21 NCAC 08N .0307         CPA FIRM NAMES

(a)  Deceptive Names Prohibited. A CPA or CPA firm shall not trade upon the CPA title through use of any name that would have the capacity or tendency to deceive. The name or initials of one or more members of a new CPA firm, as defined in 21 NCAC 08A .0301, shall be included in the CPA firm name. The name of former members and the initials of former members that are currently in the CPA firm name and the name of current members and the initials of current members may be included in a new CPA firm name. The name, the portion of the name, the initials of the name or the acronym derived from the name of a firm network that includes names that were not previous CPA members or are not current CPA members of the CPA firm may be included in the CPA firm name. The name or initials of a non-CPA member in a CPA firm name may be included in the CPA firm name if certified public accountant or CPA is not included in or with the CPA firm name.

(b)  Style of Practice. It is misleading if a CPA firm practices under a name or style that would tend to imply the existence of a partnership or registered limited liability partnership or a professional corporation or professional limited liability company of more than one CPA shareholder or CPA member or an association when in fact there is no partnership nor is there more than one CPA shareholder or CPA member of a CPA firm. For example, no CPA firm having just one CPA member may have as a part of its name the words "associates," "group," "firm," or "company" or their abbreviations. It is also misleading if a CPA renders non-attest professional services through a non-CPA firm using a name that implies any non-licensees are CPAs.

(c)  Any CPA firm that has continuously used an assumed name approved by the Board prior to April 1, 1999, may continue to use the assumed name. A CPA firm (or a successor firm by sale, merger, or operation of law) using the name, or a portion of a name, or the initials of the name, or the acronym derived from the name of a firm association or firm network that was approved by the Board prior to April 1, 1999 may continue to use that name so long as that use is not deceptive. A CPA firm (or a successor firm by sale, merger, or operation of law) may continue to use the surname of a retired or deceased partner or shareholder in the CPA firm's name so long as that use is not deceptive.

(d)  Any CPA firm registered in another jurisdiction that provides notification of intent to practice pursuant to G.S. 93-10(c)(3) may practice under the name as registered with that jurisdiction.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 55B-12; 57D-2-02; 93-12(9);

Eff. April 1, 1994;

Amended Eff. February 1, 2011; January 1, 2006; April 1, 1999; August 1, 1995;

Readopted Eff. February 1, 2016.