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Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Private Investigation Licenses

Laws and Regulations

Florida Statutes
Chapter: 493

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) licenses and regulates private investigative firms and individuals in Florida in accordance with Chapter 493, Florida Statutes (F.S.). Private investigators advertise or perform services for consideration as defined in Section 493.6101(17), F.S.

Exemptions

Those who are considered exempt from licensing include:

  • "In-house" investigators who are solely, exclusively and regularly employed as an investigator in connection with the business of an employer who does not advertise or provide investigative services for a fee;
  • Active law enforcement officers while engaged in their official duties;
  • Insurance investigators or adjusters licensed by the Florida Department of Insurance;
  • Those who exclusively furnish investigative information about the financial standing, habits and responsibilities of applicants for insurance, indemnity bonds or commercial credit;
  • Attorneys in the regular practice of their profession;
  • Banks, credit unions, loan companies and consumer credit reporting agencies;
  • Persons holding professional licenses in Florida when providing expert advice in their professions; and
  • Those providing investigative services solely and exclusively for any United States agency.

License Classifications

For Individuals

Type of License

Classification

Explanation

How to Apply

Private Investigator

Class "C"

Any individual who performs the services of a private investigator must have a Class “C” license.

How to Apply

Private Investigator Intern

Class "CC"

Any individual who performs private investigative work as an intern under the direction and control of a designated, sponsoring Class “C” licensee or a designated, sponsoring Class “MA” or Class “M” licensee must have a Class “CC” license.

How to Apply

Statewide Firearm License

Class "G"

Only Class “C,” Class “CC,” Class “M” or Class “MA” licensees are permitted to bear a firearm, and any such licensee who bears a firearm must also have a Class “G” license.

How to Apply

Firearms Instructor

Class "K"

Any person who provides classroom and range instruction to applicants for Class “G” licensure must have a Class “K” license.

How to Apply

Private Investigative Agency Manager

Class "M" or "MA"

Any individual who performs the services of a manager for a Class "A" private investigative agency or branch office must have a Class "MA" license. A Class "C" or Class "M" licensee may be designated as the manager, in which case the Class "MA" license is not required.

How to Apply

For Agencies

Types of Licenses for Agencies

Type of License

Classification

Explanation

How to Apply

Private Investigative Agency

Class "A"

Any person, firm, company, partnership or corporation that engages in business as a private investigative agency must have a Class “A” license. A Class “A” license is valid for only one location.

How to Apply

Private Investigative Agency Branch Office

Class "AA"

Each branch office of a Class “A” agency must have a Class “AA” license.

How to Apply

Private Investigative/Security Agency Branch Office

Class "AB"

If a person, firm, company, partnership or corporation holds both a Class “A” and Class “B” license, each additional or branch office must have a Class “AB” license.

How to Apply

Private Investigation and Firearms

A private investigator or private investigator intern, age 21 years or older, who possesses a Class "G" Statewide Firearm license, may carry a concealed firearm when it is required by their duties and approved by the licensed employing agency.

A licensee may only carry a firearm of the specific type and caliber with which they qualified pursuant to the firearms training referenced in Section 493.6115(8) or 493.6113(3)(b), F.S.

In addition to any other firearm approved by FDACS, a Class “G” license holder may carry a .38 caliber revolver; or a .380 caliber or 9 millimeter semiautomatic pistol; or a .357 caliber revolver with .38 caliber ammunition only; or a .40 caliber handgun; or a .45 ACP handgun.

The Class “G” license holder may carry other firearms by obtaining a waiver from these restrictions. Learn about firearm waivers.

Firearms are not permitted to be carried openly at any time.

No licensee may carry more than two firearms on their person when performing their duties.