(a) A foreign corporation may not transact business in this state until it obtains a certificate of authority from the Secretary of State.
(b) The following activities, among others, do not constitute transacting business within the meaning of subsection (a) of this Code section:
(1) Maintaining or defending any action or any administrative or arbitration proceeding or effecting the settlement thereof or the settlement of claims or disputes;
(2) Holding meetings of its directors or shareholders or carrying on other activities concerning its internal affairs;
(3) Maintaining bank accounts, share accounts in savings and loan associations, custodian or agency arrangements with a bank or trust company, or stock or bond brokerage accounts;
(4) Maintaining offices or agencies for the transfer, exchange, and registration of its securities or appointing and maintaining trustees or depositories with respect to its securities;
(5) Effecting sales through independent contractors;
(6) Soliciting or procuring orders, whether by mail or through employees or agents or otherwise, where the orders require acceptance outside this state before becoming binding contracts and where the contracts do not involve any local performance other than delivery and installation;
(7) Making loans or creating or acquiring evidences of debt, mortgages, or liens on real or personal property, or recording same;
(8) Securing or collecting debts or enforcing any rights in property securing the same;
(9) Owning, without more, real or personal property;
(10) Conducting an isolated transaction not in the course of a number of repeated transactions of a like nature;
(11) Effecting transactions in interstate or foreign commerce;
(12) Serving as trustee, executor, administrator, or guardian, or in like fiduciary capacity, where permitted so to serve by the laws of this state;
(13) Owning (directly or indirectly) an interest in or controlling (directly or indirectly) another entity organized under the laws of, or transacting business within, this state; or
(14) Serving as a manager of a limited liability company organized under the laws of, or transacting business within, this state.
(c) The list of activities in subsection (b) of this Code section is not exhaustive.
(d) This chapter shall not be deemed to establish a standard for activities which may subject a foreign corporation to taxation or to service of process under any of the laws of this state.
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