The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

April 9, 2013
Business filing rejected by the state, Bay Area man tries again

130409-lerman-ortiz.JPGThe Bay Area attorney who waited six weeks for the state to process his business registration form filed the paperwork again on Tuesday after the Secretary of State's office rejected his first application.

The Bee reported on David Lerman's story as part of its investigation into the average 43-day wait time for Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office to handle business filings. After the story ran, the Assembly pushed through legislation that gives Bowen more money to work down the backlog.

The measure is now in the Senate, which insisted on seeing a spending plan for the extra $2 million the bill gives the agency on May 1. (Click here to see the plan.)

Lerman, who wants to start a wine exporting business, filed his limited liability company registration again this afternoon after the state kicked back the form he filed in January. The reason: Lerman filled in an address for a company that would act as his representative for some legal purposes, but the form specifically says to not fill in the line if it is a "1505 corporation."

Which it is. Lerman didn't realize that when he filled out the form.

So he made the 90-minute drive from Berkeley to Sacramento this morning to hand-deliver his resubmission. A woman in line ahead of him in line was also resubmitting the same form for a handbag business she wants to start. The two briefly commiserated about their business birth pangs.

"I'm back because I filled in the address," Lerman said to the woman as he pointed at the offending line, "right here where it says, 'address.'"

And because he doesn't want to wait another six weeks, Lerman paid a $350 expediting fee to move his form to the front of the line. He should receive the processed document by the end of the week.

Then it's on the next step: Another form to file with Bowen's office.

PHOTO CREDIT: David Lerman, right, discusses his LLC filing with an employee at the Secretary of State's office. Jon Ortiz / Sacramento Bee

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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