Beware of Misleading Certificate of Existence Letter for new WA State LLCs

There is a scam happening in WA state where new LLCs and businesses are being targeted. So much so that the WA Secretary of State has a warning for it.

If you have recently created a LLC in the state of Washington, its likely you would have received a notice in your mail to get a certificate of existence. The letter looks super official, so much so that my friend who received it thought it was a Government notice. The certificate is sent by

WA Certificate Service, 1420 Marvin Road NE, Suite C – #348, Lacer, WA 98516. I am attaching a copy of the notice you receive in the mail with the fake deadline as well.

The notice from WA Certificate Service is very official looking but demands $82.50 for this service. This certificate is routinely available for only $20 from the state and is needed only in limited circumstances.

My friend was super confused about this extra fee and a little bit of research guided me to the page here on the secretary of state’s page. It seems like this company is scraping new business data and then sending them this letter which almost looks like a demand letter asking to pay $82.50. It has a deadline just to make it look like its a fee that must be paid. It is likely thousands of people are falling victim to this notice thinking its another required fee to be paid.

The notice on the SoS site states:

If you receive one of these letters for a Certificate of Status order, please do your research. If you have any questions about ordering an actual Certificate of Existence feel free to contact our office at 360-725-0377, by email corps@sos.wa.gov, or by visiting the contact us link from our website www.sos.wa.gov/corps

If you received this notice, we recommend you trash it and report it to the SoS.

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