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File Your 2020 Annual Report – But Watch For These 3 Scams

By Phillip B. Rarick, Esq.,  Miami Lakes and Weston Estate Planning Attorney

On any other year the Florida Corporate Annual Reports would be due May 1. However, the Governor has signed an order extending the deadline to June 30, 2020.

If you have an interest in a Florida LLC, corporation, professional association, or partnership and have not filed your 2020 annual report be sure to do so prior to June 30. Otherwise the state will charge you a $400 late fee if you miss this deadline.

The official Florida web site  at www.sunbiz.org has “Consumer Notices”  to alert you to bogus web sites that try to scam persons who file these reports.

How To Safely File

The legitimate email notice will state that it is from the Florida Department of State; Subject:  Official 2020 Annual Report Notice for: [Name of your corporate entity].

This notice will give you instructions on how to file on line at www.sunbiz.org where you will find a banner that states, “’Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations”.

Florida Department of State  fees for the annual registration of corporate entities are:

  • Limited liability company:  $138.75
  • Corporation:  $150.00
  • Limited Partnership:  $500 

Watch For These 3 Scams

Scam #1:  F.C.F.S. – Florida Corporate Filing Services.   This outfit sends you a notice in the mail that looks like they are official certificates from the State of Florida with a Tallahassee address and will request about $47 for a Certificate of Status.    In another scam they may request $125 for filing corporate minutes.  People are tricked into thinking such documents are required by the State – they are not.

Scam #2: Corporate Filing Services Center.  This group requests about $68 for a certificate of status – again, not required by the State.  

Scam #3:  C.F.S – Certificate Filing Service.    This gang has exceptionally impressive and official looking paper that resembles the quality paper of a birth certificate.  They will request about $49 for a certificate of status.  This is NOT required by the State. 

Note: The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) now has the statutory duty and responsibility to investigate potential scams and fine violators under the new “Government Impostor and Deceptive Advertisement Act” (GIDAA).   For more information, see section 817.417, F.S. or visit the FDACS’s Division of Consumer Services. 

Good Time To Review Your Corporate Records – and Update Them

This is a good time to conduct an annual review of your LLC, corporation or limited partnership.

We have prepared a 10 Point Checklist to assist you.  To get this list click here:   10 Point Checklist For Florida Corporate Entities

It may be advisable to make an appointment with our office to ensure your corporate  minutes are properly prepared, are up to date, and accurately reflect key issues, such as who are the controlling officers, who are the owners, and what shares or units does each owner hold.

To schedule an appointment, call Christy at (305) 556-5209 or email at cmedina@raricklaw.com.

Special Note

The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced Miami asset protection attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.

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