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Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Subject 590-7-2 CORPORATE NAME

Rule 590-7-2-.01 Method of Reserving Corporate Name

(1) A corporate name may be reserved by any person pursuant to the Georgia Business Corporation Code, Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code, Georgia Professional Corporation Act, Georgia Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act, Georgia Limited Liability Company Act, or any other statute providing for filing of business names with the Secretary of State.
(2) A corporate name may be reserved pursuant to the Code in the following manner:
(a) By delivering an application for name reservation to the Secretary of State, Corporations Division, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 313 West Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334;
(b) By mailing an application for name reservation to the Secretary of State at the address referred to in paragraph (2)(a) above; or
(c) By electronic transmission in the manner authorized by the Division on its website.
(3) An application for reservation of a corporate name shall be accompanied by the fee specified in the Code.

Rule 590-7-2-.02 Corporate Name

(1) The name of a domestic corporation or foreign corporation:
(a) Must be in compliance with the provisions of the Code;
(b) Must consist of only English alphabet letters, Arabic numerals, Roman numerals, and symbols and special characters capable of being reproduced on a standard English (U.S.) keyboard;
(c) Must not contain any words which indicate that the corporation is organized other than as a corporation. Words which shall not be used in the name of a corporation include "limited liability company","limited partnership," "limited liability partnership," "limited liability limited partnership," and any abbreviation of such words; and
(d) Must not contain the acronym "DBA" or any variations of such acronym.

Rule 590-7-2-.03 Issuance of Name Reservation Certificate

(1) Following application for a name reservation by any means available, if the name appears to be available, it will be reserved and a name certificate will be promptly sent by mail or by electronic methods, such as email, to the applicant. The applicant may not pick up a name certificate from the Division unless expedited processing is requested and authorized.
(2) A name reservation shall be valid for a nonrenewable period of thirty (30) days from the date of issuance of the name certificate.
(3) Within the thirty (30) day name reservation period, an applicant filing articles of incorporation, articles of amendment with a name change, or other similar document, may provide the Secretary of State with a name certificate or certification of the availability of a corporate name. The Secretary of State may accept a certification, verification, or confirmation number in lieu of a name certificate, provided the Secretary of State's records reveal that the name was reserved by the applicant.
(4) A name reservation may be transferred only by a signed written notice that complies with the requirements of the Code.

Rule 590-7-2-.04 Distinguishable Names

The Commissioner will deny a request for a name certificate or proposed entity name if such requested name is identical to or not distinguishable from the name of any existing entity or active name reservation on file and of record with the Commissioner pursuant to Title 14 of the Code. Without limiting the discretion of the Commissioner to determine that a name is not distinguishable, a requested name shall be deemed "not distinguishable" from an existing entity name or active name reservation if the difference between the names results from any one or more of the following:

(a) An article (e.g. "a," "an," "the");
(b) Plural or possessive forms of the same word;
(c) Phonetic spelling of the same name or word;
(d) A conjunction or disjunction (e.g. "and," "&," "or");
(e) An abbreviation in place of a complete spelling of the word or name;
(f) A suffix added to a word or any other deviation from or derivative of the same word;
(g) A change in a word or name indicating corporate or business entity status;
(h) The addition or omission of punctuation, symbols, special characters, or spaces;
(i) A symbol or special character in place of a word or name (e.g. "and" and "&"; "at" and "@"); and
(j) A numerical number in Arabic or Roman numeral(s) and the same number spelled out with letters of the alphabet.

Rule 590-7-2-.05 Repealed

Rule 590-7-2-.06 Contested Cases

(1) The Commissioner is not authorized to intervene in a private name infringement action. The Commissioner may provide certified copies of any public document filed pursuant to the Code and the rules promulgated thereunder.
(2) The Commissioner may, prior to the issuance of a certificate of incorporation or a certificate of authority, revoke a name certificate if the name certificate is issued for a name which is not distinguishable from the name of another entity filed with the Commissioner or the name contains any word whose use is restricted by any provision of the Code and rules promulgated thereunder.
(3) In the event that a certificate of incorporation or a certificate of authority has been issued by the Commissioner and the name is not distinguishable from the name of another entity filed with the Commissioner under Title 14 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated or the name contains any word whose use is restricted by any provision of the Code or rules promulgated thereunder, the following actions may be taken:
(a) The Commissioner may issue an order directing the corporation to file articles of correction or articles of amendment changing its name to a name that is available for use in this state or directing a foreign corporation to file an application for amended certificate of authority changing its name to a name that is available for use in this state. Since this is a ministerial correction of documents, the corporation shall not be required to pay a fee to the Commissioner for such filing.
(b) In the event the domestic or foreign corporation fails to file the appropriate documents to change its name, the Secretary of State may mark the records maintained by the Secretary of State to show the entity's noncompliance and may certify the record to the Attorney General and request that the corporation be given written notice of judicial dissolution, pursuant to O.C.G.A. Section 14-2-1430, by an appropriate superior court of this State.

Rule 590-7-2-.07 Repealed

Rule 590-7-2-.08 Foreign/Domestic Corporations Distinguished

The name of a place attached to one of two otherwise indistinguishable or identical names may sufficiently distinguish between a foreign and a domestic corporation, or between two foreign corporations.

Rule 590-7-2-.09 Domestic Corporations Distinguished

The name of a place or location attached to one or more otherwise indistinguishable or identical names may sufficiently distinguish between two domestic.

Rule 590-7-2-.10 Professional Corporations

Applicants seeking the reservation of a name for a professional corporation shall furnish to the Commissioner a confirmation from the appropriate regulating board or authority of the professional status of the applicant seeking to incorporate. For certain professions this requirement may be met by furnishing the registration number of such professional from the Professional Licensing Boards Division of the Office of Secretary of State, or in the case of an attorney, the registration number provided by the State Bar of Georgia.

Rule 590-7-2-.11 Financial Institutions

(1) Applicants seeking the reservation of a corporate name for a financial institution shall make such application to the Department of Banking and Finance.
(2) If the Department of Banking and Finance determines that the name complies with the requirements of O.C.G.A. § 7-1-130 and is otherwise consistent with Georgia law, and is distinguishable upon the records of the Secretary of State from the name of any other corporation, limited partnership, or professional association, it shall reserve the name and notify the Secretary of State of such name reservation.
(3) Decisions regarding the issuance of name reservations to financial institutions shall be made by the State Department of Banking and Finance. Provisions of Title 14 relating to the reservation of names shall not apply to a corporation which is, or is proposed to become, a financial institution.

Rule 590-7-2-.12 Restricted Names

(1) The Secretary of State may refuse to grant a request for a name certificate or a proposed entity name if such requested name contains the name of any entity on file with the Secretary of State pursuant to Title 14 of the Code. A request for a name certificate or a proposed entity name may be granted if the applicant obtains express written permission from the entity regarding the use of the name, and the names are otherwise distinguishable or the other entity files with the Secretary of State an appropriate document to change its name to a name that is distinguishable upon the records of the Secretary of State from the name of the applying corporation.
(2) The Secretary of State may refuse to grant a request for a name certificate or a proposed entity name if such requested name contains any word whose use is restricted by any provision of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
(3) The Secretary of State may restrict from use, require consent, or require further information before certain terms shall be used in a domestic corporation or foreign corporation name. A list of said terms shall be posted in the same public access area of the Division offices as the fee and penalty listing maintained pursuant to Rule 590-7-1-.08. Said list shall be available upon request. The restricted terms shall be deemed to include the name of any well-known trademark, tradename, governmental agency, educational organization or institution, charitable organization, or professional organization.