COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is warning business owners to watch for misleading letters.
Business owners have been receiving deceptive letters from a company about acquiring a Certificate of Good Standing for a marked-up price according to LaRose.
The letters imply businesses need to pay $67.50 to “OH Certificate Service” for a Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State’s Office.
LaRose said a standard certificate is provided by the Secretary of State’s office and would only cost $5. While this certificate is not required for business owners, it does show a business is properly registered and authorized to do business in Ohio.
In response to the incident, Secretary LaRose sent out official letters to new businesses to inform them on how to acquire a certificate.
Secretary LaRose is also working with the Ohio General Assembly to explore legislation to require any company trying to sell the certificate, to include text to inform that they are available at the Secretary of State’s office for $5.
Additionally, he is referring this case to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Ron O’Brien to investigate whether this incident constitutes any legal wrongdoing.