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RULE §518.5Unlicensed Entities

(a) An unlicensed entity is permitted to state that it has an ownership interest and a business affiliation with a registered CPA firm provided each such statement complies with subsection (b) of this section.

(b) In any letterhead, or in any advertising or promotional statements by an unlicensed entity that refers to accounting, auditing or attest services or any derivative terms associated with those services, there must be a statement that such services are only performed by the affiliated registered CPA firm. This statement must be included in conspicuous proximity to the name of the unlicensed entity and be printed in type not less bold than that contained in the body of the letterhead, advertisement or promotional statement. If the advertisement is in audio format, the statement must be clearly declared in each such presentation.

(c) An unlicensed entity performing attest services is in the unauthorized practice of public accountancy and in violation of the Act and the board's rules.

(d) Interpretative Comment: This section clarifies that the mere mention of a business and ownership affiliation with a registered CPA firm on the letterhead, or in advertising or promotional statements, of an unlicensed entity does not violate the Act when done in compliance with the provisions of this section. This section also clarifies that the letterhead, advertising or promotional statements of the unlicensed entity may not refer to accounting, auditing or attest services, or any derivative terms associated with those services, without violating §901.453 of the Act (relating to Use of Other Titles or Abbreviations). It also clarifies that all attest services must still be performed exclusively by registered CPA firms in accordance with the Act and all board rules. The definition of "attest services" is set forth in §501.52 of this title (relating to Definitions).

Source Note: The provisions of this §518.5 adopted to be effective June 9, 2010, 35 TexReg 4717; amended to be effective June 7, 2012, 37 TexReg 4052

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