(a) A firm engaged in this state in the practice of public accounting may register with the board as a firm of certified public accountants provided it meets all of the following requirements:
(1) At least 51 percent of the ownership of the firm, in terms of financial interests and voting rights of all partners, officers, shareholders, members, or managers, belongs to holders of a certificate who are licensed in some state, and such partners, officers, shareholders, members, or managers, whose principal place of business is in this state, and who perform professional services in this state hold a valid certificate issued under Section 34-1-4. Although firms may include nonlicensee owners, the firm and its ownership must comply with rules promulgated by the board.
(2) Each certified public accountant owner regularly engaged within this state in the practice of public accounting as a member of the firm shall be a certified public accountant of this state in good standing except as provided in subdivision (4) of this subsection.
(3) Each resident manager in charge of an office of a firm in this state whose main office is outside this state shall be a certified public accountant of this state in good standing except as provided in subdivision (4) of this subsection.
(4) Certified public accountants (CPA's) from other jurisdictions transferring into Alabama shall be required to obtain an Alabama reciprocal certificate within 24 months from the date of transfer.
(5) Any CPA firm as defined in this chapter may include nonlicensee owners provided that:
a. The firm designates a licensee of this state who is responsible for the proper registration of the firm and identifies that individual to the board.
b. All nonlicensee owners are active individual participants in the CPA firm or affiliated entities.
c. A nonlicensee is prohibited from being an owner if he or she has previously held a license.
d. All nonlicensee owners shall register annually with the board, pay an annual registration fee in an amount determined by the board, and report the satisfaction of any annual continuing education requirements that the board may impose by rule on nonlicensee owners.
e. The firm complies with such other requirements as the board may impose by rule.
(6) Firms which fall out of compliance with this section due to changes in firm ownership or personnel, after receiving or renewing a permit, shall take corrective action to bring the firm back into compliance as quickly as possible. The board may grant a reasonable period of time to take such corrective action. Failure to bring the firm back into compliance within a reasonable period of time as defined by the board will result in the suspension or revocation of the firm permit.
(b) Application for registration shall be made upon the affidavit of an owner of the firm who is a certified public accountant of this state in good standing. The board shall in each case determine whether the firm is eligible for registration. A firm which is registered and which holds a permit issued under Section 34-1-11 may use the words "certified public accountants" or the abbreviation "C.P.A.'s" in connection with the name of the firm. Notification shall be given the board, within one month, after the admission to or withdrawal of an owner from any firm registered.