A local business has recently reported receiving what appears to be a state-required form regarding sending Florida Corporation Annual Minutes along with a $125 fee to “Compliance Services” at a Tallahassee address. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has rated this entity (Compliance Services) as an “F.” The form and fee is not required by the state of Florida. Corporations are required to keep records of minutes, but there is no requirement to send them to the state, pay a fee, or send them to “Compliance Services.”
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office encourages businesses to not mail any information or send any money to “Compliance Services” in Tallahassee. See the below information from the BBB.
BBB warns of “Annual Minutes Requirement” scam targeting local businesses
Several states have already issued warnings against Compliance Services’ misleading mailings
Your BBB has received reports that misleading mailings from Compliance Services are showing up in mailboxes of businesses across northwest Florida. BBB Accredited Business Bullock-Tice Associates provided BBB a copy of the deceptive solicitation they received.
Compliance Services currently has an F rating from BBB. This rating means BBB strongly questions the company’s reliability for reasons such as that they have failed to respond to complaints, their advertising is grossly misleading, they are not in compliance with the law’s licensing or registration requirements, their complaints contain especially serious allegations or the company’s industry is known for its fraudulent business practices.
For a $125 fee, Compliance Services claims they will prepare documents “to satisfy the annual minutes requirement for your corporation.” However, when investigating similar scams, the Florida Attorney General has stated that while the statutes cited in these mailings do govern requirements for businesses to keep annual minutes, the statutes do not require that these minutes – not to mention the fee – be submitted to any outside entity including the Secretary of State’s Office.
Because of the misleading nature of the mailings, the states of North Carolina and Texas have both filed temporary restraining orders against Compliance Services and its principle officer Selwyn Monarch, alleging that the defendants “create the impression that the corporations have violated or are about to violate state law.” Included in the North Carolina Attorney General’s complaint are warnings from at least six other states (Ohio, Montana, Massachusetts, Indiana, Georgia and Colorado) about deceptive mailings from Compliance Services and other similarly-named solicitations.
Any business owner who believes he has been a victim of this scam should call the Florida Attorney General’s Fraud Hotline at 866.9.NO.SCAM.
For additional information and advice you can trust as a business owner, start with bbb.org.
BBB link: http://nwfl.bbb.org/article/bbb-warns-of-annual-minutes-requirement-scam-targeting-local-businesses-19093