Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Health studios are required to register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) annually and, in some cases, post a $25,000 surety bond, letter of credit or certificate of deposit. The purpose of this security is to reimburse members if the studio fails to meet its contractual obligations to its members.
The law authorizes FDACS to collect registration fees. Penalty fees are imposed on studios that do not register or post security.
Please Note: FDACS does not review the content of contracts when processing applications for licensure. It is recommended you seek legal counsel to ensure these documents are in compliance with Florida Statutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Select a question below to expand the answer.
I'm a military veteran. How can I apply for a business registration fee waiver?
Initial business registration fees can be waived for honorably discharged veterans, the spouse of a veteran, or a business with a majority ownership held by a veteran or spouse of a veteran within 60 months after the date of discharge. The waiver is available to veterans from any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
Applicants must meet the licensing requirements of the specific industry and must submit a separate Military Veteran Fee Waiver Request [ ] form. The applicant must also submit a DD-214 form as proof of honorable discharge. This waiver does not include examination fees or other incidental fees.
Call 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) or 1-800-FL-AYUDA (352-9832) for more information regarding the veteran fee waiver.
Do I need to register with FDACS before I get a business tax receipt?
Yes, before a health studio opens its doors, it has to properly register with FDACS.
I am a personal trainer. Do I need to register?
Effective July 1, 2016, personal trainers are no longer required to register with FDACS under the Health Studio Act. According to Florida Statute, a "personal trainer" means an individual:
- Who does not have an established place of business for the primary purpose of the conducting of physical exercise;
- Whose provision of exercise equipment is incidental to the instruction provided; and
- Who does not accept payment for services that are to be rendered more than 30 days after the date of payment.
Is a $25,000 security bond part of health studio registration?
Possibly. If a health studio collects fees more than 30 days in advance and has a third party collecting the fees, the owner of the health studio needs to be bonded for a period of five years.
Does a health studio membership contract have to be approved by FDACS?
Yes, there are certain consumer protection clauses that have to be incorporated in the membership contract.
If ownership changes, is the health studio certificate transferable to the new owner?
No, the new owner has to re-register with FDACS. FDACS needs to be notified if any change of ownership has occurred.