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Received a Suspicious or Misleading Mailing?

The three most common misleading or deceptive mailings seen at the NC Secretary of State’s Office are solicitations for assistance with:

  1. Preparing Annual Minutes;
  2. Filing Annual Reports; and
  3. Obtaining a Certificate of Existence

It is not uncommon for business owners across the country to receive these solicitations. The solicitations may include details about your company, leading you to believe these are official communications from a state agency.

Common elements of these solicitations include providing compliance with state filing laws and offering to file on your behalf for a fee. This fee is usually much higher than the filing fee required by the NC Secretary of State. In some cases, as with solicitations for the preparation of annual minutes, there is no such required filing.

The NC Secretary of State’s Office along with the Attorney General’s Office has taken a few of these companies to court. The companies in question now include disclaimers in their mailings disclosing that they are not part of any federal, state or local government and that the mailing is a solicitation.

Solicitation mailings are not illegal and the NC Secretary of State’s Office can take no legal action against companies following the legal requirements in sending these mailings. While these mailings may not violate the letter of the law, the NC Secretary of State’s Office wants customers to keep a keen eye out for misleading mailings that may not be in keeping with the spirit of the law.

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