A simple majority of the ownership of a firm, in terms of financial interests and voting rights, must belong to licensees of a state or other recognized jurisdiction. All CPAs or LPAs associated with the firm, whose principal place of business is in North Dakota, and who perform professional services in this state, must hold a valid certificate or license issued by this state. The firm and its owners must comply with the following board rules re. ownership:
A minority of the ownership of a firm practicing public accountancy within North Dakota may be held by individuals who are not CPAs or
LPAs. Each such owner:
- must be an individual (vs. a corporation, etc.)
- must not serve as the principal executive officer of the firm
- must not exercise authority over the performance of audit, review, compilation, or other attest services; and
- must not aid in the unauthorized practice of public accounting or knowingly misrepresent facts, or commit any act discreditable to the accounting profession.
When any such owner fails to meet any of these conditions, or is convicted of a felony, or other crime involving fraud or dishonesty, or is disciplined by a regulatory agency, that person’s ownership in the firm must be divested within six months thereafter, unless the Board shall determine otherwise.