1301:8-7-22 Trade names, alternative business names and service marks.

(A) A registrant may, with the prior approval of the superintendent of the division of financial institutions, use a trade name, service mark or alternative business name, provided:

(1) The trade name, service mark or alternative business name does not include the word or abbreviation "company," "co.," "corporation," "corp.," "incorporated," "inc," "limited liability company," "LLC," "limited liability partnership," "LLP," or any similar designation that would mislead a buyer into believing that a separate legal entity exists if it does not;

(2) The trade name, service mark or alternative business name complies with division (A)(1) of section 1101.15 of the Revised Code;

(3) The trade name, service mark or alternative business name is duly registered with the Ohio secretary of state pursuant to chapter 1329. of the Revised Code; and

(4) The registrant's surety bond is updated to reflect any and all trade and/or alternative business names.

(B) The superintendent of the division of financial institutions may deny an application to use a trade name, service mark or alternative business name if the superintendent believes that such name or mark would create a substantial risk of misleading or confusing buyers.

(C) The number of trade names, service marks or alternative business names that may be used by a registrant in this state shall not exceed three, unless:

(1) The registrant provides evidence to the superintendent that prohibiting it from using a fourth or subsequent trade name, alternative business name or service mark would produce a substantial and unreasonable hardship on the registrant beyond the mere ability to market under the new name, and the registrant can satisfy the superintendent that procedures have been established to assure that buyers will not be misled about the true identity of the registrant. The superintendent shall not grant an exception to the limitation of three trade or alternative business names or service marks under this paragraph except in extraordinary circumstances; or

(2) The registrant has, prior to the effective date of this rule, been approved to use four or more trade or alternative business names or service marks, in which case, the registrant may continue to use those names and or marks, but shall not be approved to use an additional trade or alternative business name or service mark until the total number of trade, alternative business names and service marks being used by that registrant is two or fewer, unless a larger number is permitted pursuant to division (C)(1).

(D) The registrant's true name and all trade and alternative business names shall appear on the certificate of registration issued by the division.

(E) A registrant may use its true name, any or all of its trade and alternative business names or services marks, or any combination of them, in its advertising.

(F) In closing documents, a registrant shall use its true name plus the alternative or trade name or service mark that it used in its contacts with the buyer involved in the transaction.

Effective: 09/01/2006
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/15/2009
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 1322.12
Rule Amplifies: 1322.09