Massage therapy is a valuable tool to help patients struggling with muscle pain, arthritis, stiffness, tension, and other similar issues. This type of treatment is highly popular in Florida, especially among elderly citizens.
Is a license required for massage therapists in Florida? Read on to find out.
What is Massage Therapy? – Explaining the Term
Florida Statutes §480.033 (11) defines “massage therapy” as “the manipulation of the soft tissues of the human body with:
- The hand, foot, knee, arm, or elbow, regardless of whether such manipulation is aided by hydrotherapy, including colonic irrigation, or thermal therapy
- Any electrical or mechanical device, or
- The application to the human body of a chemical or herbal preparation”
Florida law defines “massage therapist” as “a person licensed as required by this act, who performs massage therapy, including massage therapy assessment, for compensation.”
Massage Therapy vs. Massage Establishment in Florida – As Provided by Law
At the state level, you can obtain a license for an individual working as a massage therapist or a company providing massage therapy for customers. The first type is a professional or occupational license, while the latter is a license applied to a company’s place of business.
Florida Statutes §480.033 (7) define the term “massage establishment” as “a site or premises, or portion thereof, wherein a massage therapist practices massage therapy.” The owner of a massage establishment is not necessarily a therapist.
Under Florida law, an “establishment owner” refers to the “person who has ownership interest in a massage establishment,” which includes:
- “An individual who holds a massage establishment office,
- A general partner of a partnership,
- An owner or officer of a corporation, and
- A member of a limited liability company and its subsidiaries who holds a massage establishment license”
Do You Need a License to be a Massage Therapist in Florida?
Yes, massage therapy is a professional activity regulated under Florida law. Hence, anyone who wants to work with massage therapy within state jurisdiction must obtain a proper license with the Florida Board of Massage.
Many chiropractors often ask whether they are required to obtain a license to practice massage therapy. Florida law provides that the facility where a massage therapist administers treatments on clients must be licensed separately as a massage establishment.
If a chiropractor only prescribes massage therapy for customers in his or her office, it is not necessary to hold a specific license. However, a massage establishment license is required for professional chiropractors that treat patients with massage therapy within their offices.
Additionally, massage establishments that employ licensed massage therapists must obtain a separate license if the therapists are independent contractors. If a massage therapist is not an employee of that establishment, the company must have a proper license in place.
As it is plain to see, complying with the laws regulating massage therapy in Florida requires attention to detail. If you want to ensure full legal compliance, consult with an expert licensing Attorney as soon as possible.