(1) A person may not act as a broker or salesperson unless licensed under the Yacht and Ship Brokers’ Act. The division shall adopt rules establishing a procedure for the biennial renewal of licenses.
(2) A broker may not engage in business as a broker under a fictitious name unless his or her license is issued in such name.
(3) A license is not required for:
(a) A person who sells his or her own yacht.
(b) An attorney at law for services rendered in his or her professional capacity.
(c) A receiver, trustee, or other person acting under a court order.
(d) A transaction involving the sale of a new yacht.
(e) A transaction involving the foreclosure of a security interest in a yacht.
(4) Any person who purchases a used yacht for resale must transfer title to such yacht into his or her name and maintain the title or bill of sale in his or her possession to be exempt from licensure.
(5) The division by rule shall establish fees for application, initial licensing, biennial renewal, and reinstatement of licenses in an amount not to exceed $500. The fees must be set in an amount that is adequate to proportionately fund the expenses of the division in ss. 326.001-326.006. (6) The division may deny a license to any applicant who does not:
(a) Furnish proof satisfactory to the division that he or she is of good moral character.
(b) Certify that he or she has never been convicted of a felony.
(c) Post the bond required by the Yacht and Ship Brokers’ Act.
(d) Demonstrate that he or she is a resident of this state or that he or she conducts business in this state.
(e) Furnish a full set of fingerprints taken within the 6 months immediately preceding the submission of the application.
(f) Have a current license and has operated as a broker or salesperson without a license.
(7)(a) Before any license may be issued to a yacht or ship broker, he or she must deliver to the division a good and sufficient surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit, executed by the broker as principal, in the sum of $25,000.
(b) Surety bonds and irrevocable letters of credit must be in a form to be approved by the division and must be conditioned upon the broker complying with the terms of any written contract made by such broker in connection with the sale or exchange of any yacht or ship and not violating any of the provisions of the Yacht and Ship Brokers’ Act in the conduct of the business for which he or she is licensed. The bonds and letters of credit must be delivered to the division and in favor of any person in a transaction who suffers any loss as a result of any violation of the conditions in ss. 326.001-326.006. When the division determines that a person has incurred a loss as a result of a violation of the Yacht and Ship Brokers’ Act, it shall notify the person in writing of the existence of the bond or letter of credit. The bonds and letters of credit must cover the license period, and a new bond or letter of credit or a proper continuation certificate must be delivered to the division at the beginning of each license period. However, the aggregate liability of the surety in any one year may not exceed the sum of the bond or, in the case of a letter of credit, the aggregate liability of the issuing bank may not exceed the sum of the credit.
(c) Surety bonds must be executed by a surety company authorized to do business in the state as surety, and irrevocable letters of credit must be issued by a bank authorized to do business in the state as a bank.
(d) Irrevocable letters of credit must be engaged by a bank as an agreement to honor demands for payment as specified in this section.
The security for a broker must remain on deposit for a period of 1 year after he or she ceases to be a broker.
(8) A person may not be licensed as a broker unless he or she has been a salesperson for at least 2 consecutive years, and may not be licensed as a broker unless he or she has been licensed as a salesperson for at least 2 consecutive years.
(9) An applicant for a salesperson’s license or its renewal must deposit with the division a bond or equivalent securities in the sum of $10,000 subject to the conditions in subsection (7).
(10) Upon a final judgment being rendered against a yacht broker or salesperson for a violation of ss. 326.001-326.006 which results in any action being commenced on the bond or letter of credit, the division may require the filing of a new bond or letter of credit and immediately on the recovery in any action on such bond or letter of credit, the broker or salesperson involved must file a new bond or letter of credit. His or her failure to do so within 10 days constitutes grounds for the suspension or revocation of his or her license.
(11) Any person injured by the fraud, deceit, or willful negligence of any broker or salesperson or by the failure of any broker or salesperson to comply with the Yacht and Ship Brokers’ Act or other law may file an action for damages upon the respective bonds against the principals and the surety.
(12) If a surety notifies the division that it is no longer the surety for a licensee, the division shall notify the licensee of such withdrawal by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the licensee’s principal office. Upon the termination of such surety the licensee’s license is automatically suspended until he or she files a new bond with the division.
(13) Each broker must maintain a principal place of business in this state and may establish branch offices in the state. A separate license must be maintained for each branch office. The division shall establish by rule a fee not to exceed $100 for each branch office license.
(14)(a) Each license must be prominently displayed in the office of the broker.
(b) Each salesperson’s license must remain in the possession of the employing broker until canceled or until the salesperson leaves such employment. Immediately upon a salesperson’s withdrawal from the employment of a broker, the broker must return the salesperson’s license to the division for cancellation.
(15) The division shall provide by rule for the issuance of a temporary 90-day license to an applicant while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducts a national criminal history analysis of the applicant by means of fingerprint identification.