamtracker.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a complainant or a BBB spokesperson, contact Kimberly Thompson at 330-454-9401.