New Businesses beware!

I was so excited and on cloud 9 when I received that email from the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations saying that I had successfully filed for my LLC and that I was now a legitimate business owner. That happened on a Thursday. That Saturday (only two days later) I received my first mail item in the mailbox for my business.

“Wow”, I thought, “mail already.” I have to admit I felt a little tingle and sense of pride seeing my business name in print on that envelope. Then I opened it. It was a bill! It was an invoice with a due date for my Certificate of Status. There were even columns for late charges.

I had received my Certificate of Status in that email from the state (I paid extra for it). I thought maybe I just wasn’t finished with the process yet. I was getting ready to cut a check $58 and some change, but something didn’t feel quite right. I thought to myself “I paid extra already, and received the email copy”. So I took a closer look. In small print near the bottom was “Not a government agency” and “optional document” that raised a red flag.

So I looked up the name of the business that sent me the invoice on and saw that it was owned by an LLC that appeared to be a maid service. So I asked a friend who works with business accounts, she emailed me a link ( stating these are called Misleading Solicitations and the site warned against sending money for documents that you do not need to have. I scanned, and emailed this invoice to National Corp and they emailed back saying “... it’s a scam, we were not aware of this one in your state, thank you for letting us know”.

Well that same day I was going to cut that check I went to my mailbox and there were TWO MORE for the same document and different prices for the service.  They had the same “Not a government agency” and “optional document” on their invoices too.

So if you are starting a business and you have paid your Dept. of Corporations for your state and still receive a bill, look closely.  If it is not from a government agency (it can be hard to tell, all three of mine had some version of state seals on them) or if it says “Optional Document” it’s probably a scam. Check it out. You have spent and are going to spend a lot of money for your business, don’t spend it on something you don’t need.

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