Licensed Massage Establishment (New Business or Change of Ownership)


Click on the appropriate tab below to see the Initial Licensing Requirements, Process, Fees, Statutes and Administrative Rules for a Licensed Massage Establishment (New Business or Change of Ownership).

For Licensure as a Massage Establishment, you must provide both your ownership information and a designated establishment manager. These are defined as:

“Establishment owner” means a person who has ownership interest in a massage establishment. The term includes an individual who holds a massage establishment license, a general partner of a partnership, an owner or officer of a corporation, and a member of a limited liability company and its subsidiaries who holds a massage establishment license.

“Designated establishment manager” means a massage therapist who holds a clear and active license without restriction, who is responsible for the operation of a massage establishment in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, and who is designated the manager by the rules or practices at the establishment.

The requirements are as follows and can be found in Section 480.043, F.S.

  1. Must submit to the department an application, upon forms provided by the department, accompanied by any information requested by the department and an application fee.
  2. Upon receiving the application, the department may cause an investigation to be made of the proposed massage establishment.

Please note: The owner(s) or corporation(s) are/is required to maintain property damage and bodily injury liability insurance coverage on the massage establishment.

  • Proof of insurance must list the exact business name, address and owner(s) of the establishment as listed on the application.
  • Only the licensed massage therapist who is the owner of the establishment may use insurance from a professional association to satisfy this requirement for establishment licensure.
  • For more information regarding types of insurance please contact a licensed insurance agent directly.

Click here for a Sample Inspection Form used by DOH inspectors.

Attestation for Business Assets

If the applicant has more than $250,000 dollars of business assets in this state, please submit a formal opinion letter from a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) duly licensed in this state affirming the corporation had more than $250,000 of business assets in this state for the previous tax year. In lieu of submitting a formal opinion letter from a CPA, the applicant may submit its Florida Corporate Income/Franchise and Emergency Excise Tax Return (Form F-1120, Effective 01/09) from the previous tax year.

Articles of Incorporation

If the proposed massage establishment is owned by a corporation, applicants are required to submit Articles of Incorporation issued by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Background Screening

Applicants for initial licensure must use a Livescan service provider to have their fingerprints submitted electronically to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for conducting a search for any Florida and national criminal history records that may pertain to the applicant. The results will be returned to the Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) and made available to the board office for consideration during the licensure process. The Livescan fingerprints submitted by the applicant will be retained by FDLE and the Clearinghouse. All costs for conducting a criminal history background screening are borne by the applicant. All results must be submitted electronically from a Livescan service provider.

It is important to use the correct Originating Agency Identification (ORI) when submitting fingerprints. If you do not provide an ORI number or if you provide an incorrect ORI number to the service provider, the board office will not receive your fingerprint results.

The Board of Massage Therapy’s ORI number is: EDOH4600Z.

Applicants who reside outside of the State of Florida can contact national Livescan Service Providers, who can assist out of state applicants with submitting their prints electronically. You can locate these providers by clicking on the “Department’s website” in the paragraph below, then clicking on the “Locate A Provider” link and then clicking on the “Out of State/International” option on the Map.

Applicants can use any FDLE approved Livescan service provider to submit their fingerprints. The applicant is fully responsible for selecting the service provider and ensuring the results are reported to the board office. For more information, FAQs, and a list of all approved Livescan service providers please visit the Department’s website and click on the Livescan Service Providers tab. Please take the Massage Therapy Electronic Fingerprint Form with you to the Livescan provider. Please check the service provider’s requirements to see if you need to bring any additional items. Please verify the ORI number submitted by the Livescan service provider matches the information provided by the Florida Board of Massage Therapy.

Applicants with Criminal History

Any applicant who has ever been found guilty of, or pled guilty or no contest/nolo contendre to any charge other than a minor traffic offense must list each offense on the application. Failure to disclose criminal history may result in denial of your application. Each application is reviewed on its own merits.

The Board of Massage Therapy has created guidelines for specific offenses to be cleared in the board office; however, staff cannot make determinations in advance as laws and rules do change over time. Violent crimes and repeat offenders are required to be presented to the Board of Massage Therapy for review. Evidence of rehabilitation is important to the board members when making licensure decisions.

Applicants with prior criminal convictions are required to submit the following documentation to the board:

Self-Explanation – Applicants who have listed offenses on the application must submit a letter in your own words describing the circumstances of the offense.

Final Dispositions/Arrest Records – Final disposition records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the clerk of the court attesting to their unavailability.

Completion of Probation/Parole/Sanctions – Probation and financial sanction records for offenses can be obtained at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. Parole records for offenses can be obtained from the Department of Corrections or at the clerk of the court in the arresting jurisdiction. If the records are not available, you must have a letter on court letterhead sent from the clerk of the court attesting to their unavailability.

Letters of Recommendation – Applicants who have listed offenses on the application must submit 3-5 professional letters of recommendation from people you have worked for or with.

Applicants with Discipline History

Applicants who have ever been denied licensure, had disciplinary action taken against their license, or have action pending against their license to practice any health care related profession by a licensing authority are required to submit the following documentation to the board office:

Self-Explanation – Applicants must submit a letter in your own words describing the circumstances of the action.

Agency Records – All relevant documentation regarding the action should be sent to the board office by the licensing agency. If the records are not available, you must have a letter, on agency letterhead, sent from the licensing agency stating that they are unavailable.

Applicants with Health History

Applicants who answer “Yes” to any of the Health History questions on the application are required to submit the following documentation to the board office:

Self-Explanation – Applicants must submit a letter in your own words explaining the medical condition(s) or occurrence(s). Include a description of all treatments and diagnoses you have received for any condition(s)/impairment(s) you are/have been treated for. Include all medications prescribed and all physicians/counselors that have provided treatment.

Physician(s) Letter – Applicants must submit a statement from your treating physician(s)/counselor(s) for each condition you are/were being treated for and whether or not you are currently able to safely practice massage therapy. The physician’s statement should include all DSM IIIR/ DSM IV, Axis I, II, and III diagnoses.

Health Care Fraud; Disqualification for License, Certificate, or Registration

Effective July 1, 2012, Section 456.0635, Florida Statutes (F.S.), provides that health care boards or the department shall refuse to issue a license, certificate or registration and shall refuse to admit a candidate for examination if the applicant:

  1. Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under Chapter 409, F.S., (relating to social and economic assistance), Chapter 817, F.S., (relating to fraudulent practices), Chapter 893, F.S., (relating to drug abuse prevention and control) or a similar felony offense(s) in another state or jurisdiction unless the candidate or applicant has successfully completed a drug court program for that felony and provides proof that the plea has been withdrawn or the charges have been dismissed. Any such conviction or plea shall exclude the applicant or candidate from licensure, examination, certification, or registration, unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or plea ended:
    1. For the felonies of the first or second degree, more than 15 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
    2. For the felonies of the third degree, more than 10 years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
    3. For the felonies of the third degree under section 893.13(6)(a), F.S., more than five years from the date of the plea, sentence and completion of any subsequent probation;
  2. Has been convicted of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony under 21 U.S.C. ss. 801-970 (relating to controlled substances) or 42 U.S.C. ss. 1395-1396 (relating to public health, welfare, Medicare and Medicaid issues), unless the sentence and any subsequent period of probation for such conviction or pleas ended more than 15 years prior to the date of the application;
  3. Has been terminated for cause from the Florida Medicaid program pursuant to section 409.913, F.S., unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with the Florida Medicaid program for the most recent five years;
  4. Has been terminated for cause, pursuant to the appeals procedures established by the state or Federal Government, from any other state Medicaid program, unless the candidate or applicant has been in good standing with a state Medicaid program for the most recent five years and the termination occurred at least 20 years before the date of the application;
  5. Is currently listed on the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s List of Excluded Individuals and Entities.
  1. Submit application with the appropriate fees to the board office.
  2. Complete the Livescan screening process.
    1. All owner(s)/officer(s) must complete the Livescan screening process unless the proposed establishment qualifies for exemption. See application for additional information.

Once all an application has been received it will be reviewed by Board staff. It may be necessary for Board staff to request additional information. Once all requirements for licensure are met, Board staff will flag the proposed establishment for inspection.

Once Board staff receives a passing inspection result a license will be issued and should be received in the mail within 7-10 working days.

Application Fee – $150.00 (non-refundable)

Licensure Fee – $100.00

Unlicensed Activity Fee – $5.00

TOTAL FEE: $255.00

Make cashier’s check or money order payable to “Department of Health.”

Click on Chapter or Section Number to View Florida Statutes

Chapter 480: Massage Practice
Chapter 456: Health Professions and Occupations: General Provisions

Florida Administrative Codes

Chapter 64B7: Board of Massage