(a) Any person engaged in any mercantile, trading, or manufacturing business as an agent or doing business or trading under any designation, title, or name other than the person's own name, prior to commencing operation of the business, shall file with the Department of Assessments and Taxation a certificate:
(1) In writing;
(2) Affirmed or acknowledged under oath; and
(i) The true and correct names and addresses of the principal or owner of the business;
(ii) The character and location of the business; and
(iii) The name, title, or designation under which the business is conducted.
(b) The name, title, or designation under which a business is conducted shall be recorded with the Department as provided in Subtitle 5 of this title.
(c) The information required in subsection (a) of this section shall be filed in the manner that the Department requires by regulation.
(d)(1) The Department of Assessments and Taxation shall maintain a public record, to be known as the “agency record”.
(2) The agency record shall record all certificates filed in accordance with this section, and the certificates shall be properly indexed.
(e) The Department of Assessments and Taxation shall charge and receive a fee of:
(1) $25 for recording the certificates under this section; and
(2) $25 for each amendment, cancellation, or renewal of a certificate.
(f)(1) A certificate filed under this section is effective for a period of 5 years from the date the certificate is filed.
(2) Every 5 years following the year in which a certificate is filed or renewed, a person who has filed or renewed a certificate under this section may renew the certificate by filing, within 6 months before the end of the 5-year period, an application for renewal in the manner that the Department requires by regulation.
(3) A renewal application extends the certificate for 5 years from the end of the previous 5-year period.
(g) This section does not apply to any person who has filed a certificate similar to the certificate required under this section with the Department of Assessments and Taxation before July 1, 1991.
(h) A person that willfully and knowingly executes and files a false certificate under subsection (a) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or both.
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