The Board of Veterinary Medicine (BVM) is the division of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) responsible for regulating and licensing the practice of veterinary medicine within state jurisdiction.
Is it possible to obtain BVM approval to own a veterinary practice as a non-veterinarian in Florida? Click here to find out.
Can a Non-veterinarian Own a Veterinary Practice in Florida? – The Verdict
Any individual or corporation can own a veterinary practice in Florida with proper authorization from the BVM. While the owner of a vet clinic does not necessarily need to be a veterinarian, state law requires that the establishment must have a licensed veterinarian responsible for management.
Under Florida Statutes §474.215 (8), “any person who is not a veterinarian licensed under this chapter but who desires to own and operate a veterinary medical establishment or limited service clinic shall apply to the board for a premises permit.”
The same statute provides that “no permit shall be issued unless a licensed veterinarian is designated to undertake the professional supervision of the veterinary medical practice and the minimum standards set by rule of the board for premises where veterinary medicine is practiced.”
State law specifies that the applicable fee must not exceed $250. After applying for a permit with the BMV, the division will submit the applicant’s name for a criminal correspondence check with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Most importantly, Florida Statutes §474.215 (9)(a) expressly state that “the department or the board may deny, revoke, or suspend the permit of any permittee under this section and may fine, place on probation, or otherwise discipline any such permittee who has:
- Obtained a permit by misrepresentation or fraud or through an error of the department or board
- Attempted to procure, or has procured, a permit for any other person by making, or causing to be made, any false representation
- Violated any of the requirements of this chapter or any rule of the board, or
- Been convicted or found guilty of, or entered a plea of nolo contendere to, regardless of adjudication, a felony in any court of this state, of any other state, or of the United States”
Changing the Veterinarian Responsible for Managing the Licensed Premises – What is the Next Step?
A veterinary practice cannot operate legally without a responsible veterinarian. Florida Statutes §474.215 (1) specifies that “any establishment, permanent or mobile, where a licensed veterinarian practices must have a premises permit issued by the department.”
In case the owner of a vet clinic wants to change the veterinarian responsible for the management of the licensed establishment, Florida law requires the permit holder to notify the BVM in writing.
Statutory rules require the owner to “notify the board within 10 days after any designation of a new licensed veterinarian responsible for such duties.” Once the licensed veterinarian named on the permit ceases to provide services for the licensed establishment, he or she must return the permit to the Department.