(1) No massage establishment shall be allowed to operate without a license granted by the department in accordance with rules adopted by the board.
(2) A person who has an ownership interest in an establishment shall submit to the background screening requirements under s. 456.0135. However, if a corporation submits proof of having more than $250,000 of business assets in this state, the department shall require the owner, officer, or individual directly involved in the management of the establishment to submit to the background screening requirements of s. 456.0135. The department may adopt rules regarding the type of proof that may be submitted by a corporation.
(3) The board shall adopt rules governing the operation of establishments and their facilities, personnel, safety and sanitary requirements, financial responsibility, insurance coverage, and the license application and granting process.
(4) Any person, firm, or corporation desiring to operate a massage establishment in the state shall submit to the department an application, upon forms provided by the department, accompanied by any information requested by the department and an application fee.
(5) Upon receiving the application, the department may cause an investigation to be made of the proposed massage establishment.
(6) If, based upon the application and any necessary investigation, the department determines that the proposed establishment would fail to meet the standards adopted by the board under subsection (3), the department shall deny the application for license. Such denial shall be in writing and shall list the reasons for denial. Upon correction of any deficiencies, an applicant previously denied permission to operate a massage establishment may reapply for licensure.
(7) If, based upon the application and any necessary investigation, the department determines that the proposed massage establishment may reasonably be expected to meet the standards adopted by the department under subsection (3), the department shall grant the license under such restrictions as it shall deem proper as soon as the original licensing fee is paid.
(8) The department shall deny an application for a new or renewal license if a person with an ownership interest in the establishment or, for a corporation that has more than $250,000 of business assets in this state, the owner, officer, or individual directly involved in the management of the establishment has been convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony offense under any of the following provisions of state law or a similar provision in another jurisdiction: (a) Section 787.01, relating to kidnapping. (b) Section 787.02, relating to false imprisonment. (c) Section 787.025, relating to luring or enticing a child. (d) Section 787.06, relating to human trafficking. (e) Section 787.07, relating to human smuggling. (f) Section 794.011, relating to sexual battery. (g) Section 794.08, relating to female genital mutilation. (h) Former s. 796.03, relating to procuring a person under the age of 18 for prostitution. (i) Former s. 796.035, relating to selling or buying of minors into prostitution. (j) Section 796.04, relating to forcing, compelling, or coercing another to become a prostitute. (k) Section 796.05, relating to deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution. (l) Section 796.07(4)(c), relating to a felony of the third degree for a third or subsequent violation of s. 796.07, relating to prohibiting prostitution and related acts. (m) Section 800.04, relating to lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of persons less than 16 years of age. (n) Section 825.1025(2)(b), relating to lewd or lascivious offenses committed upon or in the presence of an elderly or disabled person. (o) Section 827.071, relating to sexual performance by a child. (p) Section 847.0133, relating to the protection of minors. (q) Section 847.0135, relating to computer pornography. (r) Section 847.0138, relating to the transmission of material harmful to minors to a minor by electronic device or equipment. (s) Section 847.0145, relating to the selling or buying of minors.
(9)(a) Once issued, no license for operation of a massage establishment may be transferred from one owner to another.
(b) A license may be transferred from one location to another only after inspection and approval by the board and receipt of an application and inspection fee set by rule of the board, not to exceed $125.
(c) A license may be transferred from one business name to another after approval by the board and receipt of an application fee set by rule of the board, not to exceed $25.
(10) Renewal of license registration for massage establishments shall be accomplished pursuant to rules adopted by the board. The board is further authorized to adopt rules governing delinquent renewal of licenses and may impose penalty fees for delinquent renewal.
(11) The board is authorized to adopt rules governing the periodic inspection of massage establishments licensed under this act.
(12) A person with an ownership interest in or, for a corporation that has more than $250,000 of business assets in this state, the owner, officer, or individual directly involved in the management of an establishment that was issued a license before July 1, 2014, shall submit to the background screening requirements of s. 456.0135 before January 31, 2015.
(13) This section does not apply to a physician licensed under chapter 458, chapter 459, or chapter 460 who employs a licensed massage therapist to perform massage on the physician’s patients at the physician’s place of practice. This subsection does not restrict investigations by the department for violations of chapter 456 or this chapter.