SOUTH CAROLINA (WJBF) – The South Carolina Secretary of State office wants to warn South Carolina businesses about a scam solicitating them to buy bogus “certificates of status” and other federally issued documents for $399.89.

SC Secretary of State Mark Hammond issued the scam alert on Thursday.

According to the SC Secretary of State office, the “letter” appears to target new businesses that have incorporated with the Secretary of State and tells them that they “MAY STILL HAVE SOME ITEMS PENDING!” to have all their documents in order. 

According to authorities, “the letter” goes on to offer the business the option to purchase a Certificate of Status for $89.95, a Labor Law Poster for $124.95 and an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for $199.99.

“The Secretary of State’s Office is the only entity that can issue a legitimate Certificate of Existence in the state of South Carolina,” says Secretary Hammond. “The fee for a Certificate of Existence is set by statute and is only $10.00, not $89.95.  Also, businesses can obtain the labor law poster from the National Labor Relations Board and their EIN from the Internal Revenue Service, for free, through their respective websites. It’s a shame that this company is trying to exploit small businesses with these types of solicitations.”

Secretary Hammond is urging businesses and consumers to verify any solicitation that they receive before sending any money. 

For more information on business scams, please visit the Secretary of State’s website at and click on the #BizSchemeSOS link.