Registration of Public Accounting Firms


Questions and Answers

  1. What firms are required to register as public accounting firms with the NYS Education Department?

    A firm is required to register as a public accounting firm with the Department if it:

    • Provides any attest or compilation services to NYS clients; or
    • Uses the words "Certified Public Accountant" or the designation "CPA" or the words "Public Accountant" or the designation "PA" in the firm name.

    Note: All firm owners must be licensed as a CPA or a NY PA.  Firms with non-CPA ownership will not be allowed to register. New York State law does not permit firms that have unlicensed ownership to register or practice public accountancy in NYS.

  2. How often do firms renew or update their registrations?

    Firms are required to renew their registration every 3 years on the CPA Form 6T – CPA Firm Triennial Registration. Firms are required to provide an annual firm update on CPA Form 6PR – Peer Review, Competency, and Annual Statements and, as applicable, a CPA Form 6C – Certification of Ownership and Attest Competency. The Department mails out triennial renewals and annual updates 60 days prior to firm's anniversary date.

  3. What types of practice structures are allowed?

    • A single owner firm is permitted to form as a Professional Limited Liability Company (LLC), a Professional Services Corporation (PC), or a Sole Proprietorship.
    • A multiple owner firm is permitted to form as a Partnership, a Professional Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), a Professional Limited Liability Company (LLC), or a Professional Services Corporation (PC).

    Note: General business corporations and other business entities are not allowed to register as public accounting firms.

  4. What is the most common error that delays a firm's registration?

    The most common error that delays a firm's registration is not choosing a proper firm name. Firms with names that are not in compliance with the rules cannot be registered. Firms are urged to contact the Professional Corporations Unit for a review of their proposed name at opcorp@nysed.gov.

  5. How does a firm apply for a firm registration with the Board?

    The firm registration process is a multiple step process dependent on the type of entity being formed. All firms are requested to contact the Professional Corporations Unit (opcorp@nysed.gov) for guidance in their firm's formation and the firm's initial corporate filings. Firms that are not properly formed cannot be registered.

    A summary of the registration process follows. Firms are urged to contact the Professional Corporations Unit at opcorp@nysed.gov for a more detailed registration guide.

    PCs and LLCs must apply to the Professional Corporations Unit for a Certificate of Authority (PLS-709). Once granted, the firm files the PLS-709 and other required documents with the NYS Department of State to form the corporation. The firm then returns to the Professional Corporations Unit to register the firm.

    LLPs apply directly to the NYS Department of State to form their corporation. After forming, the firm applies to the Professional Corporations Unit for a registration.

    Sole Proprietorship and Partnership formations are dictated by the county where the firm plans to practice. Most counties require Partnerships to file a DBA certificate. Not all counties require or allow a Sole Proprietorship to file a DBA certificate. Firm owners are required to know the laws that apply in their respective counties. After filing the firm's DBA certificate in their local county (where required), the firm applies to the Professional Corporations Unit for a registration.

    When applying to the Professional Corporations Unit for a registration, all firms use CPA Form 6R and CPA Form 6C. A registration fee as calculated on CPA Form 6R must be included. Any owner not reported on CPA Form 6C must be reported in a separate list as noted on Form 6C.

    A more detailed explanation of the process and a list of the required documents that must be submitted to the Department are available upon request at opcorp@nysed.gov.

  6. What is the registration process for firms that have formed outside of NYS?

    The firm registration process for foreign firms is a multiple step process dependent on the type of entity being registered. All firms are requested to contact the Professional Corporations Unit (opcorp@nysed.gov) for guidance when filing their NYS corporate filings.

    Foreign PCs and LLCs must apply to the Professional Corporations Unit for a Certificate of Authority (PLS-709). Once granted, the firm files the PLS-709 and other required documents with the NYS Department of State to register the corporation. The firm then returns to the Professional Corporations Unit to register the firm.

    Foreign LLPs apply directly to the NYS Department of State to register their corporation. After forming, the firm applies to the Professional Corporations Unit for a registration.

    Foreign Sole Proprietorship and Partnership formations are dictated by the state or county where the firm was formed. Most Partnerships are required to file a DBA certificate in their locality. Not all localities require or allow a Sole Proprietorship to file a DBA certificate. Firm owners are required to know the laws that apply in their respective locality. Having already filed the firm's DBA certificate in their locality (where required), the firm applies to the Professional Corporations Unit for a registration.

  7. What are the proper mailing addresses for the State Board for Public Accountancy and the NYS Department of State?

    NYS Education Department
    Office of the Professions, Professional Corporations Unit
    89 Washington Avenue
    4th Floor, EBA
    Albany, NY 12234

    New York Department of State
    Division of Corporations
    One Commerce Plaza
    99 Washington Avenue
    Albany, NY 12231
    http://www.dos.ny.gov/

  8. Who do I contact for more information?

    You may contact the Professional Corporations Unit at opcorp@nysed.gov or by calling 518-474-3817 ext. 400.

Last Updated: April 7, 2014