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Rules and Regulations of the State of Georgia
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Subject 590-7-20 LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES - NAME

Rule 590-7-20-.01 Name

The name of a domestic or foreign limited liability company:

(a) Must contain the words "limited liability company","limited company" or the abbreviations "LLC", "L.L.C.","LC" or "L.C.";
(b) May abbreviate the word "limited" as "Ltd." or "Ltd" and the word "company" as "Co." or "Co";
(c) Must be distinguishable on the records of the Secretary of State from the name of any existing entity or active name reservation on file with the Secretary of State pursuant to Title 14 of the Code;
(d) 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;
(e) Must not contain any words which indicate that the entity is organized other than as a limited liability company. Words which shall not be used in the name of a limited liability company include "corporation," "incorporated," "professional corporation," "limited partnership," "limited liability partnership," "limited liability limited partnership," and any abbreviation of such words;
(f) Must not contain the acronym "DBA" or any variations of such acronym, and
(g) Must not exceed 80 characters, including spaces and punctuation.

Rule 590-7-20-.02 Method of Reserving a Name

(1) A name for a domestic or foreign limited liability company may be reserved with the Secretary of State by any person pursuant to the Code.
(2) A name may be reserved in the following manner:
(a) By mailing 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 delivering 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 name shall be accompanied by the fee specified in the Code.

Rule 590-7-20-.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 organization, 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 limited liability company 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 590-7-20-.04 Distinguishable Names

The Secretary of State 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 Secretary of State pursuant to Title 14 of the Code. Without limiting the discretion of the Secretary of State 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 a word or name;
(f) A suffix added to a word or any other deviation from or derivative of the same word;
(g) The addition or omission of punctuation, symbols, special characters, or spaces;
(h) A symbol or special character in place of a word or name (e.g. "and" and "&"; "at" and "@");
(i) A numerical number in Arabic or Roman numeral(s) and the same number spelled out with letters of the alphabet; and
(j) A change in a word or name indicating corporate or business entity status.

Rule 590-7-20-.05 Contested Cases

(1) The Secretary of State is not authorized to intervene in a private name infringement action. The Secretary of State may provide certified copies of any public document filed pursuant to the Code and the rules promulgated thereunder.
(2) The Secretary of State may, prior to the issuance of a certificate of organization 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 or name reservation filed with the Secretary of State 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 organization or a certificate of authority has been issued by the Secretary of State and the name is not distinguishable from the name of another entity filed with the Secretary of State 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 Secretary of State may issue an order directing the limited liability company 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 limited liability company 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 limited liability company shall not be required to pay a fee to the Commissioner for such filing.
(b) In the event the domestic or foreign limited liability company fails to file the appropriate documents to change its name, the Commissioner may mark the records maintained by the Secretary of State to show the limited liability company's noncompliance and may certify the record to the Attorney General and request that action be taken against the limited liability company according to the provisions of the Code.

Rule 590-7-20-.06 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 limited liability company.
(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 limited liability company or foreign limited liability company 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 590-7-19-.06. 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.

Rule 590-7-20-.07 Foreign/Domestic Limited Liability Companies Distinguished

The name of a place attached to one of two otherwise indistinguishable or identical names may sufficiently distinguish between a foreign limited liability company and a domestic limited liability company, or between two foreign limited liability companies.

Rule 590-7-20-.08 Domestic Limited Liability Companies Distinguished

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