W.Va. businesses should be aware of third-party providers soliciting Annual Report filing services

Charleston, W. Va. WV Secretary of State Mac Warner is issuing an important notice to West Virginia business owners regarding third-party solicitations to file 2022 Annual Reports on their behalf.

According to Secretary Warner, the solicitations have the appearance of an official notification from the State of West Virginia but are not in any manner reviewed, approved, or considered official government notices. 

Warner urges business owners to read the fine print in the solicitations. This year, some third-party providers are charging businesses more than 500% of the statutory $25 fee.

Warner encourages business owners to use free tools provided by the Secretary of State’s Office to avail themselves of the most convenient and least costly filing method directly with the Secretary of State’s Office at Business4.WV.gov.

“I can assure everyone that these third-party solicitations are not from my office and not from the state of West Virginia,” said Secretary Warner. “We have modernized the business registration process in West Virginia. Now, nearly 99% of all businesses file their Annual Report online. You do not have to hire an outside vendor to file your Annual Report.”

Businesses may contact the WV Secretary of State’s Business & Licensing Division at (304) 558-8000 for any assistance.

Importantly, the 2022 Annual Report filing period does NOT begin until January 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2023.

Secretary Warner encourages all business owners to be wary of any suspicious solicitations received by U.S. Mail or online requesting sensitive financial or personal information. He also advised to confirm that the vendor is properly registered to conduct business in the State of West Virginia prior to contracting for non-government services.

If any business receives a suspicious solicitation from a non-government entity, please take care to research the sender and confirm it is legitimate.

The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office also offers two fee waiver programs that will waive the cost of registration and the first four years of annual reporting fees on a new business. Incorporators under the age of 30 are eligible for the Young Entrepreneur Waiver. The Veteran Owned Business Waiver is also available for veterans, active-duty military members and military spouses. Learn more by visiting our website.

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