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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XXXII
REGULATION OF PROFESSIONS AND OCCUPATIONS
Chapter 481
ARCHITECTURE, INTERIOR DESIGN, AND LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
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F.S. 481.219
481.219 Qualification of business organizations.
(1) A licensee may practice architecture through a qualified business organization that offers architectural services to the public, subject to the provisions of this section.
(2) If a licensee or an applicant proposes to engage in the practice of architecture as a business organization, the licensee or applicant shall qualify the business organization upon approval of the board.
(3)(a) A business organization may not engage in the practice of architecture unless its qualifying agent is a registered architect under this part. A qualifying agent who terminates an affiliation with a qualified business organization shall immediately notify the department of such termination. If such qualifying agent is the only qualifying agent for that business organization, the business organization must be qualified by another qualifying agent within 60 days after the termination. Except as provided in paragraph (b), the business organization may not engage in the practice of architecture until it is qualified by another qualifying agent.
(b) In the event a qualifying agent ceases employment with a qualified business organization, the executive director or the chair of the board may authorize another registered architect employed by the business organization to temporarily serve as its qualifying agent for a period of no more than 60 days. The business organization is not authorized to operate beyond such period under this chapter absent replacement of the qualifying agent who has ceased employment.
(c) A qualifying agent shall notify the department in writing before engaging in the practice of architecture in her or his own name or in affiliation with a different business organization, and she or he or such business organization shall supply the same information to the department as required of applicants under this part.
(4) All final construction documents and instruments of service which include drawings, specifications, plans, reports, or other papers or documents that involve the practice of architecture which are prepared or approved for the use of the business organization and filed for public record within the state must bear the signature and seal of the licensee who prepared or approved them and the date on which they were sealed.
(5) The board shall allow a licensee or an applicant to qualify one or more business organizations to offer architectural services, or to use a fictitious name to offer such services, if one or more of the principal officers of the corporation or limited liability company, or one or more partners of the partnership, and all personnel of the corporation, limited liability company, or partnership who act in its behalf in this state as architects, are registered as provided by this part.
(6) Each qualifying agent who qualifies a business organization, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation certified under this section shall notify the department within 30 days after any change in the information contained in the application upon which the qualification is based. Any registered architect who qualifies the business organization shall ensure responsible supervising control of projects of the business organization and shall notify the department of the termination of her or his employment with a business organization qualified under this section within 30 days after such termination.
(7) A business organization is not relieved of responsibility for the conduct or acts of its agents, employees, or officers by reason of its compliance with this section. However, except as provided in s. 558.0035, the architect who signs and seals the construction documents and instruments of service is liable for the professional services performed, and the interior designer who signs and seals the interior design drawings, plans, or specifications shall be liable for the professional services performed.
(8) This section may not be construed to mean that a certificate of registration to practice architecture must be held by a business organization. This section does not prohibit a business organization from offering architectural, engineering, interior design, surveying and mapping, and landscape architectural services, or any combination of such services, to the public if the business organization otherwise meets the requirements of law.
History.ss. 7, 19, ch. 79-273; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 13, 23, 24, ch. 88-383; s. 6, ch. 89-66; s. 10, ch. 89-162; s. 4, ch. 91-429; ss. 119, 304, ch. 94-119; s. 7, ch. 95-389; s. 415, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 2005-124; s. 5, ch. 2013-28; s. 49, ch. 2020-160.