Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
The Florida Telemarketing Act requires non-exempt businesses engaged in telemarketing and their salespeople to be licensed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) before operating in Florida. Certain exempt entities must have a valid affidavit of exemption on file prior to operating in Florida.
Entities that provide substance abuse marketing services are required to be licensed annually by FDACS prior to doing business in this state. The application is available under Substance Abuse Marketing Service Provider.
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.
Can you tell me what the telemarketing law requires?
The law requires businesses that solicit the sale of consumer goods or services:
- To be licensed,
- To post some form of security,
- To license all of their salespeople and
- To provide FDACS with a list of all telephone numbers to be used by the applicant.
- It requires solicitors to identify themselves by true first and last name and the name of the business on whose behalf they are calling.
- It requires a written contract that matches the description of the goods or services offered in the telephone solicitation, contains the name, address, telephone number and license number of the seller, and states the buyer's right to cancel immediately preceding the signature.
The written contract is not required if the consumer is given the right to a full refund for the return of undamaged and unused goods or a cancellation of services within seven days of receipt of the goods or a cancellation of the services and the seller processes the refund within 30 days after receipt of the returned merchandise by the consumer.
The city/county officials say I need documentation from your office before I can get a business tax receipt. What do I need?
That depends on what you do. If you solicit the sale of consumer goods or services by phone, you may need a telemarketing license.
I don't solicit anyone in Florida. All of my customers are out of state.
The telemarketing law will still be applicable. It defines doing business in this state as a call from Florida or a call to a purchaser in Florida.
How much does a telemarketing license cost?
The application fee for the business is $1,500 annually. The application fee for the salesperson is $50 annually. The security can be in the form of a surety bond, a certificate of deposit or a letter of credit, and the minimum amount of this security is $50,000.
Are there any exemptions to the telemarketing law?
Yes, currently there are 28 paragraphs of exemptions. If you would like to receive the telemarketing application packet, which includes a reprint of the telemarketing law, the administrative rules, application forms, security forms and affidavit of exemption, please contact us at 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352).
Certain exemptions require an entity to have a valid affidavit of exemption on file with FDACS prior to operating in Florida. A receipt of filing an affidavit of exemption must be displayed in your place of business. FDACS may request documentation to verify the validity of an exemption before an affidavit of exemption is granted.
I think I am exempt from licensing, but the city/county officials still want something in writing before they will issue a business tax receipt. What do they need?
They will want to see an affidavit of exemption. The affidavit will be included in the telemarketing application packet. Fill it out, sign it, make a copy for yourself and send the original to us. Show your copy to the city/county office and the letter you received from our office acknowledging your affidavit of exemption.
What should I do when I receive my telemarketing license or affidavit of exemption letter?
The law requires you to display these documents in a prominent location. When you apply to renew your business tax receipt, you will be asked to show either your telemarketing license or a copy of your affidavit of exemption and acknowledgment letter you received from our office.