Is Your Association Required to File a Pennsylvania Decennial Report?

A Pennsylvania Decennial Report is a report of an entity’s continued existence, or a report of continued use of certain marks filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations (Bureau). Decennial filings are made every ten years during the years ending with the numeral “1.”  The reason for these filings is to identify business names and marks that are no longer in use, so that they can be reissued and placed back into the stream of commerce. 

The associations that are required to file the Decennial Report are all domestic and foreign business corporations, non-profit corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships that are not also limited partnerships and business trusts, as well as insignias and marks used with articles and supplies that have not made a new or amended filing with the Bureau from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2021.  Fictitious names and trademarks are not required to file Decennial Reports.

A mark that requires the filing of a Decennial Report is either: 1) an insignia or label or 2) a reusable marked article or receptable.  An insignia includes a name, badge, motto, button, decoration, charm, emblem, rosette, label or other insignia of an organization.  A label is defined by Pennsylvania as a label, symbol or private stamp.  A reusable marked article or receptacle is any item designed and intended for reuse in the normal course of trade by the person filing and includes towels, aprons, coats, uniforms, vessels and receptacles.  A mark, as applied to a reusable marked article or receptacle, is defined as any word, name, symbol, picture, design or device or any combination thereof, produced upon and used by a person to indicate ownership of materials.

The Bureau has been notifying entities by postcard dated January 15, 2021 of the filing requirement. There are two forms that may need to be completed, one for associations and one for insignia and marks used with articles and supplies. The forms should be filed during 2021 and are due by December 31, 2021. There is a $70 fee, payable to the PA Department of State due with the filing of the Decennial Report.  

As a result, if your association wants to have exclusive use of its name and marks, it should file the Decennial Reports as needed. Additional information is also available at https://www.dos.pa.gov/decennialreport.

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