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The Organization Record Form and the Responsibility of Engineering Practitioners in California

Wednesday, March 28, 2018  

By Joshua B. Kardon, PhD, SE, F.ASCE

The State of California requires individuals who offer civil engineering services “through a business entity” to file an Organization Record (OR) form with the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists. The OR form has to be signed by the filing engineer, and by an officer of the business entity. The Professional Practices Committee of SEAONC has learned that many of our section’s members who are legally required to file such a form do not know of that legal requirement, and have not done so. This brief article is intended to inform our members of their legal obligations regarding Organization Records, and to assist them in complying with the law.

From the Board website, http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/licensees/or_form_info.shtml (retrieved 1/16/18):

Organization Record Forms

The law requires all licensees who offer civil, electrical, or mechanical engineering or land surveying services through a business entity to file an Organization Record (OR) form with the Board. The information that must be provided on the OR form includes the name of the business; the addresses of the primary and branch offices (if any); the types of professional services provided through the business; the names of all of the owners, partners, or officers (both licensed and unlicensed); and the names of all of the Professional Engineers and/or Professional Land Surveyors who are in responsible charge of the professional services provided. A new OR form must be filed whenever any of this information changes.

Additionally, if you leave a business where you were in responsible charge of the professional services, then you must file a Disassociation Record form.

It is your responsibility as a licensee to make sure current information is on file with the Board. If you would like to check on the most current Organization Record form on file for your company, please call the Enforcement Unit at (916) 263-0937.

The Organization Record Form for Businesses Whose Principal Office is in California, the Organization Record Form for Businesses Whose Principal Office is Located Outside of California, and the Disassociation form are available on this web site. You may fill them out online, then print them out, sign them, and mail them to the Board at the mailing address listed on the forms. 

The law referred to in the above text is Section 6738(i) of the California Business and Professions Code, the part of State law that controls the offering and practice of engineering.

A “business entity” is defined on the OR form as “Corporation,” “Partnership/Limited Liability Partnership (LLP),” or “Sole Proprietorship.” A sole practitioner, including one who uses his or her own name when offering or providing engineering services, is a “business entity” and that practitioner must file an OR form with the Board. Additionally, when a practitioner leaves a business where the practitioner was in responsible charge of the professional serves, the practitioner is required to file a Disassociation Record form with the Board. Board Rules and Regulations Relating to the Practices of Professional Engineering and Professional Land Surveying, California Code of Regulations Title 16, Division 5, §463(a) requires engineers“notify the Board within thirty (30) days of such association or termination of association on a form approved by the Board.”

Here is a link to the OR form, downloadable from the State (as of 1/16/18):

http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/pubs/forms/or_form_in_state.pdf

And here is a link to the Disassociation Record form (as of 1/16/18):

http://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/pubs/forms/disassoc.pdf

Both the above forms can be filled in on your computer, or you can print them out and fill them in by hand.