Most states require that any incorporated entities (corporations, LLCs, any type of partnerships filed at the state level) file an Annual Report. Some other states have variations on the Annual Report, requiring filings every two years.
But Pennsylvania requires filings not every year, not every two years, but every ten years; this filing is called the Pennsylvania Decennial Report. If you’re registered in Pennsylvania, it’s important that you understand the requirements so you’re aware of your responsibilities.
What is the Pennsylvania Decennial Report?
The purpose of the report, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State, is “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.” The Decennial Report is not a detailed document. It’s a simple form, containing basic information about your corporation or LLC:
- Corporate name
- Registered Agent’s name and address
- Signature of filer
The purpose of the Decennial Report isn’t to collect detailed information about your business—it’s to make sure you still are a business. You have until the end of 2011 to file.
How do I know if I need to file a Pennsylvania Decennial Report?
There are two types of Decennial Report; one type is for an individual or corporation that has registered an insignia or mark for use in Pennsylvania, but you’re probably more interested in the second type—the type for continuing businesses.
Not all entities have to file a Decennial Report; Fictitious Names, for instance, are not required to file a Report, nor are trademarks. Incorporated entities with a filing date of 2002 or later are not required to file—since you’ve filed so recently, the state has a good idea that you still exist.
It’s those LLCs and Corporations that the state hasn’t heard from in awhile that need to check in; any incorporated entities that have not filed formation or amendment documents since 2001 must file this statement.
There are a few other things you may have filed in the last ten years that would exempt you from filing the Decennial Report, and the best way to determine if you should file a Decennial Report is to simply check the Corporation Bureau’s database.
What happens if I don’t file a Decennial Report?
If you don’t file a Decennial Report for your corporate entity, the Corporation Bureau will assume it no longer exists, and it will make your name available for use. This means that another corporation could come along and use your name, and there wouldn’t be a thing you could do about it.
If you forget to file in time, don’t worry—unless someone has swept up and taken your name, you’re free to file your Decennial Report after the due date and secure your name again. But for only $70—and with a whole year to file—do you really want to take that chance?
How do I file the Decennial Report?
Simple. Just send your application and $70 filing fee to the Department of State, check at some point before now and 2012 that your Decennial Report has been recorded, and enjoy another ten years of prosperous, report-free business.