FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 7, 2013
SALEM – Secretary of State Kate Brown is warning Oregon companies to be on the alert for a mailing that deceptively looks like it is from the Oregon Corporation Division.
A number of businesses have reported receiving an official-looking invoice entitled, “Compliance Filings Center – Annual Minutes Compliance Notice.” The mailing requests detailed information about the business and a $150 “Certificate of Minutes” preparation fee. The invoice lists a return address of 4676 Commercial Street SE, #169, Salem, OR 97302.
An example of the scam is posted on the Secretary of State website.
Despite its appearance, this invoice was NOT sent by the Secretary of State’s Corporation Division and is not authorized by the State of Oregon. While the invoice contains references to Oregon business law, businesses receiving this mailing are advised that they can prepare annual minutes and corporate records themselves without paying this fee.
Secretary of State Brown recommends carefully reading solicitations to determine if they are actually from a government agency and require a response. Some deceptive solicitations from private organizations are difficult to distinguish from government correspondence at first glance. Only a careful reading reveals a disclaimer noting that the organization is not government affiliated.
The Oregon Business Corporations Act requirements for Annual Meetings and Corporate Records are available on the Corporation Division’s website at: www.FilingInOregon.com. Corporations needing legal advice on corporate records requirements should contact a licensed attorney.
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications
Oregon Secretary of State
SALEM – The Secretary of State, Corporation Division is the central filing office for financing statements and other documents provided under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC). The purpose of the UCC program is to create a public notice of records of debt, to establish priority of claim for the secured party in the event of a bankruptcy by the debtor.
Online UCC filing is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, which is important in a service where the first to file may lend a significant business advantage. Filing is immediate as compared to the 2-3 day processing time of a traditional paper filing.
“Making it easier to file UCC’s will benefit small business,” said Secretary of State Kate Brown. “Most UCC’s are filed to secure a loan made to a small business to reduce the risk for creditors. With lower risk small business can access credit more easily. This is just another example of how we are using technology to connect our customers with better services making life and doing business in Oregon easier.”
The availability of UCC records reduces the risk of creditors by establishing a security interest incurred by a debtor, so that priority of claim may be proved in case of bankruptcy or default; and by providing information on financing statements and liens to interested parties.
For more information on e-filing please visit: https://secure.sos.state.or.us/ucc/efiling/new
Peter Threlkel, Director of Secretary of State Corporation Division, speaks with KATU about the scam
Thank you to KATU news for helping us get the word out about a possible Business Registration scam in the Salem area.
Our Corporations office received more than 600 calls in the last week. Corporation Director Peter Threlkel spoke with reporter Kerry Tomlinson on Friday about our efforts to educate the public and our cooperation with the Department of Justice to help shut the down the scam.
For more information about the scam, read about the Corporate Regulatory Committee Annual Report scam and also Business Alert – Possible Deceptive Business Annual Report Notice Mailing on the Oregon Secretary of State site.
We often hear that government bureaucracy is slow to respond, difficult to deal with and frustratingly opaque. One of the major problems is that government agencies tend to be like silos; isolated and unable to effectively share information and contribute to improving the function of state government.
Back in September, we highlighted the Central Business Registry in light of our Corporation and Information Services Divisions being awarded a Digital Government Achievement Award in the Government-to-Business category. But aside from winning awards, we at the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office believe that the CBR is a tremendous example of how government agencies can create frameworks upon which they can build projects to share information and streamline their processes.
Currently, customers can log on to the CBR and complete registration with the Oregon Corporation Division, Employment Department, and the Department of Revenue. The next phase of development will bring the Department of Consumer and Business Services into the mix, further streamlining the process.
There are a couple of state agency functions, which could benefit from a Central Business Registry framework. The licensing process, for instance, could be dramatically improved by an online registry built on the same principles as the CBR. The usefulness of such a system would span across the licensing spectrum, helping construction contractors, health care professionals and especially convenience store , restaurant, taverns owners, all of whom have a vast array of licensing needs.
Making the process more fluid for customers is just one great benefit the CBR has produced. Another is the tremendous number of hours that are saved when customers use CBR. The Secretary of State saves approximately 400 hours a month, while the Department of Revenue boasts a savings of roughly 135 hours a month in processing time. These savings translate to improved services to the State’s business customers as well as savings to the agencies involved. In looking to future applications of a CBR framework, these kinds of savings could mean huge gains in productivity across State agencies.
We will be sure to highlight new developments in the CBR as they arrive.