If you are the owner of an LLC or corporation, you’ve probably received a few letters that look like this.

The letters look very official and tell you that you need to file your annual periodic report for your entity with the Secretary of State. However if you read the fine print, you will see that these letters do NOT come from the Secretary of State; they come from a third-party that is offering to file your annual periodic report for you.

(The example in this post if for a Colorado entity; however there are similar letters sent out in other states that offer this unnecessary “service.”)

All of the information pre-filled on the report is from public records on the Secretary of State’s website. You typically do NOT need to use a third-party to file your annual report. In this example, the third-party service is charging a $75 fee, which includes the $10 Secretary of State fee. In Colorado, the annual report can easily be filed online through the Colorado Secretary of State website. So if you use these service, you are basically paying $65 for something that will probably take you more time and energy then just going to the Secretary of State website and filing the report yourself.

You can find instructions here on how to file your Colorado annual report yourself: https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/business/FAQs/reports.html

You can also sign up on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website to receive email notifications when your annual report is due.

If you receive this type of correspondence and need help determining if it is legitimate, you may want to consult with your attorney or tax professional.