In most states, you’re required to file an Annual Report, or in some cases, a Biennial Report. But there is a different sort of requirement in Pennsylvania — the Pennsylvania Decennial Report. As the name suggests, this is a requirement imposed on corporate entities every ten years, and 2011 is year ten. If you’re registered in Pennsylvania — and want to stay that way — it’s important that you understand the requirements.
What is a Pennsylvania Decennial Report?
As the Pennsylvania Department of State explains it, the Decennial Report is used “to identify business names or marks that are no longer in use so that they may be reissued and placed back into the stream of commerce.” In other words, the state needs to check to see if you’re still using your name, because if you’re not, it should be available to other companies.
The form itself is minimal; the following information should be provided:
* Corporate Name
* Registered Agent Name and Address
* Name and Signature of Filer
It’s that easy! The purpose isn’t to solicit information about your company; the purpose is to make sure you still are a company.
Do I Need to File a Decennial Report?
That depends not only on what type of organization you are, but also on when you registered your business.
One type of Pennsylvania Decennial Report is for businesses who have registered a mark or insignia (not including a trademark) with the state. The type of Report of interest for most business owners, however, is the type for continuing businesses. Fictitious Names do not need to file the Report, nor do entities incorporated in 2002 or later. However, if your incorporation date is in or before 2001 and you haven’t filed an amendment with the state since then, you’re likely required to submit a Pennsylvania Decennial Report.
There are certain circumstances under which the IRS may have forwarded your information to the Department of State; if this applies to you, you will not need to file. But, it may be easiest to simply check the Decennial Report Entity Search feature of the Corporation Bureau. Simply look up your business to determine if you need to file your Decennial Report.
What If I Forget to File My Report?
Nothing — assuming no one requests to use your name, that is. If you fail to file your Report in 2011, you’re free to submit the form any time after the due date. However, after 2011, the name becomes freely available for use. If someone requests to use your name and you haven’t filed your Report, you’ll lose your rights to the name.