Rip-Off Alert: Avoid Third-Party Solicitations for Corporate Annual Registrations

Staff Report

Monday, December 5th, 2022

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is once again reminding Georgia business owners to protect their businesses from rip-off solicitations. Out-of-state entities are targeting Georgia business owners with mailers regarding their annual registration that make responses look required and do not include required disclaimers. These companies charge Georgia business owners significantly higher rates to complete their annual registration than required by Georgia law.

“Once again we’re seeing these mailers target hardworking Georgians,” said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “You can renew your corporate filing with one click and it only costs $50 or less. There is no need to spend $170 on something that isn't required. Our Corporations Division has helped make Georgia the best state to do business.”

The Secretary of State’s office has received complaints from the public regarding these mailers.

Passed in March of 2021, HB 153 required mailings that solicit Georgia businesses 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 “16 point Helvetica font at the top of and at least two inches apart from any other text… the words ‘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, 2023. 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. The cost to file the annual registration is $50 for corporations, limited partnerships, and LLCs, $30 for nonprofit corporations, and $25 for foreign (out-of-state) limited liability partnerships.

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 corporations@sos.ga.gov.