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PA Certificate of Good Standing Scam

February 25, 2020

By Raymond M. Roberts, Esquire

Rothman Gordon has been made aware of 2020 Certificate of Good Standing Request Forms that are targeting recently registered Pennsylvania businesses from a bogus company calling itself “PA Certificate Service.” (Please see attached sample). The form implies that the business has “one step left” to complete its formation and that it needs “to attain [its] elective Certificate of Good Standing” through “PA Certificate Service,” by paying $87.25 to the company to procure the certificate. Companies are informed that they may need the certificate for loans, renewing business licenses, or for tax or other business purposes.

This is a partial SCAM. There is no company registered to do business in Pennsylvania by the name of “PA Certificate Services.” The address used by this company is that of a UPS store located in Harrisburg and the phone number on the mailing (1-855-211-9705) goes to a call center located outside of Pennsylvania.

The mailing contains some incorrect and overbroad information. The Pennsylvania Department of State does not issue “Certificates of Good Standing.” Instead, Pennsylvania law permits “Subsistence Certificates” to be issued to domestic filing associations and “Certificates of Registration” for a registered foreign association. The cost of such certificates obtained directly from the Department of State is $40 and they are generally available by email within two hours of ordering online.

While a proof of registration with the Department of State (such as certified copies of filed documents or a Subsistence Certificate) may be required for legitimate business purposes such as loans or renewing business licenses, typically the lender or regulator requires that the copies or certificates are obtained close in time to when they are needed.  If you receive a request from PA Certificate Service, please discard it. Should you have questions about this or any other solicitation, contact your lawyer before making any payments – we’re here to help!

 Source: PA Department of State

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