Firms practicing public accounting in Florida must be licensed. For purposes of firm licensure, practicing public accounting is defined in Florida Statute 473.302(8):
(8)“Practice of,” “practicing public accountancy,” or “public accounting” means:(a) Offering to perform or performing for the public one or more types of services involving the expression of an opinion on financial statements, the attestation as an expert in accountancy to the reliability or fairness of presentation of financial information, the utilization of any form of opinion or financial statements that provide a level of assurance, the utilization of any form of disclaimer of opinion which conveys an assurance of reliability as to matters not specifically disclaimed, or the expression of an opinion on the reliability of an assertion by one party for the use by a third party;(b) Offering to perform or performing for the public one or more types of services involving the use of accounting skills, or one or more types of tax, management advisory, or consulting services, by any person who is a certified public accountant who holds an active license, issued pursuant to this chapter, or who is authorized to practice public accounting pursuant to the practice privileges granted in s. 473.3141, including the performance of such services by a certified public accountant in the employ of a person or firm;(c) Offering to perform or performing for the public one or more types of service involving the preparation of financial statements not included within paragraph (a), by a certified public accountant who holds an active license, issued pursuant to this chapter, or who is authorized to practice public accounting pursuant to the practice privileges granted in s. 473.3141; by a firm of certified public accountants; or by a firm in which a certified public accountant has an ownership interest, including the performance of such services in the employ of another person. The board shall adopt rules establishing standards of practice for such reports and financial statements; provided, however, that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to permit the board to adopt rules that have the result of prohibiting Florida certified public accountants employed by unlicensed firms from preparing financial statements as authorized by this paragraph; or(d) Offering to perform or performing for the public one or more types of services involving any attestation engagements in accordance with the Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements.
CPA Firms that provide services as described in 473.302 (8), F.S., as listed above, must obtain a firm license. The application fee to license a corporation or partnership CPA Firm in even years is $150 (for a two-year license) and $75 in an odd year (such as 2005, 2007 and 2009) when the application is received prior to August 31st of the odd year.
You can apply for a Partnership Firm license online at www.myfloridalicense.com.
You can apply for a Corporation Firm license online at www.myfloridalicense.com.
Sole proprietors who offer to the public services as outlined in 473.302(8), Florida Statutes, must file for a firm license by submitting a sole proprietor firm application and application fee. This license requires a fee of $50 (regardless of when the sole proprietor application is submitted) and is renewed at the end of odd-numbered years.
Effective July 1, 2017, CS/SB 1348 provides an exemption to the requirement for licensure of CPA firms without an office in this state, so the privilege of “practice mobility” is extended to include out-of-state CPA firms that offer services as defined in Section 473.302(8), F.S.
In order to qualify for firm mobility, an out-of-state CPA firm must:
- Comply with the practice mobility requirements under current law,
- Be enrolled in a peer review program,
- Perform services through an individual with practice privileges under Section 473.3141, F.S., and
- Lawfully perform services in a state where a CPA with practice mobility privileges has his or her principal place of business.
The Board of Accountancy issues permits or licenses to out-of-state certified public accountants that have an engagement in the State of Florida. A temporary permit is required if the out-of-state CPA is going to perform work in Florida and/or the nature of the engagement requires work to be performed by a Florida CPA. Temporary permits are also required if the out-of-state CPA firm does not meet the licensing requirements in their home state, or if their home state’s requirements are not substantially equivalent.
A temporary permit is valid for 90 days and covers one engagement. Your application must be received at least 30 days before the date of engagement.
An application and a $400 fee must be submitted in advance of the engagement. Confirmation of permit issuance must be received before work begins.
A temporary permit is not required for the purpose of preparing federal tax returns or advising as to federal tax matters.
You can apply for a temporary permit online at www.myfloridalicense.com.
To obtain an application to change a firm name you may download the form here.
To change a firm name in an even year requires a fee of $150 (for a two-year license) and $75 in an odd year (such as 2003, 2005 and 2007) for a one-year license. Sole proprietor firm name changes are $50 regardless of the year of change.
All requests for publications, documents, forms, applications for licenses, permits and other similar certifications can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.
Roger Scarborough, Director
Division of Certified Public Accounting
240 NW 76th Drive, Suite A
Gainesville, FL 32607