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CPA Firm Licensing Requirements

CPA Firm Organization

A CPA firm may be organized as:

  • A proprietorship;
  • A partnership;
  • A corporation (C);
  • A professional corporation (PC) or professional service corporation (PS);
  • A limited liability company (LLC);
  • A limited liability partnership (LLP); or
  • Any other form of legal entity authorized by status for the use by a CPA firm

Ownership Requirements

All owners of a licensed CPA firm are required to:

  • Fully comply with the provisions of chapter 18.04 RCW; and
  • Be subject to discipline by the board for violations of chapter 18.04 RCW or 4-30 WAC

A simple majority of the ownership of the licensed firm in terms of financial interests and voting rights of all partners, owners, or shareholders must be:

  • Licensees in this state or holders of a valid license to practice public accountancy issued by another state;
  • Entitled to practice public accounting in Washington state; and
  • Principally employed by the corporation or actively engaged in its business.

Resident non-licensee must:

  • Register with the Board as a non-licensee firm owner; and
  • Comply with all the act and board rules.

Firm’s Main Office and a Branch Office

Each office established or maintained in this state must be under direct supervision of a resident licensee.

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