Architecture Licensing Compliance Guide
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Illinois Architecture Industry Licensing

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Licensing requirements for architecture industry firms and individuals in Illinois.

This page provides an overview of architecture industry licensing in Illinois for individuals and firms. You will find state requirements, application fees, filing instructions, and more. For assistance with licensing, please contact us to learn about our software and managed license services.

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Company Licenses

Illinois Architecture Company Licenses

Illinois Interior Design Firm License

Not required



Interior Design Firm licensure is not required on the State level in Illinois.

Illinois does not currently license or register interior design businesses.

Illinois Landscape Architecture Firm License

Not required



Landscape Architecture Firm licensure is not required on the State level in Illinois.

More information: Illinois Landscape Architect Registration Board

Illinois Professional Design Firm Registration

Agency:Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Law:

225 ILCS 305/21; 225 ILCS 325/23; 225 ILCS 330/25; and 225 ILCS 340/19

Eligible Entity Types:
  • Business Corporations
  • Professional Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Professional Limited Liability Companies
  • Partnerships
Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Ownership Requirements:

Business Corporations:

  • At least one Illinois licensed professional, who is a director and full-time employee, must be designated through a resolution as the managing agent in responsible charge of the practice for each professional service offered by the firm.
  • Firms that provide architectural services are required to have at least 2/3 of their board of directors licensed in any state to practice architecture, professional engineering, structural engineering or land surveying.

Professional Corporations:

  • All of the directors, officers, and shareholders must be individuals who are licensed in one of the professions offered by the firm or a related profession.

Limited Liability Companies:

  • At least one Illinois licensed professional, who is a member and full-time employee, must be designated through a resolution as the managing agent in responsible charge of the practice for each professional service offered by the firm.
  • Firms that provide architectural services are required to have at least 2/3 of their members licensed in any state to practice architecture, professional engineering, structural engineering or land surveying.

Professional Limited Liability Companies:

  • All of the managers and members must be individuals who are licensed in one of the professions offered by the firm or a related profession.

Partnerships:

  • At least one Illinois licensed professional, who is a partner and full-time employee, must be designated through a resolution as the managing agent in responsible charge of the practice for each professional service offered by the firm.
  • Firms that provide architectural services are required to have at least 2/3 of their partners licensed in any state to practice architecture, professional engineering, structural engineering or land surveying.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Initial Registration

Form:

Professional Design Firm Registration Application

Agency Fee:

$75

Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Identify an Illinois licensed design professional to act as the managing agent for the firm and Illinois licensed design professionals to act as the resident licensee for each office location in Illinois.
  • Ensure that your business entity will meet ownership requirements.
  • Obtain a copy of a signed board resolution designating the Illinois licensed design professional(s) as the managing agent(s) of the firm (to be filed with license application). The resolution must include the licensee's name and Illinois license number, that the licensee is a full-time employee of the firm, the licensee's relationship to the firm, e.g. director (if applicable), and that the licensee has been designated as the managing agent in charge of that professional practice in Illinois.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Identify an Illinois licensed design professional to act as the managing agent for the firm and Illinois licensed design professionals to act as the resident licensee for each office location in Illinois.
  • Ensure that your Illinois entity will meet ownership requirements.
  • Obtain a copy of a signed board resolution designating the Illinois licensed design professional(s) as the managing agent(s) of the firm (to be filed with license application). The resolution must include the licensee's name and Illinois license number, that the licensee is a full-time employee of the firm, the licensee's relationship to the firm, e.g. director (if applicable), and that the licensee has been designated as the managing agent in charge of that professional practice in Illinois.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Illinois Secretary of State - Business Services Department.
  2. Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing and a copy of the most recently filed annual report from the Illinois Secretary of State - Business Services Department (these documents are not required if your entity was formed within one year of submitting your firm license application).
  3. If applicable, obtain a filed copy of the application with the Illinois Secretary of State to adopt an assumed name and the letter issued by the Illinois Secretary of State approving the assumed name (to be filed with the license application).
  4. Submit a Professional Design Firm Registration Application to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. File foreign qualification documents with the Illinois Secretary of State - Business Services Department.
  2. Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing and a copy of the most recently filed annual report from the Illinois Secretary of State - Business Services Department (these documents are not required if your entity was formed within one year of submitting your firm license application).
  3. If applicable, obtain a filed copy of the application with the Illinois Secretary of State to adopt an assumed name and the letter issued by the Illinois Secretary of State approving the assumed name (to be filed with the license application).
  4. Submit a Professional Design Firm Registration Application to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$75

Due:

Expires on April 30 of every odd year.

Notes:

Renewal notices are mailed 2 months prior to the expiration date.

Fact Checked:4/15/20

Amendment

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

If the managing agent status changes, the professional design firm must notify the Department by mail within 10 business days and notify within 30 days of the name and license number of the newly designated managing agent by submitting a Resolution of the board/members/partners and the seal and signature of the new managing agent.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:11/5/19

Reinstatement

Agency Fee:

$75 for each renewal period missed + $50 late fee

Notes:

Send the board a letter requesting reinstatement along with the appropriate fees. If the license has been expired for 5 or more years, the license holder should apply for a new license.

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Individual Licenses

Illinois Individual Architecture Licenses

Illinois Architect License

Agency:Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
NCARB Certificate:Not required
Completion of CE/PDH:Required
Interview:Not required
NAAB-accredited degree:Required
NCARB IDP:Required
Additional Experience:Not required
State-specific exam:Required

Initial Registration

This section applies to architects that are applying for a license in Illinois for the first time.

Form:

http://www.idfpr.com/profs/Architect.asp

Agency Fee:

$100 application fee + $100 exam fee. Every 3 years you must re-apply.

Reciprocal Registration

This section applies to architects licensed in another state that are looking for reciprocal licensure in Illinois.

Agency Fee:

$100

Registration Renewal

This section applies to architects that are already licensed in Illinois and need to renew their license.

Agency Fee:

$60

Due:

By November 30 of even-numbered years.

Illinois Interior Designer Registration

Agency:Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Fact Checked:8/27/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Reigistered Interior Designer Application

Filing Method:

File by mail.

Agency Fee:

$40 for Illinois-licensed architects (non-examination).

$100 for examination.

$100 for endorsement.

Fact Checked:8/27/19

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

File online.

Agency Fee:

$20

Due:

By August 31 of odd-numbered years.

Fact Checked:8/27/19

Illinois Landscape Architect License

Agency:Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Fact Checked:1/16/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Landscape Architect - Examination

Agency Fee:

$100

Fact Checked:1/21/19

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$60

Due:

By August 31 of odd-numbered years.

Fact Checked:1/21/19

Learn about architecture licensing in other states:

ARE (Architect Registration Examination) - Assesses candidates for their knowledge, skills, and ability to provide the various services required to be a practicing architect.

AXP (Architectural Experience Program) - NCARB program for architectural internship, a requirement for licensure that occurs after filling the educational requirements.

BEFA (Broadly Experienced Foreign Architect) - An alternative NCARB certification that allows foreign architects to independently practice architecture.

COA (Certificate of Authorization) - The most common name of the registration required for firms to practice architecture in a given state.

Design Firm - Architectural firm registration is sometimes grouped with engineering and land surveying on a single “design firm” application form.

NCARB Certification - Licensed architects have the option to become Certificate holders to signify that they have met national standards established by U.S. licensing boards for protecting public health, safety, and welfare. Certification also facilitates reciprocal registration in all 54 jurisdictions, 11 Canadian jurisdictions, and can be used to support an application for licensure in other countries.

Reciprocity - This is when a licensed architect in one state can provide documentation (often a NCARB certificate) to more easily apply for licensure in another jurisdiction.

State Board - Often referred to as the State Architects Licensure Board or Board of Architects, an individual state’s board serves as the regulatory authority for architects. The board qualifies and licenses individuals seeking architectural licensure. The board is responsible for preserving the public health, safety, and welfare of individuals who occupy built environments.

National Architecture Accrediting Board
NAAB establishes criteria for and accredits professional architecture degree programs in the United States.

The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS)
AIAS is an independent, student-run group that promotes excellence in architecture education, training, and practice.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
AIA is a voluntary professional organization for architects providing advocacy, information, and community.

The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)
ACSA represents architectural education programs across the globe.

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
NCARB is the national organization representing the state registration boards.

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