|(a) General rules applicable to all firms:
(1) A firm name may not contain words, abbreviations
or other language that are misleading to the public, or that may cause
confusion to the public as to the legal form or ownership of the firm.
(2) A firm licensed by the board may not conduct business,
perform or offer to perform services for or provide products to a
client under a name other than the name in which the firm is licensed.
(3) A word, abbreviation or other language is presumed
to be misleading if it:
(A) is a trade name or assumed name that does not comply
with paragraph (4)(A) or (B) of this subsection;
(B) states or implies the quality of services offered,
special expertise, expectation as to outcomes or favorable results,
or geographic area of service;
(C) includes the name of a non-owner of the firm;
(D) includes the name of a non-CPA, except as provided
in paragraph (4)(B) of this subsection;
(E) states or implies educational or professional attainment
not supported in fact;
(F) states or implies licensing recognition for the
firm or any of its owners not supported in fact;
(G) includes a designation such as "and company," "associates,"
"and associates," "group" or abbreviations thereof or similar designations
implying that the firm has more than one employed licensee unless
there are at least two employed licensees involved in the practice.
Independent contractors are not considered employees under this subsection;
(H) includes the designation "company" when it is a
one licensee sole proprietorship.
(4) A word, abbreviation or other language is presumed
not misleading if it:
(A) is the licensee's full name, the licensee's surname,
or full or last initials of one or more current or former CPA owners
of the firm, its predecessor firm or successor firm;
(B) is the name, surname, or initials of one or more
current or former foreign practitioner owners of the firm, its predecessor
firm or successor firm who are or would have been eligible to practice
public accountancy in this state pursuant to §901.355 of the
Act (relating to Registration for Certain Foreign Applicants);
(C) indicates the legal organization of the firm; or
(D) states or implies a limitation on the type of service
offered by the firm, such as "tax," "audit" or "investment advisory
services," provided the firm in fact principally limits its practice
to the type of service indicated in the name.
(5) The board may place conditions on the licensing
of a firm in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of this
(b) Additional Requirements Based on Legal Form or
(1) The names of a corporation, professional corporation,
limited liability partnership, professional limited liability company
or other similar legal forms of ownership must contain the form of
ownership or an abbreviation thereof, such as "Inc.," "P.C.," "L.L.P."
or "P.L.L.C."; except that a limited liability partnership organized
before September 1, 1993 is not required to utilize the words "limited
liability partnership" or any abbreviation thereof.
(2) Sole Proprietorships:
(A) The name of a firm that is a sole proprietor must
contain the surname of the sole proprietor as it appears on the individual
license issued to the sole proprietor by the board.
(B) A partner surviving the death of all other partners
may continue to practice under the partnership name for up to two
years after becoming a sole proprietor, notwithstanding subsection
(d) of this section.
(c) The name of any current or former owner may not
be used in a firm name during any period when such owner is prohibited
from practicing public accountancy and prohibited from using the title
"certified public accountant," "public accountant" or any abbreviation
thereof, unless specifically permitted by the board.
(d) A firm licensed by the board is required to report
to the board any change in the legal organization of the firm and
amend the firm name to comply with this section regarding firm names
for the new organization within thirty days of the effective date
of such change.
(e) This section regarding firm names does not affect
firms licensed by the board prior to the effective date of this section,
but does apply to any change in legal organization or name that occurs
after the effective date of this section. Nothing in this subsection
prohibits the board from placing conditions on the licensing of a
firm pursuant to subsection (a)(5) of this section at the time of
renewal of the firm license.
|Source Note: The provisions of this §501.83 adopted to be effective October 13, 2005, 30 TexReg 6432; amended to be effective December 7, 2011, 36 TexReg 8236; amended to be effective April 18, 2018, 43 TexReg 2273; amended to be effective August 8, 2018, 43 TexReg 5091; amended to be effective June 3, 2020, 45 TexReg 3634