Earlier today I visited the Corporate Division of the Secretary of State’s office to register the trade name School Choice for New Hampshire. While this is usually a straight-forward process, I experienced the petty fiefdom of state bureaucrats. Although my application passed initial scrutiny, the final step of obtaining the certificate was halted by the overreach of the Department of Education. Apparently the Department of Education has a lock on all names that use the word “school” or “college.” The SOS bureaucrat could only tell me that I needed to obtain the DOE’s consent to use one of these magic words, yet they could only supply the main office phone number, and not the particular department or person to contact. That would be a dead-end bureaucratic maze if ever one existed. My offer to obtain a notarized document attesting that the organization will not offer a degree, diploma, or certification was not sufficient, and not the real issue. There is no statute giving the DOE this authority, yet the Secretary of State’s office is willing to hold organizations and businesses hostage to the department’s will.
While my friend and I considered our options, including contacting an attorney, we decided to visit the State House to see if some friendly senators were available. Thankfully, Senator Kevin Avard came to my rescue. Sen. Avard immediately offered to help, and accompanied us back across the street right there and then. Once back at the Corporate Division’s offices, the staff came to the conclusion that a few additional words to describe the organization was all that was needed to approve the trade name, all without the DOE’s blessing.
Thank you to Sen. Kevin Avard for his unfailing aid to help allies and fight unjust bureaucratic overreach whenever needed.