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Law Pro
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Category: Business Law
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Experience:  20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
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I signed a listing agreement with a broker (we"ll call it XYZ

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I signed a listing agreement with a broker (we"ll call it XYZ company). XYZ company, I realized, is not a registered business in Maryland, and its not a trade name for a legal entity either that I am aware of (and if it were, the legal name of the company should be on the contract, right)?

Is this contract voidable? lets say I am in breach...who comes after me? the owner of a company that is not registered or licensed to do business in Maryland?

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If there is no business, not a registered trade name or entity - then there is NO contract.

In contract there is what is termed "mutuality of obligation" - The legal principle that provides that unless both parties to a contract are bound to perform, neither party is bound.

If you can't sue someone for breach - that there is no company or legal entity - then there is no contract.


However, as a result of the enactment of House Bill 704 during the 2002 session of the Maryland General Assembly, licensed real estate associate brokers and salespersons are now eligible to register a nickname with Real Estate Commission and thereby hold themselves out to the public by that nickname.

 

Accordingly, a licensee named William Salesperson may register the nickname "Bill" with the Commission and trade under the name Bill Salesperson. The licensee will receive a new license with the authorized nickname in parenthesis on the name line of the license:

 

William F. Salesperson (Bill)

 

This authorization is limited strictly to the use of nicknames. Consistent with the action of the General Assembly, the Commission will not register the name of a joint venture, partnership, corporation or some other entity under this provision.


So, if they aren't registered - they are not allowed to broker real estate in Maryland.

Yes, you can demand that they show you that they are registered or the listing agreement is void.


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your answer.
Just to clarify...the broker (business name) would have to be the legal name of the business on the contract, right? So if my contract is with XYZ company (which isn't a legal entity in MD), but there is a legal entity named XYZ company of America registered in Maryland, it wouldn't matter because if XYZ Company of America is who I am conducting business with then the contract should state XYZ Company of America, correct?

Just to clarify...the broker (business name) would have to be the legal name of the business on the contract, right?

Correct. They would have to be registered in MD and also with the MD Real Estate Commission too.

So if my contract is with XYZ company (which isn't a legal entity in MD), but there is a legal entity named XYZ company of America registered in Maryland, it wouldn't matter because if XYZ Company of America is who I am conducting business with then the contract should state XYZ Company of America, correct?

Correct. They need to be registered in MD and also registered with the MD Real Estate Commission too.
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