42:2B-4. Conditions for use of alternate name; certificate of registration
4. a. No domestic limited liability company or foreign limited liability company which conducts activities in this State shall conduct any of those activities using an alternate name, including an abbreviation of its name or an acronym, unless:
(1) It also uses its actual name in the transaction of any of its activities in a manner that is not deceptive as to its actual identity; or
(2) It has first registered the alternate name as provided in subsection b. of this section.
b. Any limited liability company may adopt and use any alternate name, including any name which would be unavailable as the name of a domestic or foreign limited liability company because of the prohibitions of subsection c. of section 3, but not including any name not permitted as a limited liability company name by subsection a. or d. of section 3, by filing an original and a copy of a certificate of registration of alternate name with the Secretary of State executed on behalf of the limited liability company. The certificate shall set forth:
(1) The name, jurisdiction and date of establishment of the limited liability company;
(2) The alternate name;
(3) A brief statement of the character or nature of the particular activities to be conducted using the alternate name;
(4) That the limited liability company intends to use the alternate name in this State;
(5) That the limited liability company has not previously used the alternate name in this State in violation of this section or, if it has, the month and year in which it commenced the use.
c. The registration shall be effective for five years from the date of filing and may be renewed successively for additional five-year periods by filing an original and a copy of the certificate of renewal executed on behalf of the limited liability company anytime within 90 days prior to, but not later than, the date of expiration of the registration. The certificate of renewal shall set forth the information required in paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection b. of this section, the date of the certificate of registration then in effect and that the limited liability company is continuing to use the alternate name.
d. This section shall not:
(1) Grant to the registrant of an alternate name any right in the name as against any prior or subsequent use of the name, regardless of whether used as a trademark, trade name, business name or corporate name; or
(2) Interfere with the power of any court to enjoin the use of the name on the basis of the law of unfair competition or on any other basis except the identity or similarity of the alternate name to any corporate, limited partnership or limited liability company name.
e. A limited liability company which has used an alternate name in this State contrary to the provisions of this section shall, upon filing a certificate of registration of alternate name or an untimely certificate of renewal, pay to the Secretary of State the filing fee prescribed for the certificate plus an additional filing fee equal to the full amount of the regular filing fee multiplied by the number of years it has been using the alternate name in violation of this section. For the purpose of this subsection, any part of a year shall be considered a full year.
f. The failure of a limited liability company to file a certificate of registration or renewal of alternate name shall not impair the validity of any contract or act of the limited liability company and shall not prevent the limited liability company from defending any action or proceedings in any court of this State, but the limited liability company shall not maintain any action or proceeding in any court of this State arising out of a contract or act in which it used the alternate name until it has filed the applicable certificate.
g. (1) A limited liability company which files a certificate of registration of alternate name which contains a false statement or omission regarding the date it first used an alternate name in this State shall, if the false statement or omission reduces the amount of the additional fee it paid or should have paid as provided in subsection e. of this section, forfeit to the State a penalty of not less than $200 nor more than $500.
(2) A limited liability company which should have filed a certificate of registration or renewal of alternate name and fails to do so within 60 days after being notified of its obligation to do so by certified or registered mail by the Secretary of State, by any other governmental officer, or by any person aggrieved by its failure to do so, shall forfeit to the State a penalty of not less than $200 nor more than $500.
(3) A penalty imposed under this section shall be recovered with costs in an action brought by the Attorney General. The court may proceed on the action in a summary manner.