License Law: Team Advertising


Q: 1. Another agent and I have formed a team called The Smith Jones Team. Can we advertise in just the team name or do we need to include both of our names in the ad along with the team name?

A: Although the license law allows licensees to use a team name in advertising, it requires that the licensed name of at least one agent affiliated with the team must appear in any ad along with the team name. Therefore while it is not necessary to include both of your names in advertising, you must include at least one of your names in all forms of advertising.

Q: 2. So, what are our options on yard signs? My name is Jane Smith and the other agent is Mary Jones.

A: You must advertise in one of three ways in your advertising, including yard signs:

  1. The Smith Jones Team, Jane Smith and Mary Jones
  2. The Smith Jones Team, Jane Smith; or
  3. The Smith Jones Team, Mary Jones

Q: 3. I have a team of four agents. I use my full name in the team name — The John Greene Team. Does this meet the license law requirement of having at least one licensee’s name in team advertising?

A: Yes. Under the advertising rule, if the team name includes the full name of a licensee as it appears on his license the requirement is met.

Q: 4. Does the brokerage name need to be included in advertising by the team?

A: Yes. Ohio license law requires the brokerage name be included in all advertising.

Q: 7. We use a team photo in our advertising. Do we need to identify every person in the photo in the ad?

A: No. It is not necessary to identify the persons in the photo as long as the team advertising rule requirements are met (at least one licensed team member’s name is included in the ad, the brokerage name is included and the brokerage name is at least equal in prominence to that of the team name and agent’s name). However if you do identify the individuals in the photo, any person in the photo who is unlicensed must be clearly identified as an unlicensed staff person.

Q: 8. My team has its own website. I understand that the brokerage name must be somewhere on the website. Is it sufficient if the brokerage name is only on the home page?

A: No, that is not sufficient. The brokerage name must be displayed in at least equal prominence on all viewable pages of the team’s website.

Q: 9. Does a team ad have to include the names of all the team members?

A: Ohio license law permits the use of a team name in advertising as long as the name of at least one licensed team member is included. If the team name includes the full licensed name of a team member this requirement is met. For example if the team name is The John Jones Team, and John Jones is the licensed name of a team member, this requirement is met. On the other hand, if the team name is The Jones Team, the name of John Jones or some other licensed team member must be included in all advertising by the team, including yard signs, website, print ads, business cards, etc.

Q: 10. So, using the  example above, does this mean that in addition to “The Jones Team”  the name of an agent must also be included on a yard sign and other advertising?

A: That is correct. In addition to The Jones Team, the yard sign must include either the name John Jones or the licensed name of one of the other agents in the team.

Q: 11. Can the team name be more prominent than that of the brokerage?

A: No.

Q: 12. Can the team name be more prominent than the agent’s name?

A: Yes.

Q: 13. On my Facebook page I have a photo of my team and the names of the team members are “tagged.” Some of those team members are unlicensed assistants. Do I need to indicate that those persons are unlicensed?

A: Yes. If you identify the team members in a photo you are required to indicate those individuals that are not licensed.

Q: 14. I see the prominence rule violated by agents and teams all the time. Who enforces the prominence rule and other advertising laws?

A: The license law is enforced by the Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing. If you believe the license law is being violated, you can contact the Division’s enforcement section.