Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is warning Georgia business owners about misleading mailers regarding annual corporate registration filings:
The soliciting company charges Georgia corporations a significantly higher rate to complete their corporate registration filings than Georgia law requires. These mailings do not include solicitation notifications as currently required by Georgia law.
“Every year, these misleading mailers take advantage of hard-working small-businessmen and entrepreneurs,” Raffensperger said. “I will always fight to protect small businesses in Georgia. I encourage Georgia’s business owners to renew their registrations quickly and cheaply through the Secretary of State’s website, rather than paying unnecessary and expensive fees through a deceptive third-party mailer.”
The Secretary of State’s office has recently received complaints from Georgians about mail solicitations from a company charging significantly more than the cost of annual registration to renew a company’s corporate registration for the coming year.
Passed in March of 2021, HB 153 required mailings that solicit Georgia corporations to renew their corporate registrations through a third party rather than directly with the Secretary of State’s office include clear language identifying the sender as a nongovernment entity. Such mailings are required to include in “16 point Helvetica font at the top of and at least two inches apart from any other text… ‘THIS IS A SOLICITATION. THIS IS NOT A BILL OR OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT AND HAS NOT BEEN SENT BY THE GEORGIA SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE.’”
Georgia businesses who need to renew their registrations this year must do so between January 1 and April 1, 2022. As a result of legislation passed by Secretary Raffensperger when he was in the legislature and implemented as Secretary of State, Georgia businesses can also renew their registrations for 3 years at a time.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please reach out to the Office of the Secretary of State, Corporations Division at 844-753-7825 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.