Scheme Targets Small Business Owners

by BBB Staff | Mar 4, 2019 12:16:28 PM

With all the demands that come with running a small business, having someone else file regulatory paperwork for you might sound enticing to some, but watch out.

Better Business Bureau Northwest + Pacific and the Oregon Secretary of State (SOS) are alerting
Oregon business owners to disregard mailings from Workplace Compliance Services. Recently, BBB and the SOS have learned that Workplace Compliance Services are contacting business owners and instructing them to file an annual report for $185.

In its warning, the SOS noted they’ve received reports from business owners detailing, “questionable
solicitation entitled ‘2019 Annual Report Instruction Form.’” The SOS noted that the forms, “can be easily mistaken.”

“Despite their appearance, the Annual Report Instruction Form or the State Annual Report Renewal Notice were not sent by the Secretary of State Corporation Division,” the office noted.

This is not the first time Workplace Compliance Services has garnered the attention of consumer
protection agencies. In 2018, the same company sent official-looking notices to business owners requesting they pay $175 to register with the Secretary of State’s Office. Of that, $100 was the state registration fee and $75 was deemed the fee for Workplace Compliance Services to file the form.  

Workplace Compliance Services operates under the guise that they will handle regulatory paperwork for business owners, for a fee. While business owners do have to pay a business registration fee to the state of Oregon, there is no processing fee and filing only takes a few minutes, negating the need of a compliance firm, according to state officials. The same is true for annual reports and the Secretary of State office has told business owners to check its website to verify that their annual report is due.  

Workplace Compliance Services appears to have an address in Salem.

BBB NW+P offers these tips:

  • Never take mail or email from a seemingly-familiar source at face value. Examine the sender’s information and address closely to ensure it is legitimate.
  • Do not send checks or money-orders to organizations you are not familiar with or have not spoken to in the past. There is no guarantee you can get that money back if you later find out it was
    a scam.
  • Be careful where you post your business information and personally identifiable information. Only post what is necessary for consumers to locate your business or what is required by state
    law.

Customers who received mailings from Workplace Compliance Services are urged to file a
report at www.bbb.org/scamtracker.

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