Application for 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).

Massage establishment licenses are issued to a sole proprietor or business entity (partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other) to operate a massage establishment in a specific location. Entities with more than one location will hold an establishment license for each location.

It is important to consider what type of entity to apply for a massage establishment license under, as this cannot be changed, pursuant to 480.043(9)(a), Florida Statutes:

A massage establishment license issued to an individual, a partnership, a corporation, a limited liability company, or another entity may not be transferred from the licensee to another individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or another entity.

For more information on what constitutes a change in ownership entity, visit our Frequently Asked Questions.

To avoid delays, ensure all filing for your business is correct with the Division of Corporations before submitting your application for a massage establishment license, including your fictitious name registration, if required.

For information about forming a partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or registering a fictitious name, and for information about updating your filings, visit www.sunbiz.org.

Individuals (Sole Proprietors)

Individual (sole proprietor) licenses will be issued to an individual person.

If you are the sole owner/officer of a corporation, or the sole member of a limited liability company (LLC), and intend to operate your establishment under the auspices of that corporation or LLC, please see the “Requirements for Partnerships, Corporations, and Limited Liability Companies,” section.

Requirements for Individuals (Sole Proprietors):

  • A Designated Establishment Manager (DEM),who is a massage therapist with an active license without restrictions, who is responsible for the operation of the establishment in compliance with Chapters 456 and 480, Florida Statutes and Rule 64B7, Florida Administrative Code.
    Massage therapists applying for their own establishment license as an individual (sole proprietor) may serve as the DEM for that establishment. For more information about DEM requirements, visit our Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Background screening completed through an approved Livescan provider.
    Massage therapists who are owners have already met this requirement in most cases; you may be required to complete a new background screening if the screening required to become licensed as a massage therapist was not retained. Visit flhealthsource.gov/background-screening for additional information.
  • Personal injury and bodily liability insurance for your establishment. You will need to submit a copy of your insurance documentation showing coverage to meet this requirement.
    Massage therapists who carry personal injury and bodily liability coverage through a profession association may use this insurance to meet this requirement in many cases. Board staff cannot advise as to the specifics of coverage through professions associations.
  • Fictitious Name Registration for any “doing business as” (D/B/A) name. If you provide a D/B/A and intend to advertise under a name that is not the name of your partnership, corporation or limited liability company you will be required to provide your registration.
    Fictitious name registration will be verified with the Division of Corporations.

 

 

Partnerships, Corporations, and Limited Liability Companies

Licenses issued to partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies are non-transferrable following dissolution and reformation of a partnership, corporation, or limited liability company.

Requirements for Partnerships, Corporations, and Limited Liability Companies:

  • A Designated Establishment Manager (DEM),who is a massage therapist with an active license without restrictions, who is responsible for the operation of the establishment in compliance with Chapters 456 and 480, Florida Statutes and Rule 64B7, Florida Administrative Code.
    Massage therapists who are establishment owners may also serve as the DEM for that establishment.
  • Background screening of every establishment owner completed through an approved Livescan provider. Establishment owners are:
    • Each partner in a partnership,
    • Each owner/officer of a corporation, and each interested party for corporations with more than $250,000 in business assets in the state of Florida, or
    • Each member of an LLC.

    Your massage establishment owners will be verified using your most recent filing with the Division of Corporations. Massage therapists who are owners have already met this requirement in most cases; you may be required to complete a new background screening if the screening required to become licensed as a massage therapist was not retained. Visit www.flhealthsource.gov/background-screening for additional information about the background screening process. 

  • Personal injury and bodily liability insurance for your establishment. You will need to submit a copy of your insurance documentation showing coverage at your establishment location to meet this requirement.
  • Fictitious Name Registration for any “doing business as” (D/B/A) name. If you provide a D/B/A and intend to advertise under a name that is not the name of your partnership, corporation or limited liability company you will be required to provide your registration.
    Fictitious name registration will be verified with the Division of Corporations.

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.

For applicants with…

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.
  • Submit your application, fee payment, and supporting documentation.
    Your application and fee payment may be submitted online, or by mail.

Applications submitted without fees will not be processed.
For more information on how to submit fee payment for an application that has already been submitted, see our “How Do I…?”.

  • Submit any additional documentation, if requested.
    If additional documentation is required, you will receive correspondence which includes a list of all items which are needed to complete your application. If you provided an email address, this correspondence will be sent to the email address on your application.
  • Pass an inspection.
    Once your application is complete, staff will notify you that your establishment has been flagged for inspection. Ensure that the physical address, establishment name, and D/B/A of your establishment (if applicable) in the notification are correct. If there are inaccuracies, follow the directions in the notification.
    Inspection timeframes may vary based on the location of your establishment. You do not need to contact board staff to schedule your inspection – a field inspector in your region will contact you at the phone number listed on your application.
  • Receive your license.
    Once you have passed inspection, your license will be issued. You will receive the license by mail in 7-10 business days.

You may not operate your establishment until your license has been issued. Operation of an establishment prior to the issuance of your establishment license constitutes unlicensed activity, which may result in citation, fines, disciplinary action against licensees working in the unlicensed establishment, and criminal penalties.

Application Fee – $50.00 (non-refundable)

Initial Licensing Fee – $100.00

Inspection Fee – $100.00

Unlicensed Activity Fee – $5.00

TOTAL FEE: $255.00

Applications submitted without fees will not be processed.