Secure Business Filing prohibits business identity theft and business filings such as dissolution without your permission or knowledge. Colorado’s business entity laws were amended when the measures were enacted in 2022- SB22-034.This action puts restrictions in place so you can control who can submit filings or make changes on your behalf.
Establishing and Managing Secure Business Filing Accounts
Setting up a secured business filing account with the Colorado Secretary of State when you form your entity is critical to preventing business identity theft. You can still create a Secure Business Filing if you have an existing entity. If you have multiple businesses, you need to set up a separate account for each business. If you have a business and a trade name or trademark associated with your business, you need to set up an account for the business and each trade name or trademark.
What is business identity theft?
Business identity theft is also known as corporate or commercial identity theft. Criminals assume a business’s identity and good credit history by manipulating business records and credit agency data, then use that identity to get lines of credit with banks or retailers. With these lines of credit, identity thieves will purchase items that are easily resold. For more information, visit Protect Your Business. To help protect your business against identity theft, you can set up Secure Business Filing.
Two Main Types of Business Identity Theft
The Deputy Secretary of State, Christopher Beall, delivered a presentation in the Summer of 2022 identifying two types of Business Identity Theft:
“Hijacking” of existing legitimate registered businesses:
- Fraudsters make unauthorized changes to business information (entity name, business address, registered agent, etc.)
- Fraudsters usually choose older businesses that are delinquent or have been dissolved.
- Desirability stems from the entity’s length of existence.
Registration of new fraudulent businesses using a Colorado resident’s address or identity:
- A victim often receives strange mail or packages at their homes. In some cases, federal law enforcement agencies follow up with inquiries.
- A victim may also be notified by banks that it received a business loan application in the victim’s name.
What is Secure Business Filing?
Secure Business Filing provides optional password protection for your business record. Creating a Secure Business Filing account lets you control who can change your business records.
How does Secure Business Filing work?
Secure Business Filing is email and password protected. Once you have Secure Business Filing, documents can’t be filed without the correct email address and associated password.
Each business record will have its own Secure Business Filing account. For example, if you have two businesses, you need to set up a separate account for each business. Also, if you have a business and a trade name or trademark associated with your business, you need to set up an account for the business and an account for the trade name or trademark.
How will Secure Business Filing protect me?
Putting the protections in place prevents anyone who doesn’t have an account for your entity from filing a form online. When you set up a Secure Business Filing account, you will receive notice to your email address when a form has been filed on your record.
Secure Business Filing works best when you include more email addresses of trusted parties so that you are not locked out of your account. Other trusted parties to consider are:
- Your registered agent
- Your accountant
- Your lawyer
- You can also add yourself under another email address
Can I make changes to my Secure Business Filing account information?
Yes. Once logged in to your Secure Business Filing account, you can make any changes needed.
How long does it take to receive a PIN?
Because PIN letters go through the state’s mail system before USPS, they may take a week or longer to be delivered.
Why do I have to wait for a PIN to come in the mail?
The PIN goes to the principal office mailing address for the entity, and if the client wants it to be mailed somewhere else, they would need to file a Statement of Change to change the mailing address with CO SOS. Our office can file this change at the client’s request as well. They send the PIN to a physical address instead of electronically because it adds an additional layer of verification.
I need help securing my existing business records and creating a new entity.
We are ready to assist. The Corp1 office in Denver is a full-service corporate and UCC filing and retrieval service. We are fully aware and well-versed in all aspects of forming a business in Colorado. We have the knowledge and experience to assist you, including corporate housekeeping, such as filing your Colorado Periodic Report and complying with the Corporate Transparency Act, which takes effect in January 2024. Contact us to see how we can help you, and rest assured your business will be secure and compliant.
Resources: Special thanks to the FAQs on the Colorado Secretary of State website for this valuable information.