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New to Minnesota? Make sure your certificate is good to go

BOA Business

| August 2017 Footnote

Editor's note: Updated August 1, 2017

Welcome to the land of 10,000 lakes and more than 15,000 CPAs.

Whether it was a job or our enviable winters that brought you here, one thing is for sure: You're going to want to make sure your CPA certificate complies with the rules set by the Minnesota Board of Accountancy (BOA).

Because CPA certificates are issued at the state level, rules can vary from one border to the next. Each state's BOA is the ultimate authority on their requirements for certification.

How to talk Minnesotan

In Minnesota, CPA certification rules depend on whether you work in public accounting or business and industry.

Public accounting

If Minnesota is your principal place of business, you will need to hold a Minnesota CPA certificate. This is detailed in BOA Rule 1105.7900.

There is no specific timeframe for obtaining a Minnesota CPA certificate as long as you are not holding out or practicing as a Minnesota-licensed CPA. But, because the requirement for licensure hinges on when a CPA establishes their principal place of business in Minnesota, most firms act quickly.

Business and industry

Unlike CPAs in public accounting, corporate CPAs are not required to be certified for the work they do. If you are a corporate CPA certified in another state, you are not required to obtain a Minnesota certificate once you are a resident of this state.

Qualifying for a Minnesota CPA certificate

Obtaining a Minnesota CPA certificate is relatively easy, provided you are certified in a state that is substantially equivalent. Use the CPA Certificate Application (by NON-Minnesota Exam Candidate) form to apply. If your state is not substantially equivalent to Minnesota, this form describes how you may still qualify by providing information specified in Minnesota Statute 326A.04.

Don't forget about renewing, reporting

Failing to maintain your CPA certificate, regardless of where it's issued, will result in headaches down the road. If your CPA certificate was issued in another state, be aware of state-specific rules and deadlines surrounding certificate renewal and CPE reporting.

Certified in multiple states? That means you have multiple sets of rules and deadlines to follow. Missing a certificate renewal or CPE reporting deadline could result in fines, or worse, revocation of your CPA certificate.

Some states, including Minnesota, offer an inactive CPA certificate option. Note that the inactive status may still require annual renewal, as it does in Minnesota.


Contact the Minnesota BOA with questions regarding CPA certification at 651-296-7938 or www.boa.state.mn.us.

The MNCPA is here to help. Reach out with CPA certification questions at 952-831-2707 or email customerservice@mncpa.org.