Unless an exemption applies, as found in Texas Occupations Code §1002.351, it is required that any firm or corporation that engages or offers to engage in the public practice of geoscience in the state of Texas be registered with TBPG.
- The business of the firm or corporation includes the public practice of geoscience as determined by Board rule. A Professional Geoscientist is in responsible charge and has overall supervision and control of the geoscientific work performed in the state. The term public includes but is not limited to political subdivisions of the state, business entities, and individuals.
- The Board has the authority under the Act to issue an annual certificate of registration to applicants that, subsequent to review and evaluation, are found to have met all requirements of the Act and Board rules.
- TBPG has the authority under the Act to deny a certificate of registration to any applicant found not to have met all requirements of the Act and board rules.
“Unless registered with the TBPG or exempt from Firm registration requirements under TOC §1002.351, an individual, firm, or corporation may not represent to the public that the individual, firm, or corporation is a licensed geoscientist or able to perform geoscience services or prepare a geoscientific report, document, or other record that requires the seal of a Professional Geoscientist.” -TBPG Rule §851.152(a)
“A business entity or sole practitioner that is not registered with the TBPG may not represent to the public by way of letters, signs, or symbols as a part of any sign, directory, listing, contract, document, pamphlet, stationery, advertisement, signature, or business name that it is engaged in the public practice of geoscience by using the terms: “Professional Geoscientist;” “licensed geoscientist;” “registered geoscientist;” “licensed Professional Geoscientist;” “registered Professional Geoscientist;” or any abbreviation or variation of those terms listed in paragraphs (1) – (5) of this subsection, or directly or indirectly use or cause to be used any of those terms in combination with other words.” -TBPG Rule §851.152(c)
Firm Registration Requirements
In order to be eligible to register as a Geoscience Firm with the Board, the firm must:
1. Affirm and demonstrate that the firm is a business entity that offers or performs work that includes the public practice of geoscience;
2. Identify an “authorized official of the firm” or AOR who shall be responsible for:
- Submitting the application for the initial registration of the firm with the Board;
- Ensuring that the firm maintains compliance with the requirements of registration with the Board;
- Ensuring that the firm renews its registration status as long as the firm offers or provides public geoscientific services; and
- Communicating with the Board regarding any matter.
3. Operate under a business model such that:
- The geoscientific work is performed by, or under the supervision of, a licensed Professional Geoscientist who is in responsible charge of the work and who signs and seals all geoscientific reports, documents, and other records as required; or
- The principal business of the firm or corporation is the public practice of geoscience as determined by Board rule and a principal of the firm or an officer or director of the corporation is a licensed Professional Geoscientist and has overall supervision and control of the geoscientific work performed in the state.
4. Identify the business model and the Professional Geoscientist who fulfills the role of the licensed Professional Geoscientist in responsible charge of the work performed in this state.
5. Unless the firm is an unincorporated sole-proprietorship or an unincorporated partnership, a firm seeking registration with the Board must register the firm with the Office of the Secretary of State (SOS) and obtain a certificate of authority. If the firm operates under a name other than that which is filed with the SOS, an Assumed Name Certificate must be filed with the County Clerk. A firm’s FEIN must be provided to the Board upon initial application. If the firm is a sole-proprietorship and the firm operates under a name that does not include the last name of the individual sole proprietor, the firm shall file an Assumed Name Certificate with the County Clerk.
6. Submit an Application for Firm Registration (Form C).
7. Upon initial application, a firm shall affirm that the licensed Professional Geoscientist performing or supervising the geoscientific work for a Geoscience Firm is an employee. A Geoscience Firm shall provide evidence of employment status upon request of the Board.
For more information about the Firm application process, see TBPG Rule 851.30.