Nevada Filing System Leaves Business Owners Vulnerable
Brian Joseph’s (May 30, 2018) brilliant investigative reporting (in the Las Vegas Review Journal) on Nevada’s business registration system overseen by the Secretary of State was a real eye-opener. As a small business owner myself, and one who regularly files the required annual lists and business licenses on Nevada’s Silver Flume website, I was appalled, but not entirely surprised, at the ease with which a business’s identity can be stolen.
It is not surprising because, as an officer of a non-profit group, I took over the responsibility of filing the annual business filings with the State. I was not required to prove that I had the authority. The individual who had the authority previously was not asked to verify that this was a legitimate change.
It is appalling because it is so easy to correct. Anyone who has ever logged into a bank’s website knows that if they change any of their personal information, an email is sent to the email address on file. Some banks use 2-step authorization to make sure it’s you they are communicating with.
There is no reason why this very simple step could not be used by the SOS. Your email address is on file, as is your mailing address.
Businesses have an identity, one that is often indistinguishable from the people who own it, as in the case of LLCs and S-Corps. Small business owners have staked their own good credit to open and run their businesses.
Identity theft is just another way of saying theft. If you have to put government in a position where it is the weak link in the chain, it should be in the business of protecting your property, not handing it over to thieves.
Comment by Ray Lehman….I encourage all to read the May 30 article. It is shocking how easily one can take control of, sell assets of, and take a loan for any business located in Nevada.