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General Laws

Section 9. A corporation organized under general laws may assume any name which, in the judgment of the secretary, indicates that it is a corporation; but it shall not assume the name or trade name of another corporation established under the laws of the commonwealth, or of a corporation, firm, association or person carrying on business in the commonwealth, at the time of incorporation or change of name of the corporation assuming any such name or within three years prior thereto, or assume a name so similar thereto or a name which is under reservation for another or proposed corporation under the laws of the commonwealth as to be likely to be mistaken for it, except with the written consent of the said existing corporation, firm or association or of such person previously filed with the secretary; provided, however, that the name of any corporation formed for the purpose of acting as an insurance agent, insurance broker, or adjuster of fire losses shall be subject to the prior written approval of the commissioner of insurance. The supreme judicial or superior court shall have jurisdiction in equity, upon the application of any person interested or affected, to enjoin such corporation from doing business under a name assumed in violation of any provision of this section, although articles of organization or articles of amendment may have been approved and filed and a certificate of incorporation issued.

If within thirty days of the date when the certificate or articles of organization of any corporation are filed in the office of the state secretary any corporation or person in whose name a corporate name is under reservation, or any other corporation established under the laws of the commonwealth, or a corporation, firm, association or person carrying on business in the commonwealth at the time when such certificate or articles are so filed, or within three years prior thereto, shall protest in writing to the secretary that the name under reservation, or the name assumed by the corporation the certificate or articles of organization of which have been so filed is the same as the name or trade name of the party protesting or so similar thereto as to be likely to be mistaken for it, the secretary shall, as soon as reasonably may be, hear the party protesting and the corporation which assumed the name, giving written notice of the hearing to each. If after the hearing the secretary shall be of the opinion that the assuming of the name violates any provision of this section he shall record a statement withdrawing his approval of said certificate or articles in so far as it or they relate to the name assumed by the corporation, such withdrawal to take effect sixty days from the date of recording. After the expiration of said period of sixty days the corporation shall have no right to use the name assumed and may be enjoined from doing business under such name by the supreme judicial or superior court upon application of the attorney general or any person interested or affected.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, a church, religious society or other body organized for religious purposes, when incorporating or when changing its corporate name, may assume a name which does not indicate that it is a corporation.

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