Secretary Raffensperger is Fighting for Georgia’s Small Business Community
(Atlanta) -- Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is working with the Georgia legislature to fight for and protect Georgia’s small business owners. Raffensperger is partnering with Rep. Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville) to pass laws that will protect Georgians from misleading business solicitations.
“I know firsthand what it takes to start and run a business successfully, and so I’m committed to fighting for Georgia’s small business community,” said Raffensperger. “This legislation will help keep Georgia’s small business community informed and protected from misleading mailers and outright scams. I am glad to partner with Rep. Wiedower to help ensure scam artists can’t go after Georgia’s small business owners.”
“As a small business owner, it’s a privilege to take action that will protect Georgia’s hardworking small business men and women,” said State Rep. Marcus Wiedower. “I am pleased to work with Secretary Raffensperger to increase transparency and draw attention to solicitors who are trying to take advantage of the people of Georgia.”
Every year, solicitors send letters to newly formed and existing businesses offering to get corporate registration forms on their behalf. Though some provide a legitimate service, in some cases, solicitors use urgent language to pressure entrepreneurs into spending money on services they do not need. In many instances, these solicitors offer their services at several times the cost for a business to file the same forms on their own. Additionally, because online filing is so simple, little effort is saved by hiring a third-party.
To help protect Georgia business from misleading or false solicitations, Raffensperger partnered with Rep. Marcus Wiedower to introduce legislation that will require mail solicitors to be more transparent when soliciting Georgia’s business owners. The new bill amends the Fair Business Practices Act in Title 10 Article 15 of the Georgia Code. Following passage, anyone who sends mail solicitations in Georgia relating to corporate registration would be required to include in 16-point, Helevetica font at the top of the mailer:
“THIS IS NOT A BILL OR OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT. THIS IS A SOLICITATION.”
To further ensure transparency for Georgia’s business community, the bill requires the language above to be separated from other language by at least two inches and to be as large or larger than any other text on the page.
Failure to comply with the new provisions will be considered an unlawful “unfair or deceptive act or practice” and will open these mail solicitors to prosecution by the Attorney General of Georgia.