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Authorization to file a lien in NY

New YorkMechanics Lien

i see with NY lien law that the lien claimant must be authorized to do business in New York. how do i know if we are authorized to do business in NY? i work for a company in NY but this lien involves our sister company in CA who made and supplied windows and doors for a company here in NY. Could they use our mailing address here in NY?

1 reply

Jan 4, 2019
This is an interesting question, and a quirk of New York's mechanics lien law. New York lien law states note that: "The notice of lien shall state: 1. The name and residence of the lienor; and if the lienor is a partnership or a corporation, the business address of such firm, or corporation, the names of partners and principal place of business, *and if a foreign corporation, its principal place of business within the state.*" [emphasis added].

New York courts have held that a claimant must be licensed to do the type of work (if a license for the the of work is required) and authorized to do business in New York in order to foreclose a mechanic’s lien. Additionally, New York courts have held that a PO Box is not a sufficient address, and that if the lien claimant is a foreign corporation without an office in state, then they must give an address for an attorney within New York, upon whom service may be made.

Note that these are different requirements. The definition of "doing business" can sometimes be hard to firmly nail down - for example, a claimant who merely supplied materials may not be doing business in the state such that they would be required to be authorized to do business there. However, the requirement to have a sufficient address or an attorney within New York would still apply.

With respect to "sister" companies, it depends what you mean and what the relationship actually is. If the companies are just different locations of the same underlying company, it may be sufficient to just use the NY address - but if they are actually different companies just with some common owner or other relation it's much less probable that would be acceptable.
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