California Architects

Newsletter Logo for California Architects

2020 Edition, Issue 1


A Publication of the California Architects Board ■ Public Protection Through Examination, Licensure, and Regulation

Restrictions for Business Entities Providing Architectural Services

Architectural Exterior
Architectural Exterior

Article 7 of the Architects Practice Act (Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 5610-5610.7) regulates business entities that provide architectural services through a professional corporation. A professional architecture corporation is authorized to render professional services so long as it and its shareholders, officers, directors, and employees rendering professional services who are licensed architects, are in compliance with the Moscone-Knox Professional Corporation Act (Corporations Code § 13400 et seq.).

Under Business and Professions Code, section 5610.3, the name of a professional architectural corporation and any name or names under which it may be rendering professional services shall contain and be restricted to the name or the last name of one or more of the present, prospective, or former shareholders, or of persons who were associated with a predecessor person, partnership, or other organization and whose name or names appeared in the name of the predecessor organization, and shall include either (1) the words "architectural corporation" or (2) the word "architect" or "architects" and wording or abbreviations denoting corporate existence.

The California Secretary of State has recently advised the Board that applications for other types of business entities that will provide architectural services will be rejected if the proposed business name is misleadingly similar to that of a professional corporation. For example, a general stock corporation or partnership may not be named “Smith Architects, Inc.”