The Montana Secretary of State’s Office is charged with registering businesses that intend to transact business in Montana. Once a business entity has filed all the required documents with our office, it is granted a status of “Good Standing.” However, the “Good Standing” status means only that the business entity has filed all required documents in order to be authorized to transact business in Montana. The Secretary of State’s Office does not inquire or investigate as to the integrity of a business registered with our office.
Individuals wishing to investigate or make further inquiry regarding the integrity of a certain business may wish to contact the Better Business Bureau. Information regarding consumer complaints can be obtained from the Montana Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection. Scams pertaining to insurance in Montana are reviewed by the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance.
3/13/13 (Helena, MT) The Montana Department of Labor and Industry is warning employers of a second scam targeting Montana employers. The Department has taken calls from employers who have received a letter allegedly from the Department of Labor requesting banking information noting that automatic withdrawals begin March 1, 2013. Neither the US Department of Labor, or the Montana Department of Labor and Industry's Unemployment Insurance Division have sent any letters out to employers asking for their banking information.
"This is the third time in less than six months that a scam asking for information has targeted Montana businesses. What makes this even more frustrating is the scammers are posing as the Department of Labor, and employers naturally want to comply with the information request", said Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy.
Scam Involving “Annual Minutes Records Form.” Mailings designed to look like official notices from state government or private businesses are circulating the nation with a request for businesses to pay a fee to complete a “Minutes Records Form.”
Montana law does not require corporations to file a “Minutes Records Form” or pay any fee associated with completing the form. If you receive one of these phony mailings, or have a question about a request for payment that you have received, please contact our office immediately at (406) 444-2034.
- Business Identity Theft Resource Center: Information to prevent identity theft
- BBB’s Naming Names: A monthly newsletter regarding business complaints.
- “How to Smell a Rat”: Commissioner of Securities and Insurance
- Consumer Alerts: Montana’s Attorney General
- Fighting Back Against Identity Theft: Federal Trade Commission
Several states have recently experienced a problem with individuals falsifying business certificates issued by the Secretary of State offices. This fraud has not been seen in Montana but consumers should be aware of this problem.
Be aware of government look-alike mail. Businesses are a known target of schemes that include official-looking mailing with requests for payment. It is good practice to read the fine print on every form and to verify all payment requests with the associated agency. If you have any questions about the legitimacy of a mailing or form, please contact our office immediately.
If you suspect a business certificate may be false, use the Secretary of State's Business Entity Search at https://app.mt.gov/bes/ to confirm that it is a real Montana business.
Need a labor law poster? They’re available free of charge at the MT Department of Labor & Industry – Workforce Services Division.
The “Five in One” posters encompass Equal Employment Opportunity, Family and Medical Leave Act with Military Family Leave (employers with 50 or more employees), Federal Minimum Wage (Fair Labor Standards Act), and the Polygraph Protection Act. Federal regulations also require posting the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
Posters required by Montana State Law includfe: Proof of Unemployment Insurance coverage (provided by the Department of Labor and Industry, Unemployment Insurance Contributions Bureau) and Proof of Workers’ Compensation coverage, (provided by Workers’ Compensation Insurance carrier).