ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE RULES 2018

AGENT ADVERTISING DISCLOSURE RULES:

I have received many recent calls concerning Advertising Disclosure Rules, Team Names and Fictitious Business Names.
In 2016, California Association of Realtors® sponsored AB1650, which clarified advertising disclosure requirements. Those requirements became law in 2017 and are summarized as follows:

Definition. The term “Solicitation Material” means first point of contact material such as business cards, stationary, flyers, advertising (print, radio or internet) and signs.
Definition. The term “Responsible Broker Identity” means the company name registered with BRE (i.e. ACME Realty, Century Real Estate). Responsible Broker Identity means company name and not the broker’s name.

Agent Disclosures required for “Solicitation Materials”.
Agent’s name required
Agent’s license number required
. Responsible Broker’s Identity must be on all “Solicitation Material.”
(Broker’s license number is optional but not required)

Agent-Owned DBA Disclosures required for “Solicitation Materials.”
Agent’s name required
Agent’s license number required
Fictitious Business Name approved by BRE required
Responsible Broker’s Identity must be on all “Solicitation Material.”
(Broker’s license number is optional but not required)

Team Disclosures required for “Solicitation Materials.”
Team name required
Agent’s name required
Agent’s license number required
Responsible broker’s identity must be on all “Solicitation Material.”
(Broker’s license number is optional but not required)

Sign Exceptions. Neither Agent’s name nor license number is required on “for sale,” “for lease,” “open house” and “directional” signs if there is either (1) Responsible Broker’s Identity on the sign or (2) there is no identification on the sign at all:
– Open House by ACME Realty or
– Open House (without reference to any licencee or broker) or
– Directional Arrow (without reference to any licencee or broker).

TEAM NAMES RULES:

“Team Names” are a professional identity used by a salesperson or broker associate. A “Team Name” is not considered a fictitious business name and does not need to be filed with the County or BRE if the following conditions are met:
1. The name is used by two or more agents;
2. The name includes (1) the surname of one of the agents and (2) is used in conjunction with the term “associates,” “group” or “team.” For example, the Jones & Smith Associates, the Jones Group or Jones Team; and
3. The name does not include terms that imply that the team operates as an independent company. For example, you cannot use Jones Realty Group, Jones Real Estate Services or Jones Brokerage.

If these conditions are met, then the agent can use the Team Name without filing a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the County and without BRE approval.

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME RULES:

All names that do not quality as a “Team Name” will need to be approved by BRE as a Fictitious Business Name (i.e. DBA) and must comply with the following rules:
1. Agent must file an application with the County for a Fictitious Business Name and publish in a newspaper of general circulation as required by the County;
2. Agent must send to BRE an application for a Fictitious Business Name signed by the supervising broker requesting BRE approval to use the name.

The agent cannot use the Fictitious Business Name until he/she has filed form RE-247 and has received written confirmation by the BRE approving the name. The BRE has discretion to either approve or disapprove any proposed name.
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