Scam Alert - Florida Corporate Filing Services

Another company, perhaps related to Florida Center of Corporations, is sending fraudulent forms that look as if they are from the Florida state government, alarming unsuspecting businesses into paying $47.99, $49.50 or $68.72 for a service they don’t need.

These forms are dressed up to look like they came from the state government and include:

* Commands like, “Important! Follow instructions exactly”
* Lots of meandering text that no one will read
* Prominent “Respond by” date
* “For official use”
* Citation of government statutes
* Hiding behind generic business names
* Concealed phone numbers and or email addresses

We ran into three of these notices all going to the same entity listing three different aliases or fictitious names: Corporate Filing Service Center, Florida Corporate Filing Services, & F.S.C.

What service is offered?

All forms are offering a “2014 Certificate of Status,” also known as a certificate of good standing.  Assuming this company fulfills what is being offered, they are simply obtaining a Certificate of Status from the Secretary of State, which costs only $8.75, and not the $47.99 through $68.72 being charged:  One heck of a hefty mark-up!  But, that is not what makes this a scam.

Why it’s a scam?

Even if this business is providing a service, the service is being offered under false pretense by making their forms confusing enough that they look like they must have come from the government.  They are designed to elicit a quick response from the business person, who doesn’t take the time to read, but senses an urgency to “Respond by” a certain date.  Therefore the target sends money that he or she wouldn’t if time was taken to read and understand what is being offered

Hidden in plain sight

Also hidden in plain sight are various disclaimers, which are still confusing such as, “This firm is a non government corporations agency,” whatever that means; or referring to the purported document needed as an “elective” Certificate of Status, implying it is your choice.

Who is/are the culprits?

Neither of the documents list an actual corporation, but both list fictitious names. We did the research for you:

From Notice #1
Fictitious Name: Florida Corporate Filing Services
Phone# on Notice: 850-659-3480
Address on Notice: 14359 Miramar Pkwy Ste #123, Miramar, FL 33027

Business that address: UPS Store
Filed w/ FL SOS on: 09/30/2013
Registration #: G13000096439

Owner: S.M.B.A. HOLDINGS LLC
FL Reg/Doc#: L13000097285
Address: 16293NW 15 St, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028
EIN: 46-3394585

Managing Member: CORY M ZIMMERMAN
Address: 16293NW 15 St, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028

From Notice #2
Company Name: Corporate Filing Services Center
Phone# on Notice: 202-239-8409
Address on Notice: 14359 Miramar Pkwy Ste #123, Miramar, FL 33027

Business that address: UPS Store
Filed w/ FL SOS on: 12/09/2013
Registration #: L13000169830
Filed as: Corporate Filing Services Center LLC
Address: 16293NW 15 St, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028

Managing Member:
CORY M ZIMMERMAN
Address:16293NW 15 St, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028

From Notice #3
Company Name: Florida State Corporations or F.S.C.
Phone# on Notice: 850-583-1459
Address on Notice: 113 S. Monroe St., 1st Floor, Tallahassee, FL 32301-1529
Email Address: [email protected]

Registration info:
Could not find any listing for either name

NOTE: This company name has the same address as our wonderful friends at the Florida Center of Corporations.

In all three cases, we recommend that you do not send money to them. If you wish to order a certificate of status, do so from the state or use a legitimate filing service like SmallBiZ Filings (www.smallbiz.com) who charges $10 plus state fees.

State Filing Fees & Maintenance Costs

Part of your consideration should be the state filing fees, along with the costs to maintain your entity in that state. Once again, select your state from the drop-down menu to read about both of these areas.

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