Any Professional Corporation (P.C.) or Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC), with the exception of those practicing law, wishing to incorporate or form in New York must first obtain consent from the Professional Corporations Unit of the State Education Department. In addition to the name being available with the Department of State, it must also be acceptable under the somewhat stricter guidelines of Education.
Tips for Choosing a Name for a Professional Entity
When choosing a name for a professional entity, keep the following in mind:
- The corporate name must end with the words “Professional Corporation” or “P.C.”. The limited liability company name must end with the words “Professional Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Liability Company” or “P.L.L.C.”, “PLLC”, “L.L.C.” or “LLC”.
- The proposed name of the entity must contain the profession being practiced.
- If the proposed name of the entity includes a reference to a specialized area of professional practice, proof of studies in this area must be provided when submitting the request for consent.
- For the profession of medicine, licensed physicians may use the initials “M.D.” after their name in an entity title only if they have earned that specific academic degree.
- A proposed name for a P.C. or PLLC that contains the words “clinic”, “center” or “hospital” will not be accepted as the Professional Corporations Unit deals only with the licensing and registration of individuals. Entities whose names contain those particular words are regulated by the Health Department. An exception allows for the use of the words “Animal Hospital” in the title of a veterinary practice.
- The use of the words “group”, “associates” and “specialists” in the name of a P.C. or PLLC is not acceptable when only one professional is listed in the incorporation or formation document.
- Before receiving consent, a filer may be required to provide a definition or explanation of acronyms, abbreviations or pertinent words contained in the name of a P.C. or PLLC.
- The use of a proper name in the title of a P.C. or PLLC is acceptable only if that person is a professional listed in the document.
- Consent will not be granted to a P.C. or PLLC whose title contains an allusion to a profession too broadly stated. In the example “Starlight Eye Care, P.C.” the Professional Corporation Unit will want to know the meaning or significance of the word “Starlight” but will also advise that the words “Eye Care” are too broad in scope and could encompass not only optometry, but medical treatment and/or surgery of the eye.
Nothing is more important to a professional entity than choosing the right name. Keeping these tips in mind may help you to avoid rejection and unnecessary delays.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered, or relied upon, as legal advice.