By Stephen Orstein and Joshua Dhyani, Alston & Bird
Georgia, Florida, and Connecticut are among a growing list of states, including California, New York, Utah, and Virginia, that have enacted laws requiring consumer-style disclosures for commercial financing transactions. These laws are part of a burgeoning trend by state legislatures to impose burdensome disclosures, like those required by the federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA), on providers of small-balance commercial loans and financings. These laws apply to business-purpose transactions but not to transactions having a consumer, family, or household purpose.
The Georgia Law
On May 1, 2023, Georgia amended its Fair Business Practices Act to require certain providers of commercial financings of $500,000 or less to furnish various disclosures to small-business borrowers before the consummation of the transactions. The statute, known as Senate Bill 90, applies to covered commercial financings consummated on or after January 1, 2024.
The Georgia law requires providers of commercial credit in amounts of $500,000 or less to provide TILA-like disclosures to small-business borrowers before the consummation of the transaction but does not specify the time period. The Georgia law defines “provider” as “a person who consummates more than five commercial financing transactions” in Georgia during any calendar year, including participants in commercial purpose marketplace lending arrangements. “Commercial financing transactions” include both closed-end and open-end commercial loans as well as accounts receivable purchase transactions but do not include real-estate-secured transactions.
The Georgia law exempts federally insured depository institutions and their subsidiaries, affiliates, and holding companies; Georgia-licensed money transmitters; captive finance companies; and institutions regulated by the federal Farm Credit Act. The law also exempts purchase money obligations.