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Distance Education -> Florida Massage Therapy Laws and Rules -> Chapter: 04

Massage as a Business

 


A business may not operate as a massage establishment without an establishment license [Section 480.043, F.S.].   A massage therapist license is NOT required for ownership of an establishment, and it is the owner’s responsibility to apply for the establishment license, including owners’ names and the business name.  

Upon application, the Department of Health will inspect the establishment location to confirm that the site is to be used for massage therapy and compliance with the safety and sanitation requirements for massage establishments [Rule 64B7-26, F.A.C.].   A change of business name requires an application and fee.   A change of location requires an application, fee, and inspection. A change of ownership requires an entirely new application from the new owner(s) [Rule 64B7-26.007, F.A.C.].

Massage therapy may only be practiced by a licensed massage therapist in a licensed establishment.  The following are exemptions from the requirement for an establishment license:

      1.    Client “residence*
      2.    Client “office*
      3.    Sporting “event**
      4.    “Convention**
      5.    “Trade show**
[Subsection 480.046(1)(n), F.S.]
       

*  For licensed massage therapists who practice only at client’s homes or offices, the official place of practice is the licensee’s residence [Rule64B7-28.0015(2)].

** Requires WRITTEN approval of owner or property manager [Rule 64B7-30.001(3), F.A.C.].

ALTHOUGH THE ESTABLISHMENT OWNER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR LICENSING THE ESTABLISHMENT, LICENSED MASSAGE THERAPISTS ARE PROHIBITED FROM PRACTICING MASSAGE THERAPY AT AN UNLICENSED ESTABLISHMENT. THE BURDEN IS ON THE LICENSEE TO VERIFY AN ACTIVE ESTABLISHMENT LICENSE FOR THE PRACTICE LOCATION PRIOR TO PROVIDING MASSAGE THERAPY [Chapter 480.046(1)(n), F.S.].

Massage establishments are required to be maintained and operated in a safe and sanitary manner, and must:

      1.    Comply with local building codes;

      2.    Provide safe and unobstructed public areas, removal of garbage, and safe storage or removal of flammable materials.

      3.    Maintain fire extinguisher in good working condition on the premises.

      4.    Exterminate vermin, insects, termites and rodents.

      5.    Maintain all equipment in a safe and sanitary condition.

      6.    Maintain sufficient clean drapes and launder before re-use.

      7.    Provide toilet and lavatory facilities in a common area of the establishment with at least one toilet and one sink with running water, toilet tissue, soap, towels or other hand drying device, an/or waste receptacle. Must be kept clean and ventilated. Must be within 300 feet of the massage establishment.

      8.    Provide a shower facility if the establishment is equipped with whirlpool bath, sauna, steam cabinet and/or steam room.

      9.    Maintain property damage and bodily injury liability insurance. Must maintain copy of policy on the premises. No specific coverage amount is required.

    10.    Maintain lavatories for hand cleansing and/or chemical germicidal to disinfect and cleanse hands in the treatment room or within 20 feet of the treatment room.

   11.     A Licensed Massage Therapist must be on the establishment premises if a cl;ient is in the treatment room to receive massage therapy.            [Rule 64B7-26.003, F.A.C.]

Annual inspection of establishments will be conducted to verify compliance with safety and sanitation requirements [Rule 64B7-26.005, F.A.C.].   Such inspections must be conducted during regular business hours [Subsection 480.046(1)(l), F.S.].

Persons licensed by the Department of Health, among others, are NOT required to register a fictitious name in order to practice the licensed profession under a name other than the legal name of the licensee [Subsection 865.09(7), F.S.].   However, a massage establishment must have an establishment license from the Department of Health regardless of the name used for the establishment [Section 480.043, F.S.].

 CHAPTER FOUR PRACTICE QUESTIONS

 1.  Establishment licenses are renewed on January 31 of odd-numbered years. If an establishment licenses is not renewed timely

      A.   It becomes delinquent, and the renewal thereof will require the payment of additional fees.
      B.   If massage therapy was practiced at the establishment while the license was delinquent, there may also be disciplinary
            
penalties.
      C.   Establishment licenses that are not renewed within six (6) months of expiration become null and void. 
           

2.   A licensed massage therapist may practice massage therapy at the office of a physician without an establishment license if:

      A.   The licensed massage therapist is an employee of the physician
      B.   The licensed massage therapist only practices upon patients/clients of the physician.
      C.   The Department of Health has inspected and approved the location

3.   Requirements for a massage establishment include:

      A.   Ownership by a licensed massage therapist
      B.   Access to a whirlpool bath
      C.   Maintaining property damage and bodily injury liability insurance

4.   Massage establishments may be inspected

A.   Anytime, day or night
B.   9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday
C.   During Regular business hours

 



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