For companies that are frustrated by the burdensome commercial co-venture (CCV) licensing and registration requirements of some states, Maine has just provided a little relief. Maine has repealed its CCV licensing requirements, effective as of October 8, 2013. This means that a CCV in Maine will no longer have to be licensed in the state. Under Maine law, a commercial co-venturer is any “person or entity who, for profit, is regularly and primarily engaged in trade or commerce in [Maine], other than in connection with the raising of funds for charitable organizations or purposes, and who conducts a sale, performance, event or collection and sale of donated goods that is advertised in conjunction with the name of any charitable organization.” Currently, Maine’s CCV statute requires CCVs to pay a $250 license and application fee, post a $25,000 surety bond, and file a copy of the contract with the charity and an annual fundraising activity report.
Even though the burden of licensing and reporting a CCV in Maine will soon be eliminated, Maine CCVs, as a best practice, should continue to have a contract with the charities for which they benefit. Further, Maine CCVs will still have to comply with Maine’s relevant false advertising and unfair deceptive acts and practices laws, and ensure that promotional materials aren’t false or misleading. Myriad other states continue to regulate CCVs and have license, registration and bonding requirements, so CCVs that are offered outside of Maine should check with counsel to ensure compliance.