Minnesota Board of Accountancy

Regulation • Licensure • Enforcement • Public Service

 

Firms


Key Information for Minnesota CPA Firms and RAP Firms

Find general answers to your questions regarding who needs a firm permit, firm name requirements, peer report requirements, and firm permit renewal here. Please consult the statutes and rules for details; links are provided in the information below.

CPA Firms RAP Firms

Keep Your Firm's Address Current

It's Not Just Smart, It's Your Responsibility

Making sure the Board has your firm's current address is not only the best way to ensure you receive information regarding licensing requirements, renewals, and statutes and rules changes, it's actually an obligation of your firm's licensure. See MN Rules 1105.1100.

Submit firm address changes by using the same form as that for firm name changes.

CPA Address / Firm Name Change RAP Address / Firm Name Change

CPA Firms

Does My Firm Need a CPA Permit in Minnesota?

A firm can take the form of a sole proprietorship, a corporation, a partnership, or other organizational forms. In general, firms that need a permit to practice in Minnesota include any firm with an office in Minnesota that: (1) performs attest services, (2) performs compilation services (certain exceptions exist); or (3) that uses the title "CPA" or "CPA firm." Any firm that does not have an office in this state but performs attest services for a client having its headquarters in this state also needs a permit. Refer to MN Statute 326A.05 and MN Rule 1105.4200.B for specifics.


What About a Business Permit?

Business registration and related questions are handled by the Secretary of State's office.

MN Secretary of State Website

How Do I Get a CPA Firm Permit?

Submit your initial application form and required documentation to the Board. See the application form for instructions and fee. Details can be found in the previously referenced statute and in MN Rules 1105.4000.

Sole proprietors* use one form; all other entities use another:

* Note: If you are a single-member firm but registered with the Secretary of State, you are not legally considered a "Sole Proprietor"; use "All Other CPA Firm Types" forms.

 

Sole Proprietor Initial Application All Other CPA Firm Types Initial Application

Applications are reviewed at Board meetings; see the Board calendar for dates. Once approved, the firm permit is valid through December 31.


What CPA Firm Naming Requirements Exist?

A firm must not use any name identifying itself as a CPA firm until the name has been registered with and approved by the Board. To protect the public, the Board requires that CPA firm names not be misleading or fictitious. See MN Rules 1105.6300-1105.6400.

Note: Staff members do not have the authority to advise on or preapprove firm names; please consult and be guided by the information published in the rules, then submit your name request with your application to the Board.

How Do I Request a CPA Firm Name Change?

To request a name change, simply complete the appropriate Name Change Request Form.

Sole proprietors use one form; all other entities use another:

 Sole Proprietor Name Change Request  All Other CPA Firms Name Change Request

Name change requests are reviewed at Board meetings; see the Board calendar for dates. Be reminded that CPA firms cannot hold out or practice under a name that has not been approved by the Board.


How Do I Renew My Firm's CPA Permit?

Firm permits expire without exception on December 31 each year. In the fall, the permit renewal window opens.

Sole proprietors who do not perform work that requires they undergo peer review may renew their permit through Online Services (renew your individual license, then select to continue with renewal of sole proprietor permit):

Online Services

Sole proprietors that must undergo peer review and all other CPA firms must submit a paper renewal form.

Renewal Forms

Note: Sole proprietors must renew their individual CPA license with an active status or they will not be able to renew their sole proprietor firm permit. No firms can renew their permits until a two-thirds majority of partners, members, managers, shareholders, directors and officers who hold a certificate and whose principal place of business is in this state renew their individual certificates with an active status. All (100% of) such members must be renewed within 60 days of license expiration or the firm's permit is automatically revoked.   See MN Rule 1105.4000 (D) and 1105.4150 for details.


What If My Firm Is Sold, Merged, or Dissolved?

If your firm is sold, merged or dissolved, notify the Board in writing within 30 days of the event. The Board will mark the firm as dissolved/no longer requiring permit renewal. Include the event date if you want your permit to remain current until that date.


What Are the Peer Review Requirements?

Basic information for initial firm applicants: All firms that apply for a Minnesota permit and who have in the current year or expect in the coming year to perform audits, reviews or compilations of financial statements or examinations of prospective financial information must submit with their initial application a copy of any peer review completed within the last year. See the application form for more information. For a new firm that has not yet undergone peer review, the peer review is due to the Board 21 months from the report date of the initial attest or compilation engagement. Three years from that initial report date is when the firm's next peer review will be due to the Board.

The peer review period for a firm (beginning and ending months) cannot be changed without prior approval from the Board. For firms that have not yet performed services that require peer review, the beginning month of their first peer review period will be established by the reviewer.

Basic information for firms already holding a Minnesota permit: Firms who perform attest or compilation services must undergo and submit to the Board the results of a peer review once every three years. Information on how and what to report to the Board can be found in MN Rules 1105.5400.

Firms that do not perform attest or compiliation services and do not foresee performing such services in the coming year may claim exemption from peer review at the time of renewal. If they subsequently perform those services, they must immediately notify the Board in writing and submit to the Board a peer review 21 months from the report date of the initial attest or compilation engagement—or sooner, at the request of the firm.

Detailed information: The above is generalized information on peer review requirements. Please consult the rules for specifics on all definitions, requirements, conditions, and exceptions: MN Rules 1105.4300 and 1105.4600 - 1105.5500.

RAP Firms

Does My Firm Need a RAP Firm Permit in Minnesota?

A "RAP firm" can take the form of a sole proprietorship, a corporation, a partnership, or other organizational forms. In general, firms that need a permit to practice in Minnesota include any firm with an office in Minnesota that performs compilation services* (and is not a CPA firm) or that uses the title "RAP" or "RAP firm." Any firm that does not have an office in this state but performs compiliation services* for a client having its headquarters in this state also needs a permit. Refer to MN Rule 1105.7100 and 1105.7300 for specifics.

* These must comply with Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services (SSARS).


What About a Business Permit?

Business registration is handled by the Secretary of State's office.

MN Secretary of State Website

How Do I Get a RAP Firm Permit?

Submit your initial application form and required documentation to the Board. See the application form for instructions and fee. Details can be found in the rules referenced in the previous section.

All RAP firm types use the same form:

 RAP Firm Initial Application

Applications are reviewed at Board meetings; see the Board calendar for dates. Once approved, the firm permit is valid through December 31.


What RAP Firm Naming Requirements Exist?

A firm must not use any name identifying itself as a RAP firm until the name has been registered with and approved by the Board. To protect the public, the Board requires that RAP firm names not be misleading. See MN Rules 1105.7450.

Note: Staff members do not have the authority to advise on or preapprove firm names; please consult and be guided by the information published in the rules, then submit your name request with your application to the Board.


How Do I Request a RAP Firm Name Change?

To request a name change, simply complete the RAP Firm Name Change Request Form.

 RAP Firm Name Change Request

Name change requests are reviewed at Board meetings; see the Board calendar for dates. Be reminded that RAP firms cannot use—in any way—a name that has not been approved by the Board.


How Do I Renew My Firm's RAP Permit?

Firm permits expire without exception on December 31 each year. In the fall, the renewal window opens. All RAP firms must submit a paper renewal form:

RAP Firm Renewal Forms

Note: No RAP firm can renew its permit until all partners, members, managers, shareholders, directors and officers who hold a registration and whose principal place of business is in this state individually renew their registration. See MN Rule 1105.7100 and 1105.7300-1105.7400 for details.


What If My Firm Is Sold, Merged, or Dissolved?

If your firm is sold, merged or dissolved, notify the Board in writing within 30 days of the event. The Board will then close your firm permit. Include the event date if you want your permit to remain active until that date.


What Are the Peer Review Requirements?

RAP firms are subject to the same peer review requirements as CPA firms. See MN Rules 1105.7400 and the CPA peer review section above.


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