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PDFWAC 4-30-056

Form of organization and name.

(1) A licensee may practice public accounting only in a form of organization permitted by law or regulation.
(2) A firm name that does not consist of the name(s) of one or more present or former owners must be approved in advance by the board as not being deceptive or misleading.
(3) Misleading or deceptive firm names are prohibited. The following are examples of misleading firm names. The board does not intend this listing to be all inclusive. The firm name:
(a) Implies it is a legal entity when it is not such an entity (as by the use of the designations "P.C.," "P.S.," "Inc. P.S.," or "L.L.C.");
(b) Implies the existence of a partnership when one does not exist;
(c) Includes the name of a person who is neither a present nor a past owner of the firm;
(d) Implies educational or professional attainments, specialty designations, or licensing recognition not supported in fact; or
(e) Includes the terms "& Company", "& Associate", or "Group," but the firm does not include, in addition to the named partner, shareholder, owner, or member, at least one other unnamed partner, shareholder, owner, member, or staff employee.
(4) Licensed firms and unlicensed firms.
(a) No licensed firm may operate under an alias, a firm name, title, or "DBA" that differs from the firm name that is registered with the board.
(b) A firm not required to be licensed may not operate under an alias, a firm name, title, or "DBA" that differs from the firm name that is registered with the secretary of state and/or the department of revenue.
(5) A licensee may not operate under an alias or title that differs from the name that is registered with the board.
(6) For the purposes of this rule, "licensees" includes licensees, CPA firms, nonlicensee firm owners, employees of such persons, out-of-state individuals with practice privileges under RCW 18.04.350(2), and out-of-state firms permitted to offer or render certain professional services in this state under the conditions prescribed in RCW 18.04.195. Subsection (5) of this section also includes licensees in an inactive status.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055. WSR 23-22-047, § 4-30-056, filed 10/25/23, effective 11/25/23; WSR 23-04-088, § 4-30-056, filed 1/31/23, effective 3/3/23. WSR 10-24-009, recodified as § 4-30-056, filed 11/18/10, effective 12/19/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055 (4), (8) and 18.04.345(5). WSR 05-01-137, § 4-25-661, filed 12/16/04, effective 1/31/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.04.055(8). WSR 01-22-036, § 4-25-661, filed 10/30/01, effective 12/1/01; WSR 00-11-073, § 4-25-661, filed 5/15/00, effective 6/30/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 18.40.055 [ 18.04.055]. WSR 93-22-046, § 4-25-661, filed 10/28/93, effective 11/28/93.]
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