CORPORATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS, AND PROPRIETORS OF COMMON LANDS
294-A:7 Corporate Name.
The name of a domestic professional corporation or of a foreign professional corporation authorized to transact business in this state:
I. Shall end with one of the following words or abbreviations: "professional corporation," "professional association," "Prof. Corp." "Prof. Ass'n," " P.C.", or "P.A." or similar abbreviations of these words;
II. Shall not contain any word or phrase which indicates or implies that it is organized for any purpose other than the purposes contained in its articles of incorporation;
III. (a) Except as authorized by subparagraph (b), a professional corporation name, based upon the records of the secretary of state, shall be distinguishable from, and not the same as:
(1) The name of an entity incorporated, authorized, formed, or registered to do business in this state under RSA 292, RSA 293-A, RSA 293-B, RSA 294-A, RSA 301, RSA 301-A, RSA 304-A, RSA 304-B, RSA 304-C, RSA 305-A, RSA 349, or RSA 564-F.
(2) A name reserved under RSA 293-A, RSA 293-B, RSA 304-A, RSA 304-B, RSA 304-C, or RSA 564-F.
(3) The fictitious name of another foreign corporation authorized to transact business in this state.
(4) The name of an agency or instrumentality of the United States or this state or a subdivision thereof, including names reserved pursuant to RSA 53-E.
(5) The name of any political party recognized under RSA 652:11, unless written consent is obtained from the authorized representative of the political organization.
(6) The name "farmers' market" unless the entity meets the definition of "farmers' market" established in RSA 21:34-a, V.
(a-1) Except as authorized by subparagraphs (b) and (c), a professional corporation name, based upon the records of the secretary of state, is not distinguishable upon the record if the only distinguishing factor to the professional corporation name is:
(1) An article.
(2) Plural forms of the same word.
(3) Phonetic spelling of the same name or word.
(4) An abbreviation in place of a complete spelling of the name.
(5) A suffix or prefix added to a word or any other deviation from or derivative of the same word, excluding antonyms and opposites.
(6) A change in a word or name indicating entity status.
(7) The addition of a numeric designation, unless consent is granted by the current name holder.
(8) Differences in punctuation or special characters, unless it changes the clear meaning of the word.
(9) Differences in whether letters or numbers immediately follow each other or are separated by one or more spaces.
(10) An Arabic numeral representing a number, a Roman numeral representing the same number, or a word representing the same number appearing in the same position within otherwise identical names.
(b) Subparagraph (a) shall not apply if:
(1) The similarity results from the use in the professional corporate name of personal names of its stockholders or former shareholders or of natural persons who were associated with a predecessor entity; or
(2) The applicant files with the secretary of state an application for authorization to use a name that is not distinguishable from, or is the same as, one or more of the names described in subparagraph (a), as determined from review of the records of the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall authorize use of the name applied for if:
(A) The holder or holders of the name as described in subparagraph (a) gives written consent to use the name that is not distinguishable from the name of the applying corporation; or if the name is the same, one or more words are added to the name to make the new name distinguishable from the other name; or
(B) The other entity consents to the use in writing and submits an undertaking in a form satisfactory to the secretary of state to change its name to a name that is distinguishable from, and not the same as, the name of the applying corporation; or
(C) The applicant delivers to the secretary of state a certified copy of the final judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction establishing the applicant's right to use the name applied for in this state.
(c) A professional corporation may use the name, including the fictitious name, of another domestic or foreign entity that is used in this state if the other entity is incorporated, authorized, formed, or registered to transact business in this state and the proposed user professional corporation:
(1) Has merged with the other entity;
(2) Has been formed by reorganization of the other entity; or
(3) Has acquired all or substantially all of the assets, including the name, of the other entity.
(d) This chapter does not control the use of fictitious names.
(e) Nothing in this section would prohibit the owner or owners of a trade name registered under RSA 349 to form a professional corporation under the same name as the trade name.
IV. Shall otherwise conform to any rule adopted by a licensing authority having jurisdiction of a professional service described in the articles of incorporation of the corporation.
Source. 1981, 236:1. 2004, 248:18. 2009, 293:4. 2015, 188:7, 8, eff. Jan. 1, 2016. 2017, 257:54, eff. Oct. 1, 2017. 2018, 221:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2019. 2019, 316:8, eff. Oct. 1, 2019.