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Registration as Engineering Firm Required?

Registration as Engineering Firm Required?

Registration as Engineering Firm Required?

I am contemplating starting a part time online business to sell a product I designed. I have been looking at the state laws to ensure I don't get myself in any sort of a legal jam. Here are two scenarios I am curious about:

1. I offer a standard design (maybe 4 or 5 configurations of the same product).
2. I offer to customize the product to suit the end users application.

In scenario 1, I am unsure if I would need to register as an engineering firm. My thoughts are that I would not, since it is a standard design. In scenario 2, I think I may have to register as a firm but am not sure. What confuses me the most if item f below. On the state BPE website Firm FAQ, they state "I work full-time during the day and "moonlight" on a part-time basis after hours at my full-time employer. Am I required to register to perform a few small projects? Yes." That seems to contradict item F. Has anyone been through the firm registration process or have any insight into the requirements?

Here is the law from the state B.P.E.:

§ 1001.405. Practice by Business Entity; Registration
(a) In this section, “business entity” includes a sole proprietorship, firm, partnership, corporation, or joint stock association.
(b) A business entity may not engage in the practice of engineering in this state unless:
(1) the business entity is registered with the board; and
(2) the practice is carried on only by engineers.
(c) A business entity may register under this section by filing an application with the board on a form provided by the board. In addition to any other information required by board rule, the application must list the name and address of each officer or director of the business entity and each engineer who engages in the practice of engineering on behalf of the business entity.
(d) The registration of a business entity issued under this section expires on the first anniversary of the date the registration is issued. The registration may be renewed by the filing of an updated application under Subsection (c).
(e) A business entity may not represent to the public that it is engaged in the practice of engineering under any business name or use or cause to be used the term “engineer,” “engineering,” “engineering services,” “engineering company,” “engineering, inc.,” “ professional engineers,” “licensed engineer,” “registered engineer,” “licensed professional engineer,” “registered professional engineer,” or “engineered,” or any abbreviation or variation of those terms, or directly or indirectly use or cause to be used any of those terms in combination with other words, letters, signs, or symbols as a part of any sign, directory, listing, contract, document, pamphlet, stationery, advertisement, signature, or business name unless:
(1) the business entity is registered under this section;
(2) the business entity is actively engaged in the practice of engineering; and
(3) each service, work, or act performed by the business entity that is part of the practice of engineering is either personally performed by an engineer or directly supervised by an engineer who is a regular full-time employee of the business entity.
(f) This section does not prohibit an engineer from performing engineering services on a part-time basis.
(g) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, the board by rule may provide that a business entity that has not previously registered with the board and that is engaged in the practice of engineering in violation of Subsection (b) is not subject to disciplinary action for the violation if the business entity registers with the board not later than the 30th day after the date the board gives written notice to the business entity of the registration requirement. This subsection does not apply to a business entity whose registration has expired.

RE: Registration as Engineering Firm Required?

I would call the state board and discuss it with them.

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Registration as Engineering Firm Required?

Searching on your citation resulted in Texas, which has an industrial exemption.

§ 1001.057. Employee of Private Corporation or Business Entity
(a) This chapter shall not be construed to apply to the activities of a private corporation or other business entity, or the activities of the fulltime
employees or other personnel under the direct supervision and control of the business entity, on or in connection with:
(1) reasonable modifications to existing buildings, facilities, or other fixtures to real property not accessible to the general public
and which are owned, leased, or otherwise occupied by the entity; or
(2) activities related only to the research, development, design, fabrication, production, assembly, integration, or service of
products manufactured by the entity.
(b) A person who claims an exemption under this section and who is determined to have directly or indirectly represented the person as
legally qualified to engage in the practice of engineering or who is determined to have violated Section 1001.301 may not claim an
exemption until the 10th anniversary of the date the person made that representation.
(c) This exemption does not prohibit:
(1) a licensed professional engineer who intends to incorporate manufactured products into a fixed work, system, or facility that
is being designed by the licensee on public property or the property of others from requiring the manufacturer to have plans or
specifications signed and sealed by a licensed professional engineer; or
(2) the board from requiring, by rule, that certain manufactured products delivered to or used by the public must be designed and
sealed by a licensed professional engineer, if necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.
(d) For purposes of this section, “products manufactured by the entity” also includes computer software, firmware, hardware,
semiconductor devices, and the production, exploration, and transportation of oil and gas and related products.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Registration as Engineering Firm Required?

I read that part too. Under item 1001.057 (2), since it is an "or" statement and the manufacturing will be subbed out, I wasn't sure if I could claim it. I have a feeling I will be talking to the TBPE about it just to be sure.

RE: Registration as Engineering Firm Required?

131 Go To JAE
132 End

Mike McCann, PE, SE (WA)

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