Is Your Entity Licensed in Every State Where You Do Business?

Design professional firms must comply with the business and licensing requirements of every state in which they do business. Nothing is ever easy so (of course) these requirements vary from state to state. Even the term "doing business" means different things. Some states, like Nevada, expect design professionals and their firms to comply with their requirements before a business card is given out in the state. Other states do not require compliance until a job is secured.

Firms that do business in more than one state must analyze each state's entity requirements and its regulatory agency's licensing requirements to determine how easy or difficult compliance will be.

In the easy cases, an already-established entity, its ownership and management structure, will fulfill the requirements of the regulatory agency of the new state; the firm as constituted will only have to "qualify" to do business at the state level and comply with whatever filing requirements are mandated by the licensing authority. In the difficult cases, the second state may not recognize the existing entity type at all or may require a completely different ownership or managerial structure (typically involving a heavier allotance of architects licensed by that particular state). In those cases, the firm will have no choice but to form an entirely different entity to practice in that second state.

LicenseSure stands by to help with the challenges faced by multi-jurisdictional firms, both the easy cases and the hard ones.

About The Author

Patti Harris spent 13 years as the Managing Partner of a New York City-based construction law firm; in addition to overseeing the business operations of the firm, she advised clients on office and business management issues.

Learn more about Patti on our About page.

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