NEW BUSINESS SCAM ALERT

The Better Business Bureau is warning new business owners about a new scam that's making its way around the area.

After you start your new business and register it as an LLC, people are receiving a letter or email that appears to be from a government agency. The correspondence doesn't actually SAY that it's from the government, but it definitely is implied.

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HOW THE NEW BUSINESS SCAM WORKS

The message tells new business owners that they have 'One step left" before they can obtain their "Certificate of Existence." It costs anywhere from $80 to $120 and they will mail you the document.

What you need to know is, this is NOT a legal requirement. The letter may state in the fine print that the certificate is optional but it definitely gives the feeling that it is a legal requirement.

Businesses might actually want to obtain a Certificate of Existence, but it is NOT a required part of setting up a new company.

If you feel like you really need a Certificate of Existence, you can go to your state's website and purchase one directly from the state. The fees usually are around $10 for the certificate.

HOW TO KNOW WHEN IT'S A SCAM

Follow these steps to ensure you are not falling for business scams.

  • Know your state's business laws. You can check the Minnesota Government website.
  • Know that new business owners are targets for scams. Make sure you stay alert to the possibility of being targeted by scammers. Do your research before paying for any services or certificates that people are claiming you need to do business with. YOU DO NOT.
  • Make sure you keep an eye on the BBB's Scam Alert. You can actually sign up to get the latest alerts from the BBB.

 

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