Monday, April 1, 2013

Alert! BOGUS Certificate of Status Request Form


If you recently set up a new business on the Department of State, Division of Corporations website (sunbiz.org), you may be sent a 2013 Certificate of Status Request Form. Please be aware that this is NOT required to complete any registration process with the state.

These notices are NOT from the Dept. of State, Division of Corporations. The request asks you to make checks payable to Florida Center of Corporations for a fee of $54.47. Do NOT confuse these notices with the messages sent by the Division of Corporations. If you receive this letter--toss it out. This is NOT an official government document, it is a SCAM.

They cleverly are stating that “You have one step left to receive your Florida certified certificate of status.” It appears to the untrained eye that this means there is one step left to be active with the state of Florida. If you are in need of a Certificate of Status for any reason, they can be obtained directly from the Dept. of State, Division of Corporations for only $5 for an LLC and $8.75 for a Corporation.

This should also in no way be confused with your annual report. You DO need to file an annual report with the Department of State, Division of Corporations (AKA Sunbiz), but these are two separate issues. Annual Reports can be filed online directly at www.Sunbiz.org or you can call us for help with the filing. THESE MUST BE SUBMITTED BY MAY 1ST TO AVOID A $400 LATE FEE.

As always, the team at Licenses, Etc. is here to help you in any way that we can. If you have any questions or need assistance, give us a call. We can help make sure that you don’t get scammed.

64 comments:

  1. Thanks for the heads up. I thought it looked funny, so I searched on the state's website and got it done there. Don't understand how the State allows this.

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    1. They know about it and are actively trying to stop them. Sometimes there are loopholes that make what people do "legal" while really it is not moral...

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    2. Thank you for this info. I got 2 notices. One looks Authentic as ever! Hard enough getting legal then someone wants something for nothing! Thank You

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    3. I think what helped me was that i got two forms on the same day, that sorta made me question what exactly was going on. I to just applied for my LLC, and all this came just after. I got two forms "F.C.F.S. FLORIDA CORPORATE FILING SERVICES, for $47.99 & F.S.C.C. FLORIDA STATE COMPLIANCE CENTER for $58.43.. After searching the web, and finding out about these scams, i thought about how my baseball bat would look against their knees!!

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    4. I also received two forms, from FCFS for $44.99, and Florida State Code Compliance for $47.00. Having received two very similar looking forms from different "agencies" and wondering why I had to pay twice, but slightly different amounts, I thought it was strange and looked it up.

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    5. For some reason this company has sent me a $2,700 check the check looks legitimate but I am very curious as to why anyone would give away this amount of money and now that I see the scam alert we are totally suspicious of the check is this a new form of scam they are trying to do now can anyone answer my question any help is greatly appreciated the check says Wells Fargo on the front and has the Wells Fargo logo with the address 6015 Washington Street Hollywood Florida it has a check number and looks to be a real check.

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    6. The $2,700 check is a new one we have not heard of yet either. I would be happy to take a look at it if you want to scan and send to us at Support@LicensesEtc.com. You can make attention to Lisa Adams.

      Thanks!

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  2. Thank you very much. This letter came in the mail and I was about to pay it. Thanks again for the heads up.

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  3. Thank you for confirming my feelings.

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  4. Just got that in the mail today. Thanks for the warning. Why doesn't FDLE do something about this scam?

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    1. I know that they do know about it and are trying to do something... I am not privy to what exactly that is. But on their home page they state:

      "CONSUMER ALERT: Once an entity is properly formed, incorporated, organized, or registered on the records of this office, it is not required to purchase or receive a certificate of status to be considered a valid business entity or registration. Please disregard any notices or solicitations you may receive to the contrary. These notices are NOT from the Dept. of State, Division of Corporations, or any other state or federal agency."

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  5. I received a letter today from F.S.C. claiming that my certificate of status will be processed by the Florida State Corporations (FSC). It appears suspicious because there is no telephone number provided and it notes you are to respond within 14 days. I looked up this name and found this site. Thank you for alerting me to this scam.

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  6. Got the notice from Florida State Corporation (what a name, huh?), thought it looked fishy and confirmed here. Many thanks!

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    1. Glad to hear that! No need to fall for those scams. :)

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  7. In this day and age this is a sad attempt to take advantage of hard working people. May the person who brainstormed and profitted this idea suffer for every cent they scammed!

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  8. Thank you! When starting a business, we already jump through many confusing hoops. Can I assume that the solicitations will keep on coming?

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    1. Oh yes. Unfortunately. There are all types of them that will come. As I always say, investigate before you pay!

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  9. Wow. I also thought this looked suspicious as we paid an attorney to do all our first-time filing/registration fees. Making a check out to Corporation Services Center just seemed strange and when I called the number there was no way to speak with a representative, so I decided to investigate. Thanks - and I think this should be passed on to the Attorney General if it hasn't been already.

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    1. Always smart to investigate! Glad you found our post. It has been turned over by the secretary of state to the attorney general, but I dont think they are technically doing anything illegal. Loopholes, ya know.

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    2. I got one last night and was somewhat confused as I paid for the certificate when I filed the paperwork with the State of Florida. Thank you so much Licenses, Etc. for confirming this. I just saved $68.72 because of this blog!

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  10. Thanks for this info. Thought this letter looked fishy but was a bit convincing at first.

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  11. I got three letters the same day requesting i immediately respond and send payment of 46.00 47.99 and 65.00 decided to look it up as it is quite fishy. Glad i found this, thank you.

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  12. I was about to pay it when I noticed in the lower right hand corner of the stub it says non-government agency. That made me suspicious. Thank you for posting this.

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  13. Scam still going strong. What is the matter with law enforcement?! Let them run the scam for a year before shutting them down....they still make more money then they are fined in the end. Still profitable to be a crook, so where is the disincentive?

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  14. Thank you sooooo much!! got my mail and I had 3 different ones and I was stressing on how this could of happen. something gave me to look it up and first link that popped up was you guys. you guys are awesome

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  15. I've received 3 of these letters. They look very official. Each one had a different dollar amount which raised a red flag for me. Plus, I paid the state for this when I set up my business and they emailed me my copy. I printed it out and used it to open my business bank account.

    Thanks for the heads up on this scam. I plan on calling my representative to express my feelings on these scam artist. This should be stopped right now.

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  16. Thanks so much for the heads up! Gotta love the internet.

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  17. same here guys, got 3 letters from 3 similar companies, with 3 different fees. looked weird so I check and of course its a scam. thank you very much !!

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  18. I received this and was looking up who best to report it to, to get someone arrested. BBB or FTC or somewhere else. Is there no point in this? Two minutes research has shown me that Corporate Filing Services Center - the company I'm supposed to make my check to - was formed by Cory Michael Zimmerman from Pembroke Pines in Florida just last month. I know he is 28 and I know where he is or was living. My check would have gone to an address that is a P.O. Box in a UPS Store in Miramar. If I found all this out in two minutes, can it be that hard for him to be stopped? Is there any point in reporting it, and if so which organization is best equipped to deal with it?

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  19. I received 3 of these types of requests all in the same day and all from separately named entities. One was from Florida State Corporations wanting $49.50, another was from Florida Corporate Filing Services wanting $47.99, and the last was from Corporate Filing Services Center wanting $68.72. As I received all of these in the same day and noticed all forms stated 'This firm is a non government corporations agency' I was immediately convinced it was a scam!

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  20. Thank God and you all I found this information! As all of you, I was about to paid the 3 fees this SCAM asks...I hope this corrupted persons be stopped!
    Thanks again for this blog.

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  21. Wow It's sad that now a days every time you turn around someone is trying to take advantage of you scam you I just recieved letter in mail today and I took picture of it n sent it to my sis she then in return sent me this link Thank God these people need to be stopped! !!!!

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  22. As Mary states, I just received 3 different letters from 3 different "companies' asking for the same. If it would have just one, maybe...but three. SCAM all the way around.
    Sunbiz should have an alert message on it website making consumers aware of this possibility. I bet there are lots of people who pay not thinking twice

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  23. I received three of these today, with different fees and addresses to send checks to. One has a pay online option with a phone number. Would love to scam them back.

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  24. Passed on to US Postal Inspectors and office of Fl attorney general. Lets see what my tax money will get done.

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  25. Thanks!!! Google and you guys saved me from this scam!! I just got off the phone with these crooks, I talked to them as if I was ready to pay then flipped it to I was a reporter for ch. 7 news! lol ....but on a serious note they need a better punishment not just a prank call. thanks again guys!

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  26. Too late. Now what can I do?

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  27. I received this letter today, the letter asks to "Please make your check or money order payable to: Corporate Filling Services Center". The amount is $68.72

    There is also an address on the letter for "Corporate Filling Services Center"
    14359 Miramar Parkway #123 Miramar, FL 33027-4134

    Someone please follow up with this scam, fill charges or open an investigation as I am sure people are people falling for this.

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  28. What if I paid it already? And then the very next day got 3 more letters and then I decided to contact our accountant. I guess I am waiting on nothing. Can I fight it now or am I going to get something out of this?

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    1. I am not sure. Did you pay via check? You could stop payment. If via credit card, you could make a complaint? There is a Consumer Alert notice at www.Sunbiz.org that can back you up... it is at the top of the page.

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  29. THANK YOU VERY MUCH this was VERY helpful information !!!

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  30. Got 2 "IMPORTANT" status request forms in one mail delevery, one from F.C.F.S the other from F.S.C, both showing the address on Monroe st in Tallahassee. What a scam.. Thank you for posting this very important informaion.

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  31. wow... I just logged online to pay these fees and couldn't seem to find the actual "Florida State Compliance Center" or "Florida Corporate Filing Services" websites. I've only gotten 2 invoices (so far) - $47.99 and $58.43. I almost actually filled in my credit card number and sent it back, but thank goodness that I found this site. I wonder how many people actually fall for this....I know I almost did!

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  32. Thank you! I too almost fell in the trap.

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  33. I had gotten two in the mail today. Since they were supposed to be for the same thing I googled and found out they were a scam. I'm afraid to say that if I had only received one letter in the mail instead of two, I probably would have paid it as I wouldn't have researched it.

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  34. Thank you very much for the information. I almost sent payment without really knowing what it was. Their logo is very decieving and the mension of Tallahassee. .... thanks again

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  35. Thanks for the heads up.... Just got this letter today.

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  36. Also got this letter today and almost paid it. Thank you! Hopefully more people will cross check the legitimacy of these documents.

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  37. Im going to send them $60 in MONOPOLY money...!

    what a group of IDIOTS.

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  38. Just received a letter from Florida Corporate Filing Services (FCFS), and something didn't seem right. Searched online and saw the scam alerts. Like the posting from January 13 states, the company is registered to Cory M Zimmerman of Pembroke Pines, who has several other similar companies registered under his name.

    Why doesn't the State just shut them down? I know, loopholes and buyer beware, but it's obvious that this jerk is committing fraud. Kharma is a bitch, though - after searching his name I get another website asking for DONATIONS to help pay medical bills for Cory, for injuries from an accident he had (looks like he never thought of getting health insurance with the proceeds from all the "filings" he did). I guess this Zimmerman family feels it is everyone else's obligation to pay for their lives and mistakes now - address that's on this website to send checks for him is the same as the registered addresses of these Corporate Filing companies: http://care4cory.com/why-donate.html.

    From the titles of his other companies (S.M.B.A. Holdings LLC, also known as Super Mega Bad Ass Holdings LLC - for real, look it up!) and after seeing that Donation website and the accident he was involved in (no doubt his own fault), I think he should open the next business called S.M.D.A. Holdings - for Super Mega Dumb Ass! Unfortunately, he's laughing all the way to the bank. Looks like the entire family has no shame.

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  39. I'm glad I found this website because I was also wondering if I should pay anything else and was suspicious because I got my certificate of status via email. Also didn't find a phone number to call. That was a red flag.

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  40. I think I found the guy who owns these con companies. And if it's the same person, he was involved in an almost fatal car accident and now his family has a "Care4Cory" facebook page and webpage where you can donate funds to him. If this is him, I am sorry to say that karma finally reared its head.

    I say EVERYONE should write the family to have them STOP this type of fraud. We are all hard working people, usually small business owners trying to make ends meet and this is immoral.

    See the FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Care4Cory/222351301286698

    Here is the donation page: http://www.care4cory.com/why-donate.html

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  41. Got my letter today direct from Tallahassee to pay $47.00. Your web site confirmed my suspicions. Thanks. Isn't there some way for elected folks to shut this stuff down??

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  42. I received a letter today from the "United Certificate Services, 113 South Monroe St., Tallahassee". It does list a 1-800-297-8410 number to call. I didn't try the number. It does say somewhere on the letter in fine print "This is not a government agency". Glad I checked first!

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  43. I received a "Reminder Notice" letter from the Florida Corporate Council 841 Prudential Drive 12th Floor Jacksonville, FL 32207. for a Corporate Certificate of Status that asked for $65 by June 30, $125 by July 30th and $150 by August $30. This place does not show up on a google search so I'm sure its a scam.

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  44. Got one from them today as i received confirmation that my llc had just been approved with the IRS. imagine how many new companies they scam like this. Its weird because of the way they stated my company's name. its not listed that way. This company is really good with pulling files from the sunbiz website. you guys saved me almost 50 bux thanks a lot.

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  45. Thank you! The letter seemed very shady and lacked clarity. The funny part is they say respond within 30 days to pay a $40 fee. After 30 days it would be $150. This is awful. It's 2 years later and they are still in business.

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  46. Here it is Feb. of 2016 and it is still going on... Only the price is now $68.42.... Inflation? I love the random amounts!
    Thank You

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  47. And now May 2016! I got mine in the mail today - yup - $68.42. Double ditto on all the thank-yous for the confirmation that this is a scam. I hope the state can shut them down. It is clearly deceptive.

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  48. 2016 CERTIFICATE OF STATUS REQUEST FORM

    Make checks payable to: C.F.S.
    Amount: $68.42

    This is really sad, i just received a letter in my mail box today,10/27/2016.......

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  49. Thank you for the confirmation. I knew this wasn't right

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