WV Secretary of State Mac Warner is issuing an important notice to West Virginia business owners regarding third-party solicitations to file 2024 Annual Reports on their behalf.
According to Secretary Warner, the solicitations have the appearance of an official government form, but are not government approved, reviewed, or official notices in any manner. These are advertisements.
Warner urges business owners to read the fine print in the solicitations. Third-party providers have been reported to charge businesses more than 500% of the statutory $25 fee and often advertise the wrong deadline for state compliance.
Business owners can use free tools provided by the Secretary of State’s Office to avail themselves of the most convenient and least costly filing method directly 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 Division at (304) 558-8000 for any assistance.
Importantly, the 2024 Annual Report filing period does NOT begin until January 1, 2024 and ends June 30, 2024.
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 WV Secretary of State’s Office also offers two fee-waiver programs for individuals that qualify and are registering an LLC or Corporation. Individuals under the age of 30 are eligible for the Young Entrepreneur Waiver, which waives the initial registration fee for their business. The Veteran Owned Business Waiver covers registration costs and waives the first four years of filing fees for veterans, active-duty military, and military spouses.