The attached mailing came to my office from Corporate Records Service in Lansing, Michigan. I had to read it several times to figure out that Corporate Records Service wants $125.00 to do absolutely nothing. You may have heard of TANSTAAFL – “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” This is the opposite, PFALTAT — “Pay for a lunch that ain’t there.”
The form looks official, but careful parsing of the document reveals that what Corporate Records Service does is take your information, send it back to you, and do nothing else. After some quotations from the statute establishing the unremarkable rule that corporations are supposed to keep records, is this statement:
Corporate Records Service is not a government agency and does not have or [sic] contract with any government agency to provide this service.
Although this form is designed to look as if it came from the government, including a Lansing address, Corporate Records Service is nothing more than a gaggle of gypsters offering to do nothing in return for $125.00. Even the “Please respond by August 28, 2013″ is totally meaningless. There is no deadline for keeping your corporate records.
Some unsuspecting small business operators will pay Corporate Records Service, thinking that this is a new requirement of the Corporations Bureau – Michigan government makes small businesses jump so many hurdles already that it is easy to assume that this is just one more way to discourage us. Some business operators who send in the form and pay will be led to believe that Corporate Records Service will submit the information to the Corporations Bureau to satisfy their annual reporting requirement. Only if they read to the very end of the “Instructions for Completing the Annual Corporate Records Form” do they find out that this is not the annual report the state requires.
If you are business operator and you receive this mailing, do not be fooled. There is no reason to send the information to Corporate Records Service and you will get no valuable service for your money if you pay them.
John B. Payne, Attorney
Garrison LawHouse, PC
Dearborn, Michigan 313.563.4900
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 800.220.7200
law-business.com ©2013 John B. Payne, Attorney