Architecture Licensing Compliance Guide
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Rhode Island Architecture Industry Licensing

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Licensing requirements for architecture industry firms and individuals in Rhode Island.

This page provides an overview of architecture industry licensing in Rhode Island 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

Rhode Island Architecture Company Licenses

Rhode Island Architecture Certificate of Authorization

Agency:Rhode Island Division of Design Professionals
Law:

RI Gen L § 5-1-15.1

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

Business Corporations:

  • At least 2/3 of the directors (or shareholders if there are no directors) and officers must be licensed architects or engineers.
  • At least 1/3 of the directors (or shareholders if there are no directors) and officers must be licensed architects
  • At least 1 director (or shareholder if there are no directors) or officer must be a Rhode Island licensed architect.

Professional Corporations:

  • All officers, directors, and shareholders must be licensed in a professional service performed by the firm.

Limited Liability Companies:

  • At least 2/3 of the managers (or members if there are no managers) must be licensed architects or engineers.
  • At least 1/3 of the managers (or members if there are no managers) must be licensed architects.
  • At least 1 manager (or member if there are no managers) must be a Rhode Island licensed architect.

Partnerships:

  • At least 2/3 of the partners must be licensed architects or engineers.
  • At least 1/3 of the partners must be licensed architects.
  • At least 1 partner must be a Rhode Island licensed architect.

Limited Liability Partnerships:

  • At least 2/3 of the partners must be licensed architects or engineers.
  • At least 1/3 of the partners must be licensed architects.
  • At least 1 partner must be a Rhode Island licensed architect.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Initial Registration

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

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0

Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Identify a Rhode Island licensed architect, who is a full-time employee, to be in responsible charge of the firm's architectural activities.
  • Ensure that your business entity will meet ownership requirements.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Identify a Rhode Island licensed architect, who is a full-time employee, to be in responsible charge of the firm's architectural activities.
  • Ensure that your Rhode Island 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 60 days old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Rhode Island Secretary of State.
  2. Obtain a certificate of good standing (to be filed with the license application) using the entity search feature on the Secretary of State's website. Find your entity then click on the request certificate button to order.
  3. Create an online account and complete the Certificate of Authorization application through the Rhode Island Division of Design Professionals.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. File foreign qualification documents with the Rhode Island Secretary of State.
  2. Obtain a certificate of good standing (to be filed with the license application) using the entity search feature on the Secretary of State's website. Find your entity then click on the request certificate button to order.
  3. Create an online account and complete the Certificate of Authorization application through the Rhode Island Division of Design Professionals.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Registration Renewal

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

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$0 for firms with only one licensed architect (and strictly no other employees/assistants etc.) and $120 for firms with more than one licensed architect.

Due:

By December 31 of even-numbered years.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
Fact Checked:4/15/20

Amendment

Form:

Certificate of Authorization Amended Application Package

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Within 30 days of the effective date of the change.

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Rhode Island Interior Design Firm License

Not required



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

Rhode Island does not currently license or register interior design businesses.

Rhode Island Landscape Architecture Certificate of Authorization

Agency:Rhode Island Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects
Fact Checked:10/10/19

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$60

Fact Checked:10/10/19

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$120

Due:

By June 30 of even-numbered years.

Fact Checked:10/10/19

Individual Licenses

Rhode Island Individual Architecture Licenses

Rhode Island Architect License

Agency:Rhode Island Division of Design Professionals
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 Rhode Island for the first time.

Form:For Paper, at NCARB’s website after logging into My Registration and follow the reciprocal instructions for RI. For online, at the Board’s website at the following link: https://elicensing.ri.gov/
Agency Fee:

$60 application fee. No exam fee.

Reciprocal Registration

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

Agency Fee:

$60

Registration Renewal

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

Agency Fee:

$120 Biennially

Due:

By December 31 of odd-numbered years.

Rhode Island Interior Designer License

Not required



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

Rhode Island Landscape Architect License

Agency:Rhode Island Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects
Fact Checked:10/14/19

Initial Registration

Form:

Paper Application by Examination or Reciprocity

Agency Fee:

$36 registration fee + additional fees to be determined by the board

Notarize:Required

Registration Renewal

Form:

Renewal Application for Landscape Architect

Agency Fee:

$80

Due:

By June 30 of odd-numbered years.

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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