Advertising of Architectural Services

December 28, 2011

Advertising of Architectural Services

During these difficult economic times, it is only common sense that we as Architects would want to crack down on the unlicensed practice of our profession. In order to do so, it is equally important that we also have our houses in order. It has become apparent that we need to remind our membership of the Architects regulation as they relate to advertising. Below are the definition of an “Advertisement” and the regulations on advertising as posted on the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, New Jersey State Board of Architects website.


 13:27-3.1 Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

“Advertisement” means any communication to the public including, but not limited to, newspaper, periodical. journal, flyer, professional stationery, brochure, telephone directory, billboard, sign (other than a sign used only for identification purposes at the business premises), radio, telephone for the purpose of solicitation, television, Internet, or any other print or electronic media in which architectural services are offered or by which the availability of architectural services is made known.

 13:27-3.2 Scope of architectural service; advertising

(a) No person, except an architect licensed in the State of New Jersey, shall use the title “architect” or its substantial equivalent or otherwise represent to the public that the person is licensed to practice architecture in this State.

(b) Architects shall meet the following requirements concerning advertisements:

1. An advertisement shall include a term which is descriptive of the professional services to be rendered, such as “architect,” “architectural,” “architectural services,” or the substantial equivalent thereof and may be made only by an architectural business entity authorized to render architectural services pursuant to NJ.S.A. 45:3-17 or 45:3-18.

2. An advertisement shall include the name and license number of an architect and, if applicable, the name of the architect’s architectural business entity.

3. Each architect, who is a principal, partner, or officer of an architectural business entity, shall be responsible for the form and content of any advertisement which offers to provide architectural services.

4. A copy of each advertisement shall be retained by each architect, who is a principal, partner or officer of an architectural business entity for a period of three years from the date of the last authorized publication or dissemination of the advertisement and shall be made available for review upon request by the Board.

5. Any architect or architectural business entity which uses an advertisement containing false or misleading information or which fails to meet the requirements set forth in this subsection shall be deemed to be engaged in professional misconduct.

(c) A builder registered pursuant to the “New Home Warranty and Builder’s Registration Act” (NJ.S.A. 46:3B-I et seq.) or a home improvement contractor may advertise, or offer to perform “‘design services” either in the construction of one- to two-family homes or in connection with the demolition, enlargement or alteration thereto. A builder or home improvement contractor shall render such services only to the owner-occupant of such dwellings.

(d) An advertisement for design services by a builder or home improvement contractor pursuant to (c) above shall not in any way be limited except as set forth in (e) below, and may contain the following terms or their substantial equivalent:

1. Construction design services;

2. Design;

3. Design services:

4. Design/build;

5. Design/build services; and/or

6. Building design services.

(e) Builders and home improvement contractors shall not advertise, offer or perform design services’ that involve the preparation of construction documents, which consist of, but are not limited to, those drawings or specifications necessary to support an application for building or other construction permits.

(f) It shall be permissible for a person not authorized to render architectural services to utilize the terms “‘space planning”, “interior design”, “interior design services” or the substantial equivalent thereof provided that the design services advertised, offered or performed:

1. Are limited to the function of the interior space within an existing or proposed building;

2. Do not affect the means of egress and life safety of the building, nor involve any alteration or modifications of the building’s existing or proposed structure, seismic integrity, or partitions that affect the means of egress and 13:27-3.3 life safety, or its electrical, mechanical, HV AC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) or plumbing systems;

3. Do not require or involve the skill, training or expertise of a licensed architect; and

4. Do not include the production of construction documents which consist of, but are not limited to, those drawings or specifications necessary to support an application for a building or other construction permit.

(g) An architect is permitted to render architectural services as an agent, director, member, officer, shareholder, associate, employee or partner of a person whose principal business is space planning services, interior design services or the substantial equivalent thereof if the architect, at all times, exercises independent professional judgment in the rendering of architectural services and adheres to the requirements set forth in NJ.S.A. 45:3-1 et seq. and this chapter.

(h) Nothing in this section shall prohibit any person or entity authorized by law to render professional engineering services from utilizing the terms set forth in (d) above in connection with the advertising of professional engineering services.

Amended by R.1998 d.417, effective August 17, 1998.

See: 30 NJ.R. 1511(a). 30 NJ.R. 3061(a).

Rewrote (b).

Amended by R.2005 d.303. effective September 6, 2005.

See: 37 NJ.R. 869(a). 37 NJ.R. 3424(a).

Rewrote (b): in (c), substituted “’46:3B-I et seq:” for “’46B-I”‘: added

(g): recodified former (g) as (h).

I also had a discussion with Charles Kirk, Executive Director of the NJ State Board of Architects, he stated that the while the Board does not provide approval on such issues, he felt that for those firms operating under a valid Certificate of Authorization, posting the CA# would be satisfactory in lew of posting each Principal’s Registration Numbers. We also discussed Business Cards, and while they are not specifically listed in the definition of advertising, he felt it would be wise to include either the Architects Registration number or the firm’s Certificate of Authorization number on all business cards of anyone soliciting business for the firm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Kurt M Kalafsky AIA CSI

2010/2011 Secretary, AIA New Jersey

By | Posted in AIA-NJ News, Business, Codes & Regulations, NJ Architect Newsletter, Practice Management, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Comments (3)

3 responses to “Advertising of Architectural Services”

  1. Jerome Leslie Eben, AIA says:

    Kurt: this is great explanation. Also this fits right in to what we all need to do in driving around the State. If we see violations by others that are not architects, offering services that they are not allowed to offer it is our responsibility to report these in a complaint form to the State Board of Architects. Though we now know that the process to go through these complaints is a long one, we must continue to file them. It is for OUR
    benefit, not to mention the benefit to the NJ Consumer.

  2. Great post but I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Cheers!



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