As many deadlines are changing due to COVID-19, the Stock and Leader Business Team wants business owners to be aware of one deadline that is not getting pushed back: the Decennial Filing with the Pennsylvania Department of State. The Decennial Filing is required once every ten years in order for Pennsylvania businesses to identify business marks and names that are no longer being used.
Active businesses, including corporations, limited liability companies, non-profit corporations, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships, must file the form found here with the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations (the “Bureau”) before the end of the year. Business owners will no longer have the right to exclusive use of their name if they do not file the required report.
Businesses that made a new or amended filing with the Bureau from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2021 are exempt from this requirement. This exemption includes, but is not limited to, the initial formation documents, amendments, or the registration of a fictitious name.
Businesses that are required to make the Decennial Filing, should have received a postcard from the Bureau stating that your business is required to file. If you are unsure whether your business is required to file you can check the following documents to see if your business is listed by the Bureau as a business that is required to file:
- For business names starting with !-E: Decennial Filing PDF 1
- For business names starting with E-M: Decennial Filing PDF 2
- For business names starting with M-T: Decennial Filing PDF 3
- For business names starting with T-Z: Decennial Filing PDF 4
Additionally, owners of insignias and marks (including trademarks and service marks) that have not made a new or amended filing with the Bureau from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2021 are required to file as well. The form for this filing can be found here. If the form is not filed by January 1, 2022, the mark will no longer be deemed registered, and the owner will have to file an original application.
As always, the Business Group at Stock and Leader can help business owners navigate this deadline along with any other legal needs. Contact a member of Stock and Leader’s Business Law team today: