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Secretary of State Lawson warns businesses of deceptive letters

Secretary of State Connie Lawson has announced that some Indiana businesses have received a deceptive letter that may appear to come from the office’s Business Services Division. There are two letters attempting to solicit Indiana business owners and they are not dispatched by or from the Secretary of State’s Office.

    One letter solicits a $125 annual fee and states that it will be used for record-keeping purposes and processing of a company’s annual minutes. This letter cites state law at the beginning of the document and says it originates from Indiana Council for Corporations, which could be confused as a government agency. The return address on the letter seeking a $125 fee references a box in Speedway.

    The other letter shares many of these characteristics, but asks for a $150 fee and originates from the Division of Corporate Services. This letter has a return address in Zionsville, Ind.

    “Similar letters have been sent to Hoosier business owners in the past couple of years,” stated Secretary Lawson. “Earlier this year, letters were sent during tax season when people were busy and may not have had time to read each document they received. Now they may be targeting businesses during the end of the fiscal year when companies are once again busy. I urge everyone to use caution and to be on the lookout for these letters.”

    Secretary Lawson is concerned businesses may be confused by the letter and may believe responding to it substitutes the need for filing a business entity report, which is legitimately required by state law. The Secretary of State’s office no longer sends report filing notices to Hoosier businesses by mail. Businesses operating in Indiana can securely perform this reporting online through the Secretary of State's website at www.in.gov/sos/business.

    Businesses wishing to check the validity of any mailing from Indiana's Business Services Division or any division of the Office of the Indiana Secretary of State should call the Business Services Division Help Line at (317) 232-6576.

    Secretary Lawson has referred these latest letters distributed in Indiana over to Attorney General Greg Zoeller.