New Massage Therapy Rules in Florida

The Florida Board of Massage Therapy adopted four new rule changes effective December 2019 that primarily revise rules regarding massage establishments. This includes the new requirement to have a designated manager who is a licensed massage therapist to manage the day-to-day operations of the establishment. ABMP has summarized the changes below regarding massage therapy establishment definitions; licensure; change in location, business name, or designated establishment managers; and license transfers.
Definitions 26.001

Revised definitions for massage therapy establishments: 

  • Ownership entity: refers to whom an establishment license is granted. As per the old rules, this may still be a sole proprietor (individual) or a partnership. The new rules now include a limited liability company (LLC) as a possible ownership entity.
  • Massage establishment owner: The definition includes a licensee, a non-licensed business partner, a corporation owner, or a member of an LLC.
  • Interested party: is an individual directly involved in the management of a massage establishment, with more than $250,000 in business assets in Florida.
  • Designated establishment manager: is a designated manager who is a licensed massage therapist and is responsible for day-to-day operations of a massage establishment.

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Applying for Massage Establishment Licensure 26.002

This new rule requires massage establishments applying for initial licensure to pass an inspection issued by the department proving the establishment will be used for massage. 

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Change of Corporate Officers, Interested Parties, Designated Establishment Managers 26.006

A massage establishment must submit a new application within ten days if there are any changes of ownership, interested parties, officers, or designated establishment manager. A new designated establishment manager may be identified if the former establishment member meets any of the following conditions:

  1. No longer holds an active massage therapist license.
  2. Has been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a misdemeanor or felony.
  3. Has been terminated, is no longer operating as the designated establishment manager for the establishment, or is no longer designated the manager by the rules or practices at the establishment.
  4. Terminates their own designation by submitting a written request to the department. The department shall notify the establishment when a designated establishment manager terminates their own designation.

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Massage Establishment Change of Name/Location 26.007

A massage establishment is subject to inspection by the department upon completing an application form to change business location, name, or both. The only change in this section stipulates that the establishment must pass the inspection and prove it will be used for massage. 

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