Finally, REALTORS® will soon finally be able to use their commonly known names when conducting business thanks to a bill signed into law last week by Governor Ducey. HB 2371: “real estate; licenses; applications” offers a common-sense solution to an issue that has long been a thorn in many of our REALTOR® members’ sides. With this bill, REALTORS® in Arizona will now be able to use the name they are commonly known by in their advertising.
Under current Arizona state law, an application for real estate brokers and salespersons licensure requires that applicants use their legal name. Further rule 4-28-301(D) states “The Department shall issue to a qualified person a license bearing the legal name of the licensee and any additional nickname, corporate, or dba name that the Commissioner finds is not detrimental to the public interest. A professional corporation or professional limited liability company licensed under A.R.S. § 32-2125(B) shall not adopt a DBA name.”
The current law has long presented issues for many of our REALTOR® members. From denial of nickname applications to citations from the Arizona Department of Real Estate, Arizona REALTORS® stepped up at our annual REALTOR® Caucus and determined something had to be done.
The Arizona REALTORS® asked at the beginning of this year’s legislative session for fellow REALTOR® member and state legislator, Representative Ben Toma, to sponsor our legislation to allow for the use of a name other than an individual’s legal name for the purposes of advertising.
On February 25, 2019, a Strike Everything amendment was offered to HB 2371. The bill did the following:
- Requires the application for licensure as a real estate broker or salesperson to include any derivative of the following that the applicant regularly uses for advertising purposes:
a. The applicant’s first name;
b. The applicants middle name; or
c. The applicants nickname that the applicant regularly uses.
Testimony further clarified that this change would also be applicable when obtaining a license renewal.
Throughout the legislative process, the bill received unanimous support and was signed into law by the Governor on April 17, 2019. There is no specific effective date, which means it becomes effective 90 days after legislative session adjourns. There is no set date for adjournment, but session can’t continue beyond June 30th, so the latest the bill will become effective is Sept. 28th, 2019.
With the passage of this legislation, REALTORS® in Arizona will finally be legally able to use their common nicknames for business and marketing purposes without fear of reprisal from the Arizona Department of Real Estate.