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Frequently Asked Questions
File an annual registration or an amended annual registration if an annual registration has already been filed for the current calendar year.
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. §§ 14-2-401 (profit corporation), 14-3-401 (nonprofit corporation), 14-9-102 (limited partnership), and 14-11-207 (limited liability company), issuance of a name by the Secretary of State means that the name is distinguishable for filing purposes from the names of other entities on the records of the Corporations Division. You will note that these Code sections state that “this chapter does not control the use of fictitious or trade names” and that “issuance of name does not affect the commercial availability of the name.” Many names that are issued by the Corporations Division might not be available for use in the marketplace. Additional name restrictions are posted on our website.
Issuance of a name by the Corporations Division does not necessarily give a person the exclusive right to use of that name. Filing with the Secretary of State is not “name protection.” Many businesses do not choose to incorporate. The Office of Secretary of State has no record of these and thus cannot search names of unincorporated businesses. The question of who “owns” a name is a complex one that should be addressed to your legal counsel.
No. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. 10-1-490, trade names are registered with the clerk of superior court of the county in which the business is chiefly carried on or, in
the case of a domestic corporation using a trade name, in the county of its
legal domicile. A trade name is also known as a “DBA” or “fictitious name.”
No, the filing of a name reservation is not required for registering a corporation, limited liability company or limited partnership. It is optional, however filing for the name reservation first may save you time and money and could reduce the processing time for your application.
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