Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 20-7-.02 - Firm Ownership

(1) A firm in which a simple majority of the financial interest and voting rights are owned by CPAs of some state in good standing may be licensed in accordance with this chapter if all of the following conditions are met:
(a) Minimum Required Information: The firm must provide the following information:
1. The name, full business address, and telephone number;
2. All trade or business names used by the licensee;
3. The designated holder of a license, or in the case of a firm which must be licensed pursuant to Code Section 43-3-16(b)(1)(C), a licensee of another state who meets the requirements for substantial equivalency practice privileges as provided by Code Section 43-3-18(b), who shall be responsible for the proper registration of the firm;
4. The name, address and licensure status of the resident manager;
5. The type of ownership or operations (i.e., partnership, corporation, or sole proprietorship); and
6. The name(s) of the owners, including whether they are a CPA or Non-CPA owner, the states of licensure, the status of any license previously and currently held, and including:
(i) If an individual, the name of the individual;
(ii) If a partnership, the name of each partner, and the name of the partnership;
(iii) If a corporation, the name and title of each corporate officer and director, the corporate names, the name of the corporation, the name of the parent company, if any, the names of all members/shareholders of the corporation and parent company; and
(iv) If a sole proprietorship, the full name of the sole proprietorship and the name of the business entity.
(b) The Board will consider the following factors in determining eligibility for firm licensure:
1. Non-CPA owners of the firm must be natural persons. "Non-CPA owner" shall refer to the natural persons owning interests in such general partnerships or limited liability partnerships or other legal entities.
2. The Non-CPA owners must participate in the business of the firm consisting of providing services to or on behalf of the firm or performing functions in the firm or a related entity of the firm, and the Non-CPA owners cannot be solely or predominately a passive investor in the firm.
3. All owners must be of good moral character (for purposes of this Rule,"good moral character" means fiscal integrity and a lack of any history of acts involving dishonesty or moral turpitude).
4. Individuals now holding licenses or certificates from this state or any other state shall not be designated as Non-CPA owners. Individuals with expired licenses will be counted as a Non-CPA for purposes of determining the percentage of financial interests and voting rights in the firm owned by CPAs.
5. Previous disciplinary action against an owner by this state including the denial of licensure for reasons other than failure to meet the age, education, examination or experience requirements for initial licensure, shall be considered as grounds for denial of a license.
6. Commission of a felony or crime of moral turpitude under Georgia law, federal law, or the laws of any other states or any other country of a felony as defined in paragraph (3) of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-3-21 by the owners.
7. Previous disciplinary action against the firm or its' owners by any Federal regulatory authority, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, this state or any other state regulatory authority, or local government authority of any license, practice privilege, or the right to practice before a state or federal agency of the firm or its owners.
8. Compliance with licensing requirements under previously granted licenses if any.
9. Any other factor or qualifications the Board considers relevant to and consistent with the public health and safety.

Notes

Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 20-7-.02
O.C.G.A. ยงยง 43-3-2, 43-3-8, 43-3-16, 43-3-18.
Original Rule entitled "Eligibility" adopted. F. and eff. June 30, 1965. Amended: F. Feb. 9, 1976; eff. Feb. 29, 1976. Repealed: F. Feb. 9, 1978; eff. Mar. 1, 1978. Amended: New Rule entitled "Firm Ownership" adopted. F. Aug. 20, 2009; eff. Sept. 9, 2009. Amended: F. Feb. 4, 2015; eff. Feb. 24, 2015. Amended: F. Mar. 24, 2016; eff. Apr. 13, 2016.

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