If the answer is yes, then you REALLY need to file a Decennial Report.
In all years that end in “1” (2001, 2021, 2031, etc.) you must file a decennial report with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania stating that your company or organization continues to exist and is using its marks, e.g. logos. Think of it as taking attendance the first day of school, but much more important to ensuring your business’s unique identity!
Collecting these reports gives the Commonwealth the opportunity to identify what business names and marks are not being used anymore. Names and marks that are not in use are released so they can be “reissued and placed back into the stream of commerce.” Filing the report protects your organization’s key branding elements including
- its name
- logos and marks
from being released into the public domain. The reports also protect your branding from being poached by other companies. There are companies who look for un-reported names and marks, register them, and then either use them or seek to sell them back to the proper owners, often for a hefty sum.
Who Should File?
Who is required to file? Decennial Reports for “Continued Existence” must be filed by for all
- domestic and foreign business corporations
- non-profit corporations
- limited liability companies (LLCs)
- limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships that are not also limited partnerships
- business trusts
A separate report must also be filed for your marks and logos e.g. “insignias and marks used with articles and supplies.” The Commonwealth’s web site actually has a list of names (provided via 4 pdfs, with a total of 17174) names) of companies that need to file. The list includes both for profit companies and nonprofit groups, from the Pittsburgh Steelers to local volunteer fire departments to single partner LLCs and everything in between.
The proper form must be filled out and sent it by the 31st of December of 2021. The information required by the reports is standard business information and must be signed by an authorized officer of the organization.
The cost to file each Decennial Report is $70.
There were postcard reminders mailed out on January 15th, 2021, but failure to notice does not exempt you from filing a report. One of my clients did not appear in the business listing PDFs and I had to find his information in the Commonwealth’s business database. If you are unsure about your status/origin data you can search the Commonwealth’s business database: https://www.corporations.pa.gov/Search/CorpSearch
Learn More and Get it Done
- Deadline: December 31, 2021
- Department of State for Pennsylvania Report Information. Includes links to forms for
- Decennial Report of Association Continued Existence [DSCB:54-503].
- Decennial Report – Insignia or Mark Used with Articles or Supplies [DSCB:54-1314/1515].
These forms, and a list of all companies required to fill the form out, can be found at https://www.dos.pa.gov/BusinessCharities/Business/Resources/Pages/Decennial-Filing.aspx