Monday, May 6, 2024

Secretary Bellows Warns of Misleading Corporation and Non-Profit Solicitations

AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Shenna Bellows is warning Maine corporations and non-profits to watch out for a misleading solicitation they may have received in the mail which offer to file Beneficial Ownership Information Reports on their behalf, for a $175 or $195 fee.

“It is a sadly common tactic of scammers to create official-looking forms and urge immediate action, all so they can make a quick buck,” said Secretary Bellows. “I urge all business owners and non-profit executives to always pause when they receive something that looks suspicious, and know that the state’s Corporations Division is always a quick call or email away if they want to verify the legitimacy of a mailing.”

The Beneficial Ownership Information Reports are a new federal reporting requirement. There is no fee for submitting a Beneficial Ownership Information Report to FinCEN.

The federal Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) combats money laundering and terrorist financing. The CTA establishes a beneficial ownership reporting requirement for corporations, limited liability companies, and other similar entities created or registered to do business in the United States. The beneficial ownership information reports must be filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The reporting requirement applies to most business registered with the Maine Division of Corporations.

The misleading solicitation form is from an organization identified as C.P.S. and looks similar to other forms and solicitations, like a common misleading solicitation for corporations’ annual reports.

New businesses may be required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information Report with the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) within 90 calendar days of notice of the creation or registration of your business.

Businesses that were formed or registered prior to January 1, 2024, must file an initial beneficial ownership report by January 1, 2025.

Business owners and representatives may find more information, submit their electronic report, view informational videos and webinars, find answers to frequently asked questions, and connect to the contact center at

The press release from the U.S. Department of the Treasury titled “U.S. Beneficial Ownership Information Registry Now Accepting Reports” may be found at:

The state’s Corporations Division can be reached at or at 207-624-7736 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.