Significant Changes to NY LLC, PLLC and LLP Publication Laws

There has been a major change to the publication requirement of the LLC, PLLC and LLP laws. Presently, an entity must publish the fact of its creation, date of filing and/or formation, county where the entity is located, purpose, and address for service of process in two weekly newspapers, once a week for six weeks. The penalty for failing to publish is the loss of the entity’s ability to sue. As of June 1, 2006, the content of the publication and the penalty for failing to publish change dramatically. As of June 1, these entities must also publish the names of the ten members of the entity who are actively engaged in the business and hold the most valuable interest (all of the members’ names must be published where there are less than 10 members). The frequency of the publication is also changed, from six weeks in a weekly newspaper, to four weeks, but in one weekly and in one daily. Although unclear, the size of the notice of publication may be larger than is presently required. The penalty for failing to publish is the suspension of the entity’s right to carry on its business. In addition to being unable to carry on its business, this provision creates a significant concern that once the entity is suspended—which is automatic after 120 days from the date of entity’s formation—the members of the entity will continue to operate as a business but without the liability protection offered by the entity. Even if the suspension is cured, and publication is made, it is unclear whether the members/partners of the entity retained their liability protection for the period of the suspension. Mistakes or inadvertent omissions of a member or partner’s name will not void the publication. Certain investment companies/funds are exempt from the “10 person” portion of the disclosure. These new publication requirements also apply to entities formed before June 1, 2006, but entities formed before January 1, 1999 are deemed to be in compliance. Entities formed between January 1, 1999 and May 31, 2006, have 18 months to publish or face suspension. It appears that retroactive protection is retained for these entities, so long as publication under this new law is timely made (18 months from June 1, 2006). I have read that there is a competing bill, not yet signed into law, which will, among other things, shorten this cure period from 18 months to 120 days and change the publication period back to six weeks. This bill also states that absent publication, the members/partners are personally liable for the debts and obligations incurred by the entity after June 1, 2006.

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