Starting this week, commercial co-ventures will have one less state to worry about when it comes to regulatory requirements for conducting promotions with charities. Earlier this summer, the Maine legislature passed the Act to Streamline the Charitable Solicitations Act (the “Act”), which, among other things, repealed all requirements for commercial co-ventures to register in Maine. The Act is effective October 9, 2013. Prior to the Act, Maine had been one of the more onerous states for commercial co-ventures, requiring that the commercial co-venture register with the state and obtain a $25,000 bond before conducting a promotion.
A commercial co-venturer was previously defined in Maine as one who “conducts a sale, performance, event, or collection and sale of donated goods that is advertised in conjunction with the name of a charitable organization.” The most common form of a commercial co-venture is a promotion that advertises when a consumer buys a product, a dollar or percentage amount of the purchase price will be donated to a charity. These types of promotions are particularly popular in October, when many products turn pink for breast cancer awareness month.
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