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Home Solicitation Permits



Pursuant to Chapter 501, Florida Statutes, individuals who engage in certain door-to-door solicitation activities that sell, lease or rent consumer goods or services with a purchase price in excess of $25.00 are required to obtain a Home Solicitation Permit.

The following individuals are excluded from this requirement:

  • (a) Bona fide agents, business representatives, or salespersons making calls or soliciting orders at the usual place of business of a customer.
  • (b) Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making a call or business visit upon the express invitation, oral or written, of an inhabitant of the premises or her or his agent.
  • (c) Telephone solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls which involve transactions that are unsolicited by the consumer and consummated by telephone.
  • (d) Solicitors, salespersons, or agents conducting a sale, lease, or rental of consumer goods or services by sample, catalog, or brochure for future delivery.
  • (e) Minors, as defined in s. 1.01(13), Florida Statutes, conducting home solicitation sales under the supervision of an adult supervisor who holds a valid home solicitation sale permit.
  • (f) Those sellers or their representatives that are currently regulated as to the sale of goods and services by Chapter 475 or Chapter 497, Florida Statutes.
  • (g) Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls or soliciting orders on behalf of a religious, charitable, scientific, educational, or veterans' institution or organization holding a sales tax exemption certificate under s. 212.08(7)(a), Florida Statutes.

The Board Records Department has the responsibility of collecting fees for home solicitation permits, acceptance and review of permit applications, and issuance of approved permits.

To learn more about the process of acquiring a permit, please see our questions and answers.

You may obtain a permit application form online by clicking here or at the location listed below.

Clerk of the Circuit Court, Board Records Department
Clearwater Courthouse
315 Court Street, 5th Floor
Clearwater, FL 33756
Telephone: (727) 464-3458


QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS REGARDING HOME SOLICITATION PERMITS AS AUTHORIZED BY CHAPTER 501.022, FLORIDA STATUTES:

Introduction

The 1986 Florida Legislature amended the above law to require that as of October 1, 1986, persons who are engaged in certain personal door-to-door solicitation activities obtain permits issued by the County.

This is a very general outline of the provisions of the above law and any specific questions regarding its applicability to any individual or business situation should be referred to private attorneys for advice.

Solicitors will be referred to as "sellers," those being solicited as "buyers," and the Clerk of the Circuit Court as the "Clerk."

Questions and Answers regarding home solicitation permits

How is "Home solicitation sale" defined by law?

"Home solicitation sale" means a sale, lease, or rental of consumer goods or services with a purchase price in excess of $25 which includes all interest, service charges, finance charges, postage, freight, insurance, and service or handling charges, whether under single or multiple contracts, made pursuant to an installment contract, a loan agreement, other evidence of indebtedness, or a cash transaction or other consumer credit transaction in which:

  • (a) the seller or a person acting for him or her engages in a personal solicitation of the sale, lease, or rental at a place other than at the seller's fixed location business establishment where goods or services are offered or exhibited for sale, rental and
  • (b) the buyer's agreement or offer to purchase is given to the seller and the sale, lease, or rental is consummated at a place other than at the seller's fixed location business establishment, including a transaction unsolicited by the consumer and consummated by telephone and without any other contract between the buyer and the seller or representative prior to delivery of the goods or performance of the services. It does not include a sale, lease, or rental made at any fair or similar commercial exhibit or sale, lease, or rental that results from a request for specific goods or services by the purchaser or lessee or a sale made by a motor vehicle dealer licensed under s. 320.27, Florida Statutes, which occurs at a location or facility open to the general public or to a designated group.
What is this permit called?

Home Solicitation Permit.

Who must obtain a permit?

All adults who engage in door-to-door, face-to-face "home solicitation sales" as defined in the law, and all adults who supervise minors engaged in such home solicitation sales.

When is solicitation not "Home Solicitation"?

When the aggregate value of the sale, lease or rental of consumer goods is less than $25.00; when the solicitation is by use of catalogs, samples, or brochures for future delivery; when the solicitation is made at the invitation of the prospective buyer; when solicitation is made at the usual place of business of a buyer regarding product or service for use in connection with the buyer's regular business; when the solicitor is under 18 years of age (except when otherwise covered by the law, minors must be supervised by an adult who has a valid permit); when the solicitation is for certain funeral arrangements as regulated by Chapters 470, 497 and 639, Florida Statutes; or when the solicitation occurs at a fair or similar commercial exhibit.

Who is exempt from these requirements?

According to s. 501.022, (1)(b), Florida Statutes, the following are exempt from operation of home solicitation sale:

  • Bona fide agents, business representatives, or salespersons making calls or soliciting orders at the usual place of business of a customer regarding product or service for use in connection with the customer's business.
  • Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making a call or business visit upon the express invitation, oral or written, of an inhabitant of the premises or her or his agent.
  • Telephone solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls which involve transactions that are unsolicited by the consumer and consummated by telephone and without any other contact between the buyer and the seller or representative prior to delivery of the goods or performance of the services.
  • Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls or soliciting orders on behalf of a religious, charitable, scientific, educational, or veterans' institution or organization holding a sales tax exemption certificate under s. 212.08(7)(a), Florida Statutes.
Who issues the permit?

Clerk of the Circuit Court
Board Records Department
Clearwater Courthouse
315 Court St., 5th Floor
Clearwater, FL 33756
Business hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

How much does it cost to apply for a permit and how long is it valid?

A non-refundable fee of $100.00, payable to the Board of County Commissioners, is required to apply for a permit valid for one year from date of issuance. An additional fee of $24.00, payable to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, is also required to submit information to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for a criminal background search.

How does one apply for a permit?

Obtain an application form from the Board Records Department or online in PDF format by clicking here. Applicant must provide the Clerk with two (2) head and shoulders (passport) photographs, at least 1" x 1 1/2" in size. An application is completed and notarized, along with a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law enforcement agency. A package of the materials will be processed for a criminal background search.

Where do I get fingerprinted?

To get fingerprinted by an authorized law enforcement agency, you can visit the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Fingerprinting Service Office located at 4645 145th Avenue, Clearwater, FL or visit their website to view information about fingerprinting. There is a $5.00 fee associated with this service and it is only offered to Pinellas County citizens. Note: Please state that the fingerprints are for a background check as there are many different types of fingerprinting services offered by the Sheriff's office.

How long will it take for the permit to be issued?

This will vary depending on how soon the fingerprint and background checks can be completed. The law requires FDLE and the Sheriff to report any criminal information within 60 days after they receive the fingerprints and a copy of the application.

Is this the only permit required?

Yes, unless a municipal permit is required. Please contact the municipality where home solicitation sales will occur regarding the permitting requirements.

For what reasons may a permit be denied, revoked or suspended?

If it is determined that an applicant or permitholder has:

(a) been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in certain crimes;
(b) has obtained a permit by fraud, false statement, misrepresentation, or failure to truthfully answer any question in the required permit application;
(c) failed to obtain required municipal occupational licenses or has failed in any material respect to comply with the provisions of s. 501.201 - 501.055, Florida Statutes.

How will notice of approval or denial of an application be handled?

If the application is approved, the Clerk will notify the applicant by mail or phone. If the application is denied, the Clerk will notify the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested.

What will a permit look like?

It will be a laminated identification card bearing the photograph of the permitholder as well as additional identifying information.

What if a permit is issued and then the holder moves or has a name change?

Any such change must be furnished to the Clerk in writing within 15 days.

Who will enforce the law?

Local law enforcement agencies, including the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. The Pinellas County Department of Justice and Consumer Services will also investigate complaints.

What is the responsibility of businesses having employees covered by this law?

Businesses should refer to s. 501.046, Florida Statutes, and verify compliance with the requirements contained therein.

What if the person(s) engaging in home solicitation sales is going to be active in more than one county or on a statewide basis?

The applicant should obtain a permit in the county where the primary place of business is located or, if no such location, from the Clerk in any county. If a permit is issued, it may be registered upon payment of any applicable fee with the Division of Consumer Services and upon verification of validity of the underlying permit, the Division shall issue a certificate, valid for one year, which shall allow the holder to solicit on a statewide basis.

Please be sure to visit the www.myfloridacfo.com website or call the toll free number 1-877-693-5236 for more information.

What are the penalties for failure to comply with the law?
  • Under s. 501.55, Florida Statutes, penalties range from misdemeanor in the first degree to felony in the third degree.
  • If you believe that a person is operating in violation of this statute, please contact the Pinellas County Office of Justice and Consumer Services at (727) 464-6200.

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