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Apr 26
On Mary's Mind: To have or not to have? Individual Licenses &/or Sub-licensees

By Mary Byrnes​AAI-M, AU​, Director of Education​​

As you can imagine, Big I NY gets a lot of licensing questions, and we'd prefer to receive calls with questions prior to making changes vs. the calls after the fact where you say, “I wish I had called first." Before you jump into the pool and make licensing changes, consider who really can be named a sub-licensee.  The DFS lays it out pretty clearly under NY Ins. Law §2104 (b)(2) (McKinney 2000 and Supp.2006), which I'll paraphrase to save you the legalese.

Under a license for a corporation, only the officers and directors of the corporation can be sub-licenees. For an LLC, which falls under firm/association, members of the LLC can be named as well as non-member managers. Now they also talk about being eligible to hold a license and paying the licensing fees, but you know that.  If you want more info on this you can visit our Licensing section under the Big I NY Answer Center.  There's also a pretty easy to read opinion issued by the Office of General Counsel from January 2006.

For both the Corporation and LLC licenses, there must be at least 1 sub-licensee.  But is 1 enough?  Think outside the box, if something were to happen to the only sub-licensee and they couldn't make the decisions for the agency either for a few months or permanently, would that one sub-licensee be enough for the continuity of the agency?  Would it create a mad scramble to come up with a plan “B" if needed?

There are some carriers that require an agent to also have an individual license, so if you've let it expire, get ready to reapply for one if you encounter one of these carriers.

REMINDER:  Entity licenses (Corp, LLC & Partnership) for PC & LA are up for renewal effective 6/30/19.  Missing the renewal date will require a paper application to the NYS DFS Licensing Department and they are not issued overnight.  On the paper application, there's a question about whether or not you've conducted business under the expired license (nobody wants to have to answer that awful question).​​

Please call Big I NY Education if you have any licensing or CE questions.​

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