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Name Availability Standards


Name Availability Standards

Georgia law provides that a corporation, limited liability company (“LLC”) or limited partnership (“LP”) name must be distinguishable upon the records of the Secretary of State from the names of other corporations, LLCs or LPs filed with the Secretary of State. This is the standard in nearly 40 states and is a more “liberal” standard than “deceptively similar” or “likelihood of confusion.”

Without limiting the discretion of the Secretary of State to determine that a name is not distinguishable, the following are examples of when a requested name will be considered "not distinguishable" from an existing name:

Names are not distinguishable if the only difference is “a,” “an,” or “the” at the beginning of the name. “The Auto Store, Inc.” is not distinguishable from “Auto Store, Inc.”

Names are not distinguishable if the only difference is the entity type. “The Auto Store, LLC” is not distinguishable from “The Auto Store, Inc.”

“&” and “and” do not make names distinguishable. “A & B, Inc.” is not distinguishable from “A and B, Inc.”; and "A and B, Inc." or "A & B, Inc." is not distinguishable from "AB, Inc." or "A.B., Inc."

Punctuation does not make names distinguishable. “A.B.C., Inc.” is not distinguishable from “ABC, Inc.”

Plural forms of the same word do not make names distinguishable.

A suffix added to a word or any other deviation from or derivative of the same word does not make names distinguishable.

Names are not distinguishable if the only difference is the abbreviation of a word in the name. “Ga. Auto Store, Inc.” is not distinguishable from “Georgia Auto Store, Inc.”

Names are not distinguishable if the only difference is a phonetic spelling of the same word. “Boyz, Inc.” is not distinguishable from “Boys, Inc.”

Restricted Names

The Secretary of State may restrict from use, require consent, or require further information before certain terms shall be used in an entity name. The use of some words is controlled by laws not administered by the Secretary of State. Customers who wish to form entities using these words should submit a letter of approval from the appropriate agency along with the filing.

Use of the following terms in an entity name requires the written approval of the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner: “insurance,” “assurance,” “surety,” “fidelity,” “reinsurance,” “reassurance,” or “indemnity.” 

Use of the following terms or any variation of the word “bank” in an entity name requires the written approval of the Department of Banking and Finance: "bank," “banc,” “banque,” “banker,” “banking company,” “banking house,” “bancorp,” “bankruptcy,”  “credit union,” “savings & loan,” “trust,” or “trust company.”  

Use of the following terms in an entity name requires the written approval of the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission: “college” or “university.” 


Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner: 2 MLK Jr. Dr., Suite 704 West Tower, Atlanta, GA 30334, Telephone: (404) 656-2070.

Department of Banking and Finance: 2990 Brandywine Rd., Suite 200, Atlanta, GA 30341-5565, Telephone: (770) 986-1633.

Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission: 2082 East Exchange Place,Suite 220, Tucker, GA 30084-5305, Telephone: (770) 414-3300.


Contact

214 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
844.753.7825
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© 2012 Georgia Secretary of State