Charleston, W.Va. — Secretary of State Mac Warner announces an agreement for an out-of-state business consulting company to return fees to more than 2,000 West Virginia businesses.
Secretary Warner is pleased with the outcome of lengthy negotiations with the service provider. Warner said, “It has never been easier to file reports with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office. I am very pleased that the affected businesses will get their payment for services back and have a second chance to reconsider the services provided by the third party in filing their annual report. It is important for these businesses to know that the annual report still needs to be filed to stay in compliance with West Virginia laws.”
In late 2018, thousands of official-looking solicitations were mailed to West Virginia businesses offering to file the businesses’ annual reports for a fee of $100. The company, ANS Inc. (d/b/a/ Workplace Compliance Services), obtained an exemption certificate for a foreign corporation. However, only the unregistered tradename appeared on the forms and the forms lacked the required disclaimer language. As a result, many businesses reported that they were misled into thinking the forms and extra costs were provided by the state.
After investigating concerns raised by business owners around the state, Secretary Warner issued a cease and desist order against the company. The company quickly responded and engaged in negotiations to mitigate the deficiencies. Negotiated by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s Office, ANS Inc. agreed to send full refunds and an updated form to every West Virginia business that paid the $100 filing fee to Workplace Compliance Services but whose annual reports have yet to be filed. For businesses whose annual reports have already been filed by ANS Inc., fees for those services will not be refunded.
The law requires every organization engaged in business or charitable work in West Virginia to file an annual report with the Secretary of State’s Office by July 1, 2019. Any business can complete the easy-to-follow process on the Secretary of State’s website in a matter of minutes and for a total cost of $26 ($25 annual report fee + $1 online filing).
Most importantly, for all businesses that receive this refund check from ANS Inc. (d/b/a Workplace Compliance Services), their annual report HAS NOT been filed. Therefore, those businesses must either file their annual report themselves, or otherwise engage a business services consulting company for this service before the filing deadline on July 1, 2019.
Business owners can file:
Online directly with the Secretary of State’s Office;
By submitting the annual report in-person or via mail;
By using a registered business services company to file on their behalf.
Annual reports must be filed by the deadline to avoid late fees and penalties.
ANS Inc. (d/b/a Workplace Compliance Services) is now properly registered to operate in West Virginia. Any business that wants to use their annual report filing services, or any other business services consulting company, may do so by filling out the proper form(s) offered by those companies.
If a business would like more information about the refund or the status of their annual report, they should contact ANS Inc.’s attorney, Alex Macia, at email@example.com.
Note: If you would like to stop receiving email notices and releases from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office please notify Erin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.