Architecture Licensing Compliance Guide

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Massachusetts Architecture Industry Licensing

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Licensing requirements for architecture industry firms and individuals in Massachusetts.

This page provides an overview of architecture industry licensing in Massachusetts 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

Massachusetts Architecture Company Licenses

Massachusetts Architecture Firm License

Not required



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

Firm licenses are not issued at the state level, however, a licensed individual must oversee all architectural work. Firms should consult board rules and state statutes before doing business.

More information: Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensing: Board of Registration of Architects
Law:

231 CMR § 4.04

Eligible Entity Types:
  • Business Corporations
  • Professional Corporations
  • Limited Liability Companies
  • Professional Limited Liability Companies
  • Partnerships
  • Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Joint Ventures
Ownership Requirements:

Business Corporations:

  • At least one of the officers, whose status as an officer is established by the articles of organization or by-laws, must be a Massachusetts licensed architect.
  • All contracts or agreements to perform architectural services in Massachusetts must be executed on behalf of the corporation by the officer who is duly registered as an architect in Massachusetts.

Professional Corporations:

  • Each of the incorporators, shareholders, the president, any vice presidents, and a majority of the directors must be licensed to perform a professional service provided by the firm.

Limited Liability Companies:

  • At least one of the managers (or at least one member in the case of an LLC in which management of the business is vested in one or more members) must be a Massachusetts licensed architect.
  • All contracts or agreements to perform architectural services in Massachusetts must be executed on behalf of the LLC by the manager or member who is duly registered as an architect in Massachusetts.

Professional Limited Liability Companies:

  • At least one of the managers (or at least one member in the case of an LLC in which management of the business is vested in one or more members) must be a Massachusetts licensed architect.
  • All contracts or agreements to perform architectural services in Massachusetts must be executed on behalf of the LLC by the manager or member who is duly registered as an architect in Massachusetts.

Partnerships:

  • At least one of the partners must be a Massachusetts licensed architect.
  • All contracts or agreements to perform architectural services in Massachusetts must be executed on behalf of the partnership by the partner who is duly registered as an architect in Massachusetts.

Limited Liability Partnerships:

  • At least one of the partners must be a Massachusetts licensed architect.
  • All contracts or agreements to perform architectural services in Massachusetts must be executed on behalf of the LLP by the partner who is duly registered as an architect in Massachusetts.

Joint Ventures:

  • At least one of the members must be either an individual who is a Massachusetts licensed architect or a business organization that is qualified to perform architectural services in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Interior Design Firm License

Not required



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

Massachusetts does not currently license or register interior design businesses.

Massachusetts Landscape Architecture Firm License

Not required



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

More information: Massachusetts Board of Registration for Landscape Architects

Individual Licenses

Massachusetts Individual Architecture Licenses

Massachusetts Architect License

Agency:Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensing: Board of Registration of Architects
NCARB Certificate:Required
Completion of CE/PDH:Required
Interview:Not required
NAAB-accredited degree:Required
NCARB IDP:Required
Additional Experience:Required
State-specific exam:Not required

Initial Registration

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

Form:http://www.mass.gov/dpl/boards/ar
Agency Fee:

$135 application fee; $125 licensure fee application fee. No exam fee.

Reciprocal Registration

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

Agency Fee:

$365

Registration Renewal

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

Agency Fee:

$125

Due:

Annually by August 31.

Reinstatement

Form:

Massachusetts Architectural Reinstatement Application

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

Varies based on amount of time in "expired" status and what current board renewal fees are.

Fact Checked:7/25/19

Massachusetts Interior Designer License

Not required



Interior Designer licensure is not required on the State level in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Landscape Architect License

Agency:Massachusetts Board of Registration for Landscape Architects
Fact Checked:10/14/19

Initial Registration

Form:

First-Time Licensure Application for Examination or Reciprocity for Landscape Architects

Agency Fee:

$45 application fee + $66 licensure fee

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$66

Due:

Annually by Janurary 31.

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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