(1) The department may issue a license as an insurance agency to any person only after such person files a written application with the department and qualifies for such license.
(2) An application for an insurance agency license shall be signed by the owner or owners of the agency. If the agency is incorporated, the application shall be signed by the president and secretary of the corporation. The application for an insurance agency license shall include:
(a) The name of each majority owner, partner, officer, and director of the insurance agency.
(b) The residence address of each person required to be listed in the application under paragraph (a).
(c) The name of the insurance agency and its principal business address.
(d) The location of each agency office and the name under which each agency office conducts or will conduct business.
(e) The name of each agent to be in full-time charge of an agency office and specification of which office.
(f) The fingerprints of each of the following:
1. A sole proprietor;
2. Each partner;
3. Each owner of an unincorporated agency;
4. Each owner who directs or participates in the management or control of an incorporated agency whose shares are not traded on a securities exchange;
5. The president, senior vice presidents, treasurer, secretary, and directors of the agency; and
6. Any other person who directs or participates in the management or control of the agency, whether through the ownership of voting securities, by contract, or otherwise.
Fingerprints must be taken by a law enforcement agency or other entity approved by the department and must be accompanied by the fingerprint processing fee specified in s. 624.501. Fingerprints shall be processed in accordance with s. 624.34. However, fingerprints need not be filed for any individual who is currently licensed and appointed under this chapter. This paragraph does not apply to corporations whose voting shares are traded on a securities exchange.
(g) Such additional information as the department requires by rule to ascertain the trustworthiness and competence of persons required to be listed on the application and to ascertain that such persons meet the requirements of this code. However, the department may not require that credit or character reports be submitted for persons required to be listed on the application.
(h) Beginning October 1, 2005, the department shall accept the uniform application for nonresident agency licensure. The department may adopt by rule revised versions of the uniform application.
(3) The department shall issue a registration as an insurance agency to any agency that files a written application with the department and qualifies for registration. The application for registration shall require the agency to provide the same information required for an agency licensed under subsection (2), the agent identification number for each owner who is a licensed agent, proof that the agency qualifies for registration as provided in s. 626.112(7), and any other additional information that the department determines is necessary in order to demonstrate that the agency qualifies for registration. The application must be signed by the owner or owners of the agency. If the agency is incorporated, the application must be signed by the president and the secretary of the corporation. An agent who owns the agency need not file fingerprints with the department if the agent obtained a license under this chapter and the license is currently valid.
(a) If an application for registration is denied, the agency must file an application for licensure no later than 30 days after the date of the denial of registration.
(b) A registered insurance agency must file an application for licensure no later than 30 days after the date that any person who is not a licensed and appointed agent in this state acquires any ownership interest in the agency. If an agency fails to file an application for licensure in compliance with this paragraph, the department shall impose an administrative penalty in an amount of up to $5,000 on the agency.
(c) Sections 626.6115 and 626.6215 do not apply to agencies registered under this subsection.
(4) The department shall issue a license or registration to each agency upon approval of the application, and each agency shall display the license or registration prominently in a manner that makes it clearly visible to any customer or potential customer who enters the agency.