Secretary of State Trey Hargate is warning business owners in Tennessee to be aware of a scam that has emerged yet again targeting businesses using a misleading mailer from a company called Existence Filing Co.
“Our Business and Charities Department has recently received several complaints from business owners about this misleading mailer,” said Minister Hargate. “We have seen scams like this in the past using similarly misleading language, meaning a business must have a certificate of existence in our state. That’s just not the case. Business owners don’t need to waste their hard-earned money on a document that may not be required or costs as little as $20 through our office.
Businesses across the state have received a misleading mailer titled 2022 Certificate of Existence Request, which claims that all Tennessee businesses are requiring this third-party company to step in and complete the certificate of existence documentation on behalf of the businesses. There is a fee of $175.50 for this.
The mailer also reveals that the 2022 certificate of existence is part of the business entity registration process: “The certificate of existence certifies that your business exists in Tennessee, is authorized to conduct business in the state, and meets all state requirements it does.”
The shipper and organization are in no way affiliated with or authorized by the Office of the Secretary of State.
Under certain circumstances, companies may wish to obtain a certificate of existence, e.g. B. when taking out a loan or other business transaction. However, they are certainly not obliged to do so as part of the founding process.
A certificate of existence can be obtained directly from the Secretary of State’s office for as little as $20, either by phone, mail, or online. tnbear.tn.gov/Ecommerce/CertOfExistenceInstr.aspx,
Secretary Hargate encourages business owners to call the Division of Business and Charitable Organizations at 615-741-2286 or email [email protected] If they receive a suspicious mailer or want to learn more about obtaining a certificate of existence.