Architecture Licensing Compliance Guide

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North Carolina Architecture Industry Licensing

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Licensing requirements for architecture industry firms and individuals in North Carolina.

This page provides an overview of architecture industry licensing in North Carolina 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

North Carolina Architecture Company Licenses

North Carolina Certificate of Registration

Agency:North Carolina Board of Architecture
Law:

NC G.S. § 83A-8

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

Professional Corporations:

  • At least 2/3 of the shares of ownership must be held by licensed design professionals.
  • At least one officer and director must be licensed as architects in North Carolina.

Professional Limited Liability Companies:

  • At least 2/3 of the owners must be licensed design professionals.
  • At least one member and manager must be licensed as architects in North Carolina.

Domestic Limited Liability Partnerships:

  • All partners must hold a North Carolina issued architect license.

Foreign Limited Liability Partnerships:

  • At least one partner must hold a North Carolina issued architect license.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Initial Registration

This section applies to architectural firms that are applying for a license in North Carolina for the first time. If you already have a license and are looking to renew it, please see the renewal section.

Form:

Application for a Certificate of Registration

Agency Fee:

$75

Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Ensure that your business entity will meet ownership requirements.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Ensure that your North Carolina entity will meet ownership requirements.
  • Obtain a certificate of good standing from your business entity's home state (to be filed during the foreign qualification process). The certificate cannot be more than 6 months old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File the firm licensure part 1 application along with entity formation documents to the North Carolina Board of Architecture.
  2. Once approved you will receive the Board's Certification - file the certification and entity formation documents with the North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division.
  3. Submit proof of entity formation to the North Carolina Board of Architecture.
  4. Complete the firm licensure part 2 application
  5. Submit approved Secretary of State paperwork to the Board of Architecture, then firm license will be issued.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. File the firm licensure application along with entity formation documents to the North Carolina Board of Architecture.
  2. Once approved you will receive the Board's Certification - file the certification and foreign qualification documents with the North Carolina Secretary of State - Business Registration Division.
  3. Submit proof of foreign qualification to the North Carolina Board of Architecture.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Registration Renewal

This section applies to architectural firms that are already licensed in North Carolina and need to renew their license.

Form:

Firm Renewal Form

Agency Fee:

$100

Due:

Annually by December 31.

Fact Checked:4/15/20

Amendment

Form:

Firm Name Change Form

Agency Fee:

$0

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Amendment

Form:

Address Change for Firms

Agency Fee:

$0

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Reinstatement

Form:

Reinstatement for Professional Corporations and Limited Liability Companies

Agency Fee:

$250

Notes:

2 separate forms (1 for Corporations and 1 for LLC's)

Fact Checked:11/5/19

North Carolina Interior Design Firm License

Not required



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

North Carolina does not currently license or register interior design businesses.

North Carolina Landscape Architecture Organization Certificate of Registration

Agency:North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects
Fact Checked:10/10/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Application For Organization Certificate of Registration or Application For Organization Certificate of Registration - PLLC

Agency Fee:

$100 application fee + $250 certificate fee due after application is approved.

Notarize:Required
Fact Checked:10/10/19

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$250

Due:

Annually by June 30.

Fact Checked:10/10/19

Individual Licenses

North Carolina Individual Architecture Licenses

North Carolina Architect License

Agency:North Carolina Board of Architecture
NCARB Certificate:Required
Completion of CE/PDH:Required
Interview:Not required
NAAB-accredited degree:Required
NCARB IDP:Required
Additional Experience:Not required
State-specific exam:Not required

Initial Registration

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

Form:Licensure by Exam
Agency Fee:

$50 application / exam fee

Reciprocal Registration

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

Agency Fee:

$150

Registration Renewal

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

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$50

Due:

Annually by June 30.

North Carolina Interior Designer License

Not required



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

North Carolina Landscape Architect License

Agency:North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects
Fact Checked:10/14/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Applying for Registration as a Landscape Architect

Agency Fee:

$100

Notarize:Required

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$100

Due:

Annually by June 30.

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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