Scheme to get double dba renewal cost

A notice was mailed to the Upper Rogue Independent for renewal of our dba (doing business as). This is an important notice for businesses. To continue operating your business name you must renew your registration with the state and if you do not do so by the notice deadline, you cannot legally continue operating with that name. Someone else could register for it and obtain it.
    
We received a form asking we return it by Jan. 23, 2008 to allow them to have time "to allow adequate processing time" for our dba which expires Apr. 18, 2008. The form came from Assumed Business Name Renewal Service, Keizer, OR. And the fee was $100. I started to write the check but certainly did not remember a $100 fee nor did I note the Oregon logo or Secretary of State mentioned anywhere. And sending it to Keizer not Salem added to my suspicion.
   
A call was placed to the Secretary of State’s office and after listening to their menu I held on the line until a very helpful gentleman answered. He asked me to look at the small print just above the renewal form, where it says "This service has not been approved or endorsed by any government agency, and this offer is not being made by an agency of the government. The fee for this service is not required to be paid by or to any governmental agency." He said the Assumed Business Name Renewal Service keeps $50 and sends the state $50.
   
The reason they, the Renewal Service, wanted an early response was because they know the Secretary of State’s office will be sending dba forms in early March for an  April 18 expiration and then they won’t get their cut.
   
The gentleman said what they are doing is legal, although probably barely so. It sounds like a scam to us and we want businesses to be aware and not fall prey to such activity.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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