Three companies targeting Florida small businesses have been shut down by the Florida Attorney General’s office.­ These companies are United Business Services, United Certificate Services and Corporate Filing Services of Florida, and they have been scamming Florida businesses into purchasing unnecessary annual minutes, employment posters and business certificates.­ These three companies are not affiliated with our company, Florida United Businesses Association (FUBA), or with our sister company, Florida United Business Services (FUBS). Neither FUBA nor FUBS mails solicitations to the general public. FUBA and FUBS only send mail to businesses that are already members of Florida United Businesses Association and to businesses that have initiated contact with Florida United Business Services looking for assistance in filing business-related forms with the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations.

According to the Attorney General, one of the scams operated through United Business Services targeted newly registered businesses by soliciting payments for certificates of status. The Florida Division of Corporations sells certificates of status for $8.75 for corporations and $5 for LLCs. The certificates are optional and have no bearing on a business’s official status with the state; however UBS sent solicitations giving the impression that the certificates were mandatory and requesting payments between $47 and $53 per certificate.

Another scam, operated through Corporate Filing Services of Florida, involved soliciting payments of $125 for annual minutes. The solicitations misled victims into believing annual minutes were the same as an annual report, which businesses are required to file with the state.

The final scam also operated through Corporate Filing Services of Florida, involved soliciting payment of $105 for Employee Law Posters. These posters are available at no charge from the United States Department of Labor’s website or various other locations.

The Attorney General’s office is seeking restitution for the businesses harmed by these unfair and deceptive trade practices. The Attorney General’s Office is still gathering information about the scope of theses scams. Anyone who believes they were a victim of these scams or any other unfair or deceptive trade practices should call (866) 9NO-SCAM.