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Attorney David Di Pietro| |Healthcare Law

Licensed massage therapists provide health services to clients and patients. Services include: pain relief from muscle, disc or arthritis issues. Additionally, massages may reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve circulation. Massage therapists must possess an understanding of human physiology and be fully licensed by the State of Florida. Massage Establishment owners must follow all laws and statutes regarding employees. Additionally, owners must obey both Florida business laws as well as healthcare regulatory laws. It’s important to note that the State of Florida has numerous laws and statutes that regulate Massage Establishments.

How Does Florida Define a Massage Establishment?

Florida defines a Massage Establishment as a site or premises where a massage therapist practices massage. In Florida, the site and the practitioner must be licensed. Additionally, a massage establishment owner is defined in Florida Statute 480.033(10):

  • 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 license.

Massage Establishment Licensing Process

The Florida Department of Health regulates this industry. In order to obtain a valid license a therapist must follow one of the following procedures.

  • Examination- After attending an approved school for massage therapists (minimum 500 hours) you must pass a Florida Massage Board-Approved Exam (MBLEx, NCETM, NESL). Once you receive a passing score, you may apply for a license online.
  • Endorsement- If you received a massage therapist license from out of state and you attended an approved school, this route may be acceptable. Check with the Florida Licensing Board to be sure.
  • Apprenticeship Program- This type of training lasts one to two years and may not last for long. If you are pursuing this route, please check with the Florida Massage Board to ensure you are not wasting your time. 1-850-245-4161

Remember, it is illegal to practice any healthcare related profession in the State of Florida without a license. In fact, it is a FELONY. So, do not practice without a license!  Also, Florida Massage Establishment owners must check each employee’s license for validity. Sadly, some people may present fake credentials. If this happens without an owner’s knowledge and the establishment needs legal help, contact an experienced attorney immediately.

Laws and Statutes Governing Massage Establishments

Massage Therapy is highly regulated in Florida. Numerous laws and statutes protect patients and clients. The two main areas of laws are:

  • The Florida Massage Practice Act: Chapter 480 of the Florida Statutes
  • Chapter 64B7 in the Florida Administration Code

A brief summary is included; however, an attorney can explain this exhaustive list of rules and regulations. The list of statutes includes qualifications for massage therapists. Age requirements, education, license application and renewal information, fees, and much more is thoroughly explained. Additionally, Massage Establishment regulations are explained in great detail. Of great importance to business owners is the Disciplinary Action section (480.046). This statute explains grounds for disciplinary action by the Massage Therapy Board. Basically, Section (480.046) details what you are not supposed to do in your business.

What Are Grounds For Disciplinary Action?

All business owners must understand and follow rules and regulations or risk losing their license. A few laws are listed below:

  • Business establishment must be clean and sanitary
  • Employees may not be sick or using illegal drugs
  • No sexual misconduct on premises
  • No operating at an unlicensed site
  • May not allow a person to impersonate a licensed therapist
  • All massage therapists must have a valid Florida license
  • Each practitioner must have their license on display(Rule 64B7-28.008) $250 fine

If your establishment fails to follow any of the Laws and Rules governing the practice of Massage Therapy please contact an attorney that understands these complex statutes. Breaking some rules may result in a fine; breaking others may end up with losing your license. So, it’s vital to seek legal assistance when necessary.

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