Approval of Firm Names

Guidance Notes for Approval of Firm Name

1. Extracts from the Financial Reporting Act 2004
Section 35 – Audit practice by a firm
(1) No licensed auditor shall practise as an auditor, on his own account, or in partnership with other persons, in the name of a firm unless the name of the firm has been approved by the Council.
(2) Any licensed auditor who wishes to practise in the name of a firm shall apply in writing to the Council in such form and manner as the Council may require, for the approval of the name of the firm.
(3) An application made under subsection (2) shall be accompanied by such fees as the Council may determine and such information as the Council may require.
(4) The Council shall not approve the proposed name or any proposed change in the name of an audit firm where the proposed name or proposed change in the name-
(a) is the same as a firm name already approved by the Council;
(b) so closely resembles a firm name that it is likely to cause confusion;
(c) is, in the opinion of the Council, misleading, offensive or otherwise contrary to public interest; or
(d) is in breach of the Business Registration Act 2002.
(5) Where a licensed auditor provides auditing services in partnership with other persons in a firm, the firm shall submit to the Council, at the end of each calendar year, a list of the names of the partners who are licensed auditors and those partners who are not licensed auditors.
(6) Where a licensed auditor or any other partner resigns or joins a firm, the firm shall forthwith inform the Council in writing of that fact.
Section 36 – Change of name
(1) Every licensed auditor and audit firm shall, where there is a change in his name or the name of the firm as the case may be, or in any of his or its particulars recorded in the Register of Licensed Auditors, notify the Council of such change within 30 days of the change occurring, in such manner as the Council may require.
(2) Any person who fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with subsection (1) shall commit an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding 100,000 rupees.
Section 37 – Unauthorised audit practice
No licensed auditor shall –
(a) employ a person who has been suspended from practising as a licensed auditor or a public accountant to carry out work in connection with his audit practice, unless the Council has consented to such employment;
(b) practise under the name of a firm, unless prior notification has been made to the Council-
(i) in the case of a partnership, of the first names and initials of the partners of the firm;
(ii) where a letterhead is used, of a copy of the letterhead;
(iii) where the name of the firm is similar to, or includes the name of a regional or international network, or where the name of the firm mentions that it is part of a network in its letterhead or any other document, the nature of such association or relationship with the regional or international network; and
(c) sign any account, statement, report or other document which purports to represent work performed by the licensed auditor, unless he is satisfied and is prepared to take full responsibility for the work done.
Note – Section 35 sub-section (4)(d) will become effective as from the date of coming into force of the Business Registration Act 2002.>

2. Extracts from the Business Registration Act 2002:-

In section 2 – Interpretation
“business name” means the name or style under which a person carries on business;
“firm” includes an unincorporated body consisting of one or more individuals, or of one or more corporations, having constituted a partnership with a view to carrying on business;
Section 7 – Manner and particulars of registration, lays down the details to be given when an application is made
(1) An application under section 6 shall be made in such medium and in such form as may be approved by the Registrar and shall specify-
(a) the full name and national identification number of the person;
(b) the business name of the person, if any;
(c) the general nature of the business;
(d) the principal place of business and any other place where the business is carried on;
(e) the date or proposed date of commencement of business; and
(f) such other information or particulars as may be required in the application form.
Section 10 – Use of business names provides details as to which business name will not be registered
(1) No person who is registered under this Act shall carry on business under a business name which has not been registered with the Registrar under section 8.
(2) The registration of a business name under this Act shall not be construed as authorising the use of that name where, apart from such registration, the use thereof is prohibited under any other enactment.
(3) Except with the written consent of the Minister, no person shall be registered under a business name which includes:-
(a) the word “Authority”, “Corporation”, “Government”, “Mauritius”, “National”, “President”, “Presidential”, “Regional”, “Republic”, “State”, or any other word which in the opinion of the Registrar suggests, or is likely to suggest, that it enjoys the patronage of the Government or of a statutory corporation or of the Government of any other State;
(b) the word “Municipal” or “Chartered” or any other word which in the opinion of the Registrar suggests, or is likely to suggest, connection with a local authority in Mauritius or elsewhere;
(c) the word “co-operative”; or
(d) the words “Chamber of Commerce”.

3. Rules
Rules relating to Approval of Firm Name were made by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) under section 24 and section 35 of the Financial Reporting Act 2004 on 9 December 2005 and published in the Government Gazette No. 134 of 24 December 2005 (Government Notice No. 205).
(1) These rules may be cited as the Financial Reporting Council (Approval of Firm Name) Rules 2005.
(2) In these rules –
“Act” means the Financial Reporting Act 2004;
“applicant” means a person who makes an application under rule 3;
“Council” means the Financial Reporting Council established under Section 3 of the Act.
(3) Any licensed auditor who wishes to practise, on his own account or in partnership with other persons, in the name of a firm under section 35 of the Act, shall make an application to the Council for the approval of the name of the firm in such manner and in such form as may be approved by the Council.
(4) The Council may require the applicant to submit such other documentary evidence as it may deem necessary for the purpose of processing the application.
(5) The applicant shall pay a non-refundable processing fee of 500 rupees at the time he submits his application.

4. Processing of the application
The Application form for Approval of Firm Name (Form A2) is available from the Financial Reporting Council.
The application process involves:-
(1) Completion of the application form;
(2) Provision of the necessary documentary evidence,
(3) Payment of a processing fee which is non-refundable
The process usually takes 3 to 4 weeks. Applications are processed by the Staff of the Financial Reporting Council and approved by the Council.
If there is any change in the firm name, a new application must be made.

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