Approval to Use Certain Words in Names/Titles
Under the provisions of Section 301(a)(5)(B) of the Business Corporation Law of New York, a domestic or foreign corporation is prohibited from using certain words in its name unless the approval of the Superintendent of Financial Services has been given. Similar prohibitions are contained in New York’s Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (Section 301(a)(5)(B)), General Business Law (Section 130(2)(c)), Revised Limited Partnership Act (Section 121-102(a)(3)(B) of the Partnership Law), and Limited Liability Company Law (Section 204(f)).
The following names or derivatives of such names, taken from the list of prohibited names, have been determined to require the prior approval of the Superintendent of Financial Services:
Persons seeking the Superintendent's approval are requested to submit a letter containing the following information to the Department of Financial Services:
- A detailed letter, preferably from an attorney, describing in plain language: (a) the business activities of the entity in New York; and attesting either (b) to the status of any registration, license, charter or other authorization under New York Banking Law that the corporation must obtain in order to do business in this State; or (c) that no registration, license, charter or other authorization is necessary to conduct that business in this State.
- Evidence of Name. A photocopy of that portion of the entity’s proposed or current Certificate of Incorporation or Articles of Organization or Limited Partnership Agreement, or amendment thereto, or a Certificate of Good Standing, evidencing the entity’s name.
- Certification. The person who submits a letter concerning the business activities of the entity must certify that he/she has knowledge of the facts and shall certify that the description of the listed business activities is, to the best of his/her knowledge, true and accurate.
- If the person attesting to the fact that a license, charter, registration or other authorization is or is not required by the entity seeking name approval is a duly licensed attorney, such person shall certify that such attestation is, to the best of his/her knowledge, true and correct. If such person is not a duly licensed attorney, such person shall certify that such attestation is made upon information and belief.
- Any other information requested by the Department.
Please note that proposals for use of the term “Mortgage” are processed by the Mortgage Banking unit (see below). Requests to use any of the terms ("Bank," "Trust," "Savings," "Acceptance," "Finance," "Investment," "Loan,") are processed generally by the Office of General Counsel.
Approval granted by the Department does not constitute a license to engage in any particular activity and does not itself operate to reserve the name with the Secretary of State or the Department of Financial Services. Approval is limited to the use of the word or a derivative of the word approved for use in the entity’s name.
New York State Department of Financial Services
Attn: Office of General Counsel, Name Approval
1 State Street
New York, New York 10004-1511
Entities that wish to engage in business involving residential mortgages on owner-occupied one-to-four family residential properties must secure the prior approval of the Superintendent of Financial Services to use the following words or any derivative thereof in Business Names, Assumed (D/B/A) or Fictitious Names.
Persons or entities seeking such approval must submit the following information to the Department of Financial Services-Mortgage Banking Unit at the address appearing below:
Must be on letterhead and signed by an authorized officer or counsel, containing the business activities, in New York, of the entity and the purpose for which it intends to use the name; and attesting either
- to the status of any registration, charter, license or authorization that the entity has or must obtain in order to do business in this State; OR
- that no registration, charter, license or authorization is necessary to conduct that business in this State.
Organizational Documents:Depending on the type of legal entity and application, the letter should be accompanied by draft versions of one or more of the following documents:
- Corporation - Certificate of Incorporation
- LLC - Articles of Organization
- LP - Certificate of Limited Partnership or Limited Partnership Agreement
- Fictitious Name - Application for Authority and denial letter of true name
- Assumed Name - Certificate of Assumed Name for corporation using D/B/A. Also include the legal entity’s filing receipt.
- Change of Name - Certificate of Amendment
- Foreign Organization - Application for Authority and copy of the Good Standing Certificate issued by chartering State.
The person who submits a letter concerning the business activities of the entity must certify that he/she has knowledge of the facts and shall certify that the description of the listed business activities is, to the best of his/her knowledge, true and accurate. If the person attesting to the fact that a license, charter, registration or other authorization is or is not required by the entity seeking name approval is a duly licensed attorney, such person shall certify that such attestation is, to the best of his/her knowledge, true and correct. If such person is not a duly licensed attorney, such person shall certify that such attestation is made upon information and belief.
Any other information requested by the Department.
Word Approval does not constitute a license to engage in any particular activity and does not reserve the name with the secretary of state or the Department of Financial Services.
The Mortgage Banking unit reviews all requests to ensure that names reasonably relate to the entity’s activities and that the public would not be confused or misled by the name.
The United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency prohibits State licensed and registered mortgage entities from using the words “National” and “Federal.” Please consult your counsel for additional information.
Failure to include original documents with your application for approval will delay processing Your application will be returned to you for completion.
Statutory Authority for Approval
- Corporations : NY Business Law Section 301(a)(5)(B)
- Not-for-Profit: NY Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, Section 301(a)(5)(B)
- Assumed Names: NY General Business Law Section 130(2)
- Fictitious Names: NY General Business Law Section 130(2)(b)
- Partnerships: NY Limited Partnership Law Section 121-102a(3)(B)
- Limited Liability Companies: NY Limited Liability Company Law Section 204(f)
Complete applications require approximately 15 days to process.
Please mail all required documents to:
NYS Department of Financial Services
Mortgage Banking, Applications Unit – Word Approval
1 State Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10004
Statutory authority: Banking Law, § 203, Sec. 104.1 General information, 104.2
A foreign banking corporation maintaining a New York State-licensed branch, agency or representative office that proposes to change its name shall submit a letter application to the Superintendent of Financial Services of the State of New York.
Information And Documents Required:
The letter application should contain a description of the reasons for and indicate the effective date of such change of name and be accompanied by certified copies (with translation into English if applicable) of:
- resolutions adopted by the foreign banking corporation's board of directors authorizing the change of name; and
- a statement from the home country authorities that such authorities approve or do not object to the change of name.
Life Insurance Entities
Filing Guidance For Making Address Changes, Name Changes and Merger/Name Changes
Health Insurance Entities
Merger/Name Change For Policy Forms
Insurance Broker/Agent Trade Name Approval
An individual applying with a trade name must have prior approval from the Department since duplicate or misleading names cannot be licensed. The name should be approved before submitting an application. Requests for name approval must be submitted by letter or email to [email protected]. Please include in your request, the individual name, the trade name, and the type of license for which you are applying.