A fictitious CPA firm name, that is, one not consisting of the names or initials of one or more present or former partners, members, or shareholders, may not be used by a CPA firm unless the name has been registered with and approved by the board as not being false or misleading.
A firm name is considered false or misleading if:
it is not the lawful and registered name of the firm;
the name contains or fairly implies a misrepresentation of facts;
the name indicates character or grade of service that is not based upon verifiable facts;
the name is likely to mislead or deceive because it omits relevant facts. The following are examples, but are not inclusive:
the name indicates a geographic area of service which is not based on verifiable facts; or
the name is intended or likely to create false or unjustified expectations of favorable results;
the name implies special expertise;
the name implies educational or professional attainment or licensing recognition of the firm or of its owners, partners, or shareholders that are not supported in fact;
the name of the firm that is incorporated does not include the words "corporation," "incorporated," "Ltd," "professional corporation," or "company," or an abbreviation thereof as part of the firm name and the name of a firm organized under the limited liability partnership statute does not include the words "limited liability company" or "limited liability partnership," as appropriate, or an abbreviation thereof, as part of the firm name;
the name includes the designation "and company," "company," "group," "associates," or "and associates," or abbreviations thereof, or similar names implying more than one employed licensee in the firm, unless there are at least two licensees involved full time in the practice;
the name of a firm that is a partnership or professional corporation fails to contain the personal name or names of one or more individuals presently or previously a partner, officer, or shareholder thereof, except that an acronym may be used for a firm name if the acronym is composed exclusively of the first letters of the surnames of current or past partners or shareholders of the firm;
the name of a firm that is a sole proprietorship fails to contain the surname of the sole proprietor;
the name contains other representations or implications that are likely to cause an ordinarily prudent person to misunderstand or to be deceived; or
the name includes the name of an individual whose certificate has been suspended or revoked by the board.
27 SR 1425; 28 SR 1636; 33 SR 476
September 18, 2008
Copyright © 2008 by the Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota. All rights reserved.