Firm name and logo
A number of rules must be respected when choosing the name of a firm. The corporate name must be in French and comply with section 76 of the Code of ethics of chartered professional accountants, which prohibits members from carrying on their profession within a partnership or company under a firm name that is misleading, derogatory to the honour or dignity of the profession, or is a numbered name.
The legal form of the partnership or company (e.g. Inc., LLP, GP, undeclared partnership) must be part of the corporate name and appear on letterhead, business cards and advertising, as well as on commercial signs and other promotional materials.
These general rules will help you establish your firm’s corporate name:
- A dual designation (CPA, CA; CPA, CGA; or CPA, CMA) cannot be used in the name of a firm, whether or not the firm is a partnership or company.
- Individuals, partnerships and companies are prohibited by law from using the “chartered accountant,” “certified general accountant” and “certified management accountant” designations or the corresponding initials (CA, CGA or CMA).
- Individuals, partnerships and companies are prohibited by law from using the “professional accountant” or “public accountant” designation.
- The term “auditor” or its equivalent cannot be used in the name of a firm.
- The “chartered professional accountant” designation, or the CPA initials, can only be used in the name of the firm by a partnership or company if it is more than 50% controlled by CPAs practicing within the partnership or company.
- Members practicing as sole practitioners or as sole shareholders and directors of a corporation are subject to the same rules and therefore cannot use the dual designation in their corporate name.
Members practicing within a partnership or company (undeclared partnership, general partnership, LLP or JSC) cannot include “chartered professional accountant(s)” on their letterhead or business card. If they wish to include a descriptive style, they must use “partnership of chartered professional accountants” or “chartered professional accountant corporation”.
Descriptive style that does not comply with the regulations
First Name, Last Name, CPA Inc.
Chartered professional accountant
Descriptive style that complies with the regulations
First Name, Last Name, CPA Inc.
Chartered professional accountant corporation
Stationery and promotional materials
You will have to adapt your firm’s stationery and communication tools, such as its letterhead, business cards, website, email signatures, report and PowerPoint templates, commercial signs and promotional materials to the rules governing corporate names.
Before undertaking the design and printing process, we suggest you contact us at email@example.com to ensure that your material complies with the regulations in force. If you would like some assistance regarding compliance and the choice of your firm’s corporate name, please contact us at the above email address.
Members in public practice wishing to use the CPA logo on their stationery and promotional materials may email their request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Upon receipt of their request, a user agreement outlining the conditions for using the visual identification of CPAs will be sent to them. It is strictly forbidden to download the logo yourself or to use it on your materials without prior authorization.
Before creating your promotional materials, we suggest that you carefully read the above sections concerning your firm’s corporate name and stationery.
Change in the firm name
If you wish to change your firm’s name, you must update your professional information in your online file.