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How do I apply for and maintain a firm license?

(1) How does a firm apply for an initial firm license? To apply for an initial firm license an owner, or designee, or, in the case of an out-of-state firm, that does not meet the requirements to operate under firm mobility per RCW 18.04.195 (1)(a)(iii)(A) through (D), and is required to be licensed in this state, an individual qualified for practice privileges in this state under RCW 18.04.350(2) who has been authorized by the applicant firm to make the application must submit the following information to the board:
(a) The firm name;
(b) Address and telephone number of the main office and any branch offices of the firm;
(c) Name of the managing licensee of the main office located and maintained in this state;
(d) Resident licensee owners' names;
(e) Name(s) of all resident nonlicensee owners; and
(f) Type of legal organization under which the firm operates.
The required information must be submitted to the board either by making application through the board's online application system or on a form provided by the board upon request. All requested information, documents and fees must be submitted to the board before the application will be evaluated.
Upon approval of the firm's application the firm's licensed status will be posted in the board's licensee database and, therefore, made publicly available for confirmation. A hard copy of the firm license can be provided upon request.
The initial CPA firm license will expire on June 30th of the third calendar year following initial licensure.
(2) How do I renew a CPA firm license? To renew a CPA firm license an owner or designee or, in the case of an out-of-state firm that does not meet the requirements to operate under firm mobility per RCW 18.04.195 (1)(a)(iii)(A) through (D), an individual qualified for practice privileges in this state under RCW 18.04.350(2) who has been authorized by the applicant firm to make the application, must submit the information described in subsection (1) of this section that is current at the date the renewal application is submitted to the board. A renewal application is not complete and cannot be processed until all required information, requested documents, and all fees are submitted to the board.
An individual authorized by the firm must provide the required information to the board either by making application through the board's online application system or on a form provided by the board upon request. All requested information, documents and fees must be submitted to the board before the application will be evaluated.
On the date the renewal application is approved, the firm's license will be included in the board's licensee database and, therefore, made publicly available for confirmation. Confirmation of the renewed status can be provided upon request.
The CPA firm license will expire on June 30th of the third calendar year following the calendar year of renewal.
(3) When and how must the firm notify the board of changes in the licensed firm? An individual authorized by the firm must provide the board written notification and other documentation deemed necessary by the board within ninety days of any or all of the following occurrences:
(a) Dissolution of the firm;
(b) The occurrence of any event that would cause the firm to be in violation of RCW 18.04.195 or this section, including the retirement, lapse, revocation or suspension of the license of a sole proprietor or sole owner of another legal form of organization, for example, a limited liability company (LLC) or professional service corporation (PS) owned by a single person, licensed by the board for the practice of public accounting, and holding out to the public for the practice of public accounting and/or offering or performing professional services restricted to licensees; or
(c) An event that requires an amendment to a firm license.
(4) What events require a firm amendment? An individual authorized by the firm must provide written notification to the board, by submitting the following information and the appropriate amendment fee, within ninety days of the following:
(a) Admission or withdrawal of a resident licensee owner;
(b) Any change in the name of the firm; or
(c) Change in the resident managing licensee of the firm's main office in this state; or
(d) Change in the resident managing licensee of any branch office of the firm.
(5) How long do I have to correct noncompliance with licensure requirements due to a change in ownership or an owner's credentials? The board must be notified in writing within ninety days of the first date the firm is not in compliance with the firm's licensure requirements due to changes in firm ownership and propose a time period in which the firm will achieve compliance. The board may grant a reasonable period of time for a firm to become compliant. The board may revoke, suspend, or impose conditions on the firm's license for failure to bring the firm into compliance within the approved time period.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055. WSR 16-17-036, § 4-30-114, filed 8/9/16, effective 9/9/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055(8), 18.04.195, 18.04.205. WSR 10-24-009, § 4-30-114, filed 11/18/10, effective 12/19/10.]
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