Companies engaging in charitable sales promotions (i.e., commercial co-venturers) must register and file contracts and campaign reports in up to seven (7) states. As some states impose statutory late fees and penalties for failing to timely file, commercial co-venturers should pay attention to their filing deadlines and plan accordingly. For details, view our chart of the state registration/filing and campaign report due dates.
Hawaii, which requires companies to file a written consent form at least ten (10) days before a charitable sales promotion begins, has recently begun to enforce its statutory late filing fee of $20 per day (up to $1,000 maximum penalty) for failure to timely file a written consent. In order for the written consent to be timely filed, it must be “fully executed” by both parties through an electronic approval process. A delay in obtaining either party’s electronic consent can mean late fees will begin to accrue.
While not new, companies should be also be aware that South Carolina regularly imposes administrative fines of $10 per day for late filing of campaign reports, up to a maximum fine of $2,000 per report. Illinois, which requires companies to register under their charitable trust law to conduct charitable sales promotions, has been enforcing its $100 late filing fee for campaign reports.
While California 1 has the statutory right to impose a late fee of $25/month for registration statements or campaign reports, we have not observed this late fee being regularly imposed.
To avoid incurring late fees and penalties, companies should ensure that they are monitoring their filing deadlines and planning ahead in order to avoid getting hit with significant and unanticipated financial penalties.
For a general overview of the laws regulating commercial co-ventures and charitable sales promotions, please read Do Good And Sell It Well: An Overview Of Cause Marketing Regulation on Engage for Good’s website.
1 Registration in California is not required if certain contract and related compliance requirements are met, including transfers of payments every 90 days. However, note that some companies engaging in online campaigns may need to register as a charitable fundraising platform in California beginning on January 1, 2023. For more information, see the post California Enacts New Law to Regulate Charitable Fundraising Platforms.