CA firms handle the Accounting, Auditing, Tax Consulting, Transaction Advisory, etc of a multitude of businesses. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that CA firms are extremely vital components of business transactions all over the globe. As far as the functioning of a CA firm is concerned, it is quite comprehensible. For a limited period of time companies hire chartered accountants from these firms as employee(s) to audit their financial transactions.
However, setting up a CA firm in itself could be a complex procedure. With the requirements of certain eligibility criteria and formal applications, it becomes a bit difficult to follow through with the entire procedure. This article will try to explain and guide the steps to easily register a CA firm online with keeping all the requirements in check.
It is a mandatory requirement that only a qualified chartered accountant can open a CA firm either alone or in partnership.
The applicant is required to fill two forms, which are described below;
Form No. 117 is available on www.icai.org and can be filled with the easy steps that are discussed below.
- The applicant is required to create an account if they are registering for the first time with a login ID and password.
- On the home page of www.icai.org click on the SSP(Self Service Portal) link given on the top of the screen. Get access to the Member SSP portal
- Once getting through, it is required to sign in to the SSP portal using the account details(ID & password).
- Click on the My Firm option; on that select the "My Firm Module".
- Proceed with selecting the "Firm Module" option and then click on the "Firm New Application" button.
- Click on the "Firm Name Approval (Form no. 117)" folder and then select "Request for New Firm Name" and fill the required field.
- As per Section 190 of the Chartered Accountant Regulations, the applicant is required to enter the firm name preference in Firm Name Details.
- After filling in the firm name, the applicant is supposed to get it validated.
- In case the applicant already has a firm and just wants to register another firm name, then he/she is supposed to click on the "Other Firm Name" option.
- Fill in the option with the name and then click "OK". Do not click upload or validate yet.
- Generate OTP, apply it, and submit the application.
- The applicant can now submit their Form No. 117.
- The status of the application will be displayed on the screen after logging in to the account again.
To download the detailed User Manual for "Firms: Form 117 (New Firm Name)" click here
To download the detailed User Manual for "Firms: Change of Firm name of an existing firm (Form 117)" click here
Regulation 190 of the Chartered Accountants Regulations Act of 1988 makes it mandatory for a CA firm, which has been established after 1988, to the ICAI for the approval to use a firm name. The act also discusses all the terms and conditions that should be kept in mind while naming a firm. A few of them are explained below.
1. A firm name shall be restricted to the name(s) of the proprietor/partners or a name that is already in use.
2. A firm name may include the name(s) of the member(s) as it/they may appear in the Register of Members in the manner discussed below.
- The full surname of the member(s); or
- Full first name of the member(s); or
- The combination of the first name, middle name the initials and/or the Surname of member(s), any expansion thereof; or
- The initials of the first name and full surname of the member(s); or
- The initials of his/her full name; or
- The full name including the surname of the member(s); or
- Such distinguishing part of the name(s) as is indicative of the manner in which he/they/is/are commonly known; or
- The combination of name and/or surnames of one or more partners of the firm; or
- Permitting the use as a firm /trade name a part of the name of the proprietor or one or more partners.
- A firm name shall not be allowed where a member seeks to use a part of his surname
- The only suffixes to be allowed in a trade/firm name shall be "& Co." and "& Associates" or their equivalents. Suffixes like"& partners", "& Fellows" and"& others", etc. shall not be allowed.
- A firm name which bears the name of a God/Goddess/Deity and which has no relationship with the name of the member(s) as above, shall not be allowed.
- Descriptive trade firm names shall not be allowed.
- Firm names which smack of publicity shall not be allowed.
The following form can be downloaded here
- Start with clicking on the Firm Constitution Tab.
- The applicant is required to provide temporary registration no. which he/she received while submitting the form no. 117.
- Enter details in form no. 18.
- The system will display Firm Details in the following screen, enter Firm Constitution details. Date of formation, partnership deed, partner profit sharing.
- Enter Details that are applicable (enter paid assistant, head office address, branch office, second office, partner/member engagement details, other details).
- Verify the captcha and move ahead.
- Once OTP is verified, form no. 18 will be generated by the system.
- The applicant is supposed to download it and upload the same in the pdf upload section.
- Once the application has been uploaded it will move to the regional office for approval.
- The ICAI Regional office will review the application and approve the same. Once approved, the applicant will receive confirmation of the same.
- Once the application is approved, the member can download the Firm Card & Certificate. Click on Firm Card/Certificate-> Firm Card or Firm Certificate.
To download the detailed User Manual for "Firms: Form 18 (Firm Constitution)" click here
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