Legal Media Analysts

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

President Broker is no more - DOS bans use of corporate titles

This past Friday, the NYS Department of State provided an Opinion Letter stating that the use of corporate titles by real estate agents, who do not actually hold such related authority, is misleading and impermissible.

On Friday evening attorneys and senior management at brokerage houses throughout the State were scrambling to address this issue immediately as many companies give out titles based upon agent's earnings as a reward as opposed to an implied authority and the companies needed to have a plan of action to address this change of understanding of Real Estate License Law.

Somehow the news got a hold of this Opinion Letter and now it is flying around at a rampant pace. So, what you should know is that your company can no longer permit you to utilize titles such as President, Vice President, Senior Vice President, Chairman, Vice Chairman, Managing Member, Director, Managing Director or anything else that is contained in the Business Corporation Law or Limited Liability Company Law as a term that implies authority. Instead, companies need to utilize titles without any correlated authority that does not exist.

Some articles flying around are:

The Real Deal - Brokers with false titles must now toe the line, regulators say
The Wall Street Journal - Titles Could Change for Some Real-Estate Brokers

Yet, there is no need to read the news, instead read the Opinion Letter for yourselves and understand why your companies are doing what they have to.