Today we received in the mail about 30 envelopes from Arizona Business Filing Services. The envelopes contained an official looking document entitled “2014 Certificate of Good Standing Request Form.” The document suggests that the brand new Arizona LLC should pay ABFS $59.99 to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing for the new LLC. As soon as I saw the document I knew it was a scam. Here are some tell tale signs that the letter should be ignored:
- It starts with IMPORTANT!
- It states “Your Articles of Formation have been filed with the Secretary of State of Arizona.” Arizona LLC’s don’t file Articles of Formation with the Secretary of State. Arizona LLCs file Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
- The cost for the Certificate of Good Standing is $59.99, but anybody can obtain a COGS from the Arizona Corporation Commission for $10.
FYI: We never get a Certificate of Good Standing for LLCs we form. Your LLC does not need a COGS unless some party like a bank or title insurance company asks for it. When somebody does demand a COGS the requestor wants a current document, not one obtained two years before the request for the COGS.
The following is the text of a June 9, 2014, press release from the Arizona Corporation Commission concerning the Arizona Business Filing Services COGS letter:
Corporation Commission Warns Business Owners of
False Service Claiming to Offer “Official” Documents
PHOENIX — The Arizona Corporation Commission is warning business owners that an individual or group calling itself “Arizona Business Filing Services” is sending out an official – looking document offering to provide an “Arizona Certificate of Good Standing” for a fee of $59.99. This entity is not affiliated with the Corporation Commission, and business owners do not need to go through any third party to obtain their Certificate. Further, the Commission cannot guarantee the authenticity of such a document.
Valid Certificates of Good Standing can only be obtained directly from the Corporation Commission. The entity status can be viewed online, or a hard – copy certificate of good standing can be obtained by corporations and limited liability companies immediately online for a fee of $45, or by mail, for a fee of $10 (regular processing time).
The Commission has referred this false advertisement to the Attorney General’s office for investigation. I f you have received it, please contact the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at (602) 542-5763, in Tucson at (520) 628-6504, or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1 (800) 352-8431. To file a complaint online, please visit the Attorney General’s web site at www.azag.gov. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General’s Office has 37 satellite offices throughout Arizona with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours are posted on the Attorney General’s web site .