HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut officials say they’ve collected $1.3 million in penalties from out-of-state businesses that failed to register with the state before doing business here.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and Attorney General George Jepsen say 261 out-of-state firms paid the $1.3 million in penalties during the fiscal year that ended June 30. The total is slightly less than the fines collected the previous year.

Merrill says out-of-state companies must register with her office and obtain a certificate of authority to do business here. She says companies that fail to register undercut Connecticut businesses and make it difficult to provide accountability to consumers.

Howard Schwartz of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau urges consumers to verify that they’re doing business with companies that meet all legal requirements for operating in the state.


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