Business Alerts

​We often hear from business owners concerned about receiving offers and solicitatio​ns that are confusing, deceptive, suspicious or even fraudulent. Below are examples reported to us:

Annual Report Solicitation

​​​​​​​​Many Oregon businesses report receiving a questionable solicitation entitled "2023 - Annual Report Instruction Form" or “State Annual Report Renewal Notice.”  These forms, sent by a couple of out-of-state companies "Workplace Compliance Services" also known as W.C.S. or C.P.S. and “Business Compliance Services” can be easily mistaken for correspondence from the State of Oregon. It is not.

Despite their appearance, the Annual Report Instruction Form​ or the Annual Report Compliance​ were not sent by the Secretary of State Corporation Division.

If you would like to see if your annual report is due to be filed with our office, please visit​.

Report any payments made to one of these solicitations to the Department of Justice by filing a complaint online at​.

If you were misled into paying the additional fee, visit our Don't Be Misled​ page for more information.


Safety Manual Solicitation

​​Be aware of solicitations offering to provide services for a fee. C.P.S., a third-party private business offers an OSHA safety manual for a fee of $295. You can obtain the manual from the OSHA website free of charge. Please visit their website​ for more information.​ Speak directly with Oregon OSHA's Consulting Services​ for free and confidential help.

Employment Poster Scam

​​ Employment poster scams are a frequent concern for many business owners. Required employment posters are generally free. You can download most directly from government agency websites. ​

A typical employment or labor poster solicitation cites state and federal requirements to post labor posters and notices at job sites as well as penalties for non-compliance. These companies offer to provide all the required posters for $105 or more. These offers are scams.
For examples of scam solicitations:
Visit the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries​ (BOLI) for information on employer poster requirements and instructions for downloading and ordering employer compliance posters. ​​​​

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

​​​​The Oregon Employment Department issued a fraud alert​ for people applying for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and other benefits. Please be aware of any phishing or spoofing attempts from scammers claiming to be from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). These fraudulent attempts can be made through email, text message, or phone. U.S. DOL will never ask you to provide personal information.​ If you would like to report an allegation of fraud involving unemployment insurance or other U.S. Department of Labor activities or programs, please contact the OIG Hotline at: or 202-693-6999 or 1-800-347-3756.

Misleading Solicitation – Applying for an EIN

​​Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)​​ is a free service offered by the Internal Revenue Service. Beware of websites on the Internet that charge for this free service.

Using a site other than​ to apply for an EIN may result in fees as much as $250. These companies won’t refund payments made to them, so it is important that you remain vigilant regarding the site that you use to apply.

Certificate of Standing Solicitation

​​Oregon businesses have reported receiving a lett​er from OR Certificate Services offering a certificate of standing/existence. Although the letter might appear to be from a government agency​​, it's not. A certificate of existence may be obtained directly from the Corporation Division for a fee of $10. The order form can be found at:​.

OR Certificate Services charges a fee of $77.25. The Secretary of State Corporation Division provides certificates of existence for $10.00 each. Please visit our certificate page​ and complete a request form if you need a certificate of existence.​ ​​​​​​

Report any payments made to one of these solicitations to the Department of Justice by filing a complaint online at​.

Misleading Business Registration Website

​Secures Business Registration offers to "register your business" for $35. They are actually offering to obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number) and not registering your business name. You can obtain your EIN free of charge by visiting​.​

Tax Related Identity Theft

In 2018 the IRS announced a sca​m that's impacting employers and payroll companies. ID thieves sent an email to the human resources person within a company, pretending to be the CEO or another executive. They ask the Human Resources employee to send them the W-2s. However, the information is NOT going to the company CEO, it's going to an identity thief who uses names and social security numbers to file fraudulent returns.​​​​

Protect yourself from identity theft. Visit the Internal Revenue Service website to learn about taxpayer identity theft.

Find informat​ion and resources to protect your business from identity theft​.


Secondhand Precious Metals Dealers

On January 1, 2013, Oregon implemented a law regulating precious metal secondhand dealers (ORS 646A.064-068​​). Be aware that precious metal secondhand dealers who solicit, receive, purchase, trade or accept delivery of items of precious metal from individuals in return for money or other consideration are required to follow state law.

Assumed Business Name Renewal Service Scam

We received reports of a solicitation from a company called Assumed Business Name Renewal Service perceived by many Oregon businesses to be confusing, deceptive or a scam. This solicitation warns of pending assumed business name expiration, cites Oregon law, and offers to prepare and file all necessary documents to renew the business name with the Secretary of State Corporation Division for a fee of $100.

If you paid this company to perform the renewal service for you and they failed to complete the renewal with the Corporation Division, you should contact the Oregon Department of Justice, Financial Fraud and Consumer Protection Section.

Corporate Regulatory Committee Annual Report Scam

We had reports of a solicitation from a company called Corporate Regulatory Committee that many Oregon businesses report to be "confusing," “deceptive” or “a scam.”​

This solicitation cites Oregon Law, warns of potential administrative dissolution if action is not taken by a specified date, and offers to file the renewal with the Secretary of State Corporation Division (for a fee of $238) as the business’ agent. In one example, the solicitation requested fees and a response from the business a full year before the annual report was required to be filed.

If you paid this company to file your annual report with the Secretary of State Corporation Division, you should contact the Oregon Department of Justice, Financial Fraud and Consumer Protection Section​.


Inactive Business/OLCC scam

​​​A scammer sent threatening letters to businesses in the bar and restaurant industry. The scammer demanded money in exchange for not filing complaints with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), claiming the business’s failure to keep government paperwork up-to-date threatened its status with the OLCC.

Any businesses receiving this type of threatening letter should contact:
  1. Their local police department to file a criminal complaint.
  2. The OLCC at 800-452-6522 (if licensed to sell alcohol) and
  3. The Corporation Division​ at 503-986-2200 for assistance updating and renewing business registrations.
Our office can help a business register a new assumed business name (dba) or trade name, change a legal business name, and reinstate a dissolved corporate registration in some situations. See Answers to Business Registration Questions (FAQ) for more information.

Updating license information with the OLCC is a simple procedure. Complete the OLCC change of information form

National Business Registration Solicitation

A known scam is from a company called the National Business Registration. The company sends businesses a "final notice" telling the owner, "Since the introduction of the Patriot Act of 2001 all businesses are required to register with the National Corporation Registry." This is false information. There is no requirement to register a business through a national corporate registry, and the federal government doesn't operate a national corporate registry.

The notice also instructs businesses to pay a $487 fee within 14 days of receipt or else they will be "administratively dissolved/revoked and an additional fee will be due if the entity is removed from our database due to nonpayment."

Scam Email:

​Scam email appears to be from a Oregon Department of Small Business Services Certification Unit. Do not click the link. Read more …”​ ​​



Oregon warns small business owners of fake state fee demand notice from Workplace Compliance Services (2018).​​​​ ​​

We Are Here to Help

Please call us at 503-986-2200, or email​​​​

Oregon Department of Justice Links