When Required to File

You must hold a Delaware CPA Permit to Practice to:

  • work as a CPA at a firm in Delaware, either as a principal or an employee, or
  • offer CPA services in Delaware when your place of business is outside Delaware but you do not qualify for practice privilege as explained in the When Not to File section below

This includes any of the following situations:

  • You do not hold an active CPA permit to practice in any other jurisdiction (state, U.S. territory or District of Columbia) but you have a year of experience after receiving your degree and you’ve passed both required examinations (see Requirements Before You File below).
  • You hold an active CPA permit to practice in a jurisdiction where the requirements for licensure are substantially equivalent 24 Del. C. §§ 108 (c) (1) and 109 (a) (1)).
  • You do not hold an active CPA permit to practice in a substantially equivalent jurisdiction, but the National Qualification Appraisal Service (NQAS) has certified an individual substantial equivalency for you (24 Del. C. §§ 108 (c) (1) and 109 (a) (1)).
  • You do not hold an active CPA permit to practice in a substantially equivalent jurisdiction, but the following are true:
    • After passing the CPA Examination, you obtained at least four years of experience within the 10 years before filing this application (24 Del. C. § 108 (c)(2)), and
    • If you were licensed more than four years before this application, you meet the continuing education requirement in Section 7.2.1 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations.

To find out whether the jurisdiction where you hold an active license is substantially equivalent, see Substantially Equivalency on the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) website. If the jurisdiction is not substantially equivalent, you may apply for individual substantial equivalency with NASBA’s Credential Net service.

To open a firm in Delaware, you must obtain a Delaware CPA Firm Permit in addition to a Delaware CPA Permit to Practice.  

If you do not qualify for a CPA Permit to Practice, refer to PA Permit to Practice.

When Not Required to File

You may offer your services in Delaware without obtaining a Delaware CPA Permit if you have practice privilege in Delaware.  You have practice privilege in Delaware when:

Although not required to hold a Delaware CPA Permit in the circumstances described above, you may nonetheless elect to apply.

Requirements Before You File

If you are applying by examination because you do not hold an active CPA permit to practice in any other jurisdiction, file this application only after you have passed both the CPA Examination and the AICPA Ethics Examination.

Step 1: Pass the CPA Examination

Before you file for a Delaware CPA Permit to Practice, you must apply for and pass the CPA examination. The application for the CPA examination is available at www.nasba.orgDirect all questions or concerns about the exam to the Delaware coordinator, William Howell, at bhowell@nasba.org or (615) 564-2163.

Step 2: Pass the AICPA Ethics Examination

After passing all four parts of the CPA examination, you must complete the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) self-study ethics course and pass the exam with a score of not less than 90%. For information about the required course, see Professional Ethics: AICPA's Comprehensive Course or call AICPA directly at (888) 777-7077.

Requirements for All Applicants

These requirements apply to all applicants, regardless whether you are applying for your first CPA Permit to Practice or you already hold a CPA permit to practice in another jurisdiction. 

  • Enclose a check or money order for the non-refundable processing fee made payable to “State of Delaware.” Payment must be U.S. funds and drawn on a U.S. bank.
  • If you currently hold, or you have ever held, a permit or certificate in another state, U.S. territory or the District of Columbia, arrange for the Board office to receive a verification from each jurisdiction, sent directly from the jurisdiction to the Board office.

Requirements in addition to those above are listed in the following sections. Which requirements apply depend on whether you hold a license in another jurisdiction and, if you do, whether that jurisdiction’s licensure requirements are substantially equivalent.

Additional Requirements for Applicants by Examination

If you do not hold an active CPA permit to practice in any other jurisdiction (state, U.S. territory or District of Columbia) but you have passed both the CPA and AICPA Ethics Examinations, you are applying by examination. These requirements are in addition to the requirements in Requirements for All Applicants above.

  • Arrange for the Board office to receive one of these proofs of your education:
    • If you were educated in the U.S., college or university transcript sent directly from the college or university to the Board office.
    • If you attended a college outside the U.S., evaluation of your transcript by one of the following credentialing services sent directly from the service to the Board office:
  • Arrange for the Board office to receive your ethics examination score, sent directly from the AICPA to the Board office.
  • Arrange for each employer from whom you are claiming qualifying work experience to submit a completed, signed, notarized Affidavit of Work Experience (included with this application) directly to the Board office.
    • You must have one year of qualifying experience after receiving your accountancy degree.
    • The supervising CPA must sign the form. The supervising CPA must hold an active CPA Permit in good standing from Delaware or other jurisdiction (state, U.S. territory or District of Columbia)..
    • Section 6.2.5 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations explains what kind of qualifying experience you must have.

Additional Requirements for Applicants by Reciprocity – Substantially Equivalent Individual

If you hold an active CPA permit in a jurisdiction that is not substantially equivalent but you have an NQAS-certified individual substantial equivalency, the following requirement applies in addition to the requirements in Requirements for All Applicants above.

  • Submit the Substantial Equivalency Evaluation report from the NQAS.

Additional Requirements for Applicants by Reciprocity – Not Substantially Equivalent

If you hold an active CPA permit in a jurisdiction that is not substantially equivalent and you do not have an individual substantial equivalency, you must meet these requirements in addition to the requirements in Requirements for All Applicants above.

  • Arrange for the Board office to receive one of these proofs of your education:
    • If you were educated in the U.S., college or university transcript sent directly from the college or university to the Board office.
    • If you attended a college outside the U.S., evaluation of your transcript by one of the following credentialing services sent directly from the service to the Board office:
  • Arrange for each employer from whom you are claiming qualifying work experience to submit a completed, signed, notarized Affidavit of Work Experience (included with this application) directly to the Board office.
    • You must have at least four years of qualifying experience after you passed the CPA Examination and within the 10 years before filing this application (24 Del. C. § 108 (c)(2)b).
    • The supervising CPA must sign the form. The supervising CPA must hold an active CPA Permit in good standing from Delaware or other jurisdiction (state, U.S. territory or District of Columbia)..
    • Sections 7.1.2.2 and 7.1.2.3 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations explains what kind of qualifying experience you must have.  See also 24 Del. C. §§107 (f) and 108 (c) (2) b.
  • If your certificate, license or permit was issued more than four years before this application, complete and submit the Continuing Professional Education Log for Applicants form showing that you have completed 80 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) in the two years immediately before filing this application (Section 7.2.1 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations). Attach certificates of completion for the CPE listed on the form.

Peer Review Requirement for CPAs

You must enroll in a Board-approved peer review program (Section 10.12.6.4 of the Board’s Rules and Regulations) when you:

  • issue compilation reports to the public), and
  • work for a business that is not required to hold a PA or CPA Firm permit (e.g., accounting/bookkeeping business)

Note:  If you perform audit or review services, you must be covered by a firm that holds a CPA or PA Firm permit.