(a) Every insurance company and every person, firm, or corporation writing policies of insurance under this chapter or insuring the payment of compensation to employees as provided by this chapter, before writing any such policy or entering upon any such insurance contract or continuing any such contract of force, shall obtain from the board a permit authorizing such company or such person, firm, or corporation to engage in business as an insurance carrier under this chapter and to write and enter upon such insurance contracts.
(b) The application for such permit shall set forth such facts as the board may, by regulation, require. The board is authorized to prescribe the form of the permit and to provide by regulation for a hearing upon such application. Upon the filing of such application, the board shall have such hearing thereon as may be provided for by regulation and shall grant a permit if, in its discretion, the applicant is qualified, financially and otherwise, to carry on such insurance business. Upon obtaining said permit, the insurer shall designate and maintain an office in the State of Georgia for the handling of claims or shall designate an agent located in the State of Georgia who shall be authorized to execute instruments for the payment of compensation.
(c) Any company or any person, firm, or corporation who shall write insurance under this chapter or enter upon any contract to insure the payment of compensation under this chapter or continue any such contract of force without first obtaining a permit from the board as required by this Code section or after the revocation of any such permit shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.