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A corporation or LLC must register with the Secretary of State in the state where it has its principal place of business, and as a foreign corporation in any other state where it wants to do business. Not all states are going to define doing business in the same way. For example, in Florida
, a foreign corporation can conduct a single transaction expected to be completed within 30 days without registering. It could also sue someone. In some states, collection agencies have to register even if they aren't incorporated, but an out-of-state collector that is collecting a debt incurred in another state and does not solicit debts in the state may be exempt (See Section 559.553
If a collection agency that was also a corporation or LLC wanted to regularly perform collection activities in a certain state, yes, they should be registered.
So, in Florida at least, if the collector is only collecting one particular debt and does not usually work in the state, they wouldn't have to register. If there is another state you'd like me to check, please let me know.
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