Utah businesses being hit with misleading fee request

Postman hands with letters view from inside mailbox, Credit: AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Division of Corporations and Commercial Code and Division of Consumer Protection have received reports that misleading letters are being sent to Utah businesses instructing owners to pay $150.00 for an annual records solicitation form to an entity with a government agency sounding name.

Organization demanding payment does not exist

The letter is addressed from a “Utah Council for Corporations” which does not exist in Utah and directs companies to a Salt Lake City address for payment. The mailer asks companies to update shareholders, directors and officers on a records form which is not sanctioned by the State of Utah.

“With Utah’s reputation as the best state for business, it is extremely concerning that a company would look to profit off those businesses who are supporting and growing our state economy,”Utah Department of Commerce Executive Director Francine Giani said.

The language in the letter, annual records solicitation form and on the printed payment envelope appears to be a government notice.  State regulators warn companies may assume that by submitting these forms and payment that this document will be filed with the Division of Corporations and Commercial Code which is untrue.

“This mailer is disingenuous.  The Division of Corporations and Commercial Code does not send out an annual records solicitation form.  If business owners are confused, they should contact our Division directly,” division Director Kathy Berg said.

What to do

While the “Utah Council for Corporations” may be offering an expensive nonessential service, most companies whether large or small can meet the annual filing requirements with the State of Utah on their own through nominal fees.

If a business has received this letter and has questions about their registration, they are asked to contact the Division of Corporations and Uniform Commercial Code at telephone 801-530-4849.

For information about a business registration or annual filing requirements, log onto the division’s website.

If a business has sent money to the “Utah Council for Corporations” and would like to file a complaint with the Division of Consumer Protection, an online form is available here.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

 

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