Architecture Licensing Compliance Guide

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Tennessee Architecture Industry Licensing

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Licensing requirements for architecture industry firms and individuals in Tennessee.

This page provides an overview of architecture industry licensing in Tennessee 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

Tennessee Architecture Company Licenses

Tennesee Interior Design Firm License

Not required



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

Tennessee does not currently license or register interior design businesses.

More information: Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance - Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners

Tennessee Corporation, Partnership and Firm Disclosure (Architecture)

Agency:Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance - Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners
Law:

TN Ann Code § 62-2-601

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

Business Corporations:

  • Corporations must appoint a Tennessee licensed architect to be responsible for all architectural activities undertaken by the firm in Tennessee, and the responsible individual must either have the authority to make independent design decisions or be an officer of the firm.

Professional Corporations:

  • All shareholders (unless otherwise authorized by the board of architects), officers (excluding secretary and treasurer), and at least 1/2 of the directors must be licensed in a professional service provided by the PC.

Limited Liability Companies:

  • LLCs must appoint a Tennessee licensed architect to be responsible for all architectural activities undertaken by the firm in Tennessee, and the responsible individual must either have the authority to make independent design decisions or be a manager of the firm.

Professional Limited Liability Companies:

  • All members (unless otherwise authorized by the board of architects), managers (excluding secretary and treasurer), and at least 1/2 of the governors, if any, must be licensed in a professional service provided by the PLLC.

Partnerships:

  • Partnerships must appoint a Tennessee licensed architect to be responsible for all architectural activities undertaken by the firm in Tennessee, and the responsible individual must either have the authority to make independent design decisions or be a partner of the firm.
Notes:

Tennessee does not issue firm licenses, but architectural firms must file the Corporation, Partnership, and Firm Disclosure form.

Fact Checked:5/28/20

Initial Registration

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

Form:

Corporation, Partnership, and Firm Disclosure

Agency Fee:

$0

Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Identify a Tennessee licensed architect, who is a full-time employee, to be in responsible charge of the firm's architectural activities in Tennessee.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Identify a Tennessee licensed architect, who is a full-time employee, to be in responsible charge of the firm's architectural activities in Tennessee.
  • 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 2 months old when filing foreign qualification documents.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Tennessee Secretary of State - Division of Business Services.
  2. File a Corporation, Partnership, and Firm Disclosure with the Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. File foreign qualification documents with the Tennessee Secretary of State - Division of Business Services.
  2. File a Corporation, Partnership, and Firm Disclosure with the Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners.
Fact Checked:5/28/20

Renewal Not Required

Not required



Firm disclosures do not need to be renewed, however, firms must notify the board within 60 days if a change occurs to the information listed on the disclosure.

Amendment

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Notify the board in writing within 60 days of any changes in firm information.

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

Tennessee Corporation, Partnership, and Firm Disclosure (Landscape Architecture)

Agency:Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance - Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners
Fact Checked:5/3/18

Initial Registration

Form:

Corporation, Partnership, and Firm Disclosure

Agency Fee:

$0

Renewal Not Required

Not required



No renewal form is required, however, firms must notify the board within 60 days if a change occurs to the information listed on the disclosure.

Amendment

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Notify the board in writing within 60 days of any changes in firm information.

Fact Checked:11/5/19

Individual Licenses

Tennessee Individual Architecture Licenses

Tennessee Architect License

Agency:Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance - Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners
NCARB Certificate:Required
Completion of CE/PDH:Required
Interview:Not required
NAAB-accredited degree:Not 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 Tennessee for the first time.

Form:Architect Application
Agency Fee:

$30 exam fee, inclusive of initial registration fee

Reciprocal Registration

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

Agency Fee:

$55

Registration Renewal

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

Agency Fee:

$140

Due:

Biennially by the end of the month of issuance.

Tennessee Interior Designer Registration

Agency:Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance - Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners
Fact Checked:11/12/19

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$55

Fact Checked:11/15/19

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$140

Due:

Biennially

Fact Checked:11/15/19

Tennessee Landscape Architect Registration

Agency:Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance - Tennessee Board of Architectural and Engineering Examiners
Fact Checked:10/14/19

Initial Registration

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$30 application fee + exam fees

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$140

Due:

Biennially by the date of issuance.

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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