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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXXIII
REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS
Chapter 496
SOLICITATION OF FUNDS
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F.S. 496.409
496.409 Registration and duties of professional fundraising consultant.
(1) A person may not act as a professional fundraising consultant unless he or she has first complied with the requirements of ss. 496.401-496.424 and has obtained approval of the department of a registration statement in accordance with subsection (6). A person may not act as a professional fundraising consultant after the expiration, suspension, or cancellation of his or her registration.
(2) Applications for registration or renewal of registration must be submitted on a form prescribed by the department, signed by an authorized official of the professional fundraising consultant who shall certify that the report is true and correct, and must include the following information:
(a) The street address and telephone number of the principal place of business of the applicant and any Florida street addresses if the principal place of business is located outside this state.
(b) The form of the applicant’s business.
(c) The names and residence addresses of all principals of the applicant, including all officers, directors, and owners.
(d) Whether any of the owners, directors, officers, or employees of the applicant are related as parent, child, spouse, or sibling to any other directors, officers, owners, or employees of the applicant; to any officer, director, trustee, or employee of any charitable organization or sponsor under contract to the applicant; or to any supplier or vendor providing goods or services to any charitable organization or sponsor under contract to the applicant.
(e) Whether the applicant or any of its officers, directors, trustees, or employees have, within the last 10 years, regardless of adjudication, been convicted, or found guilty of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, or have been incarcerated within the last 10 years as a result of having previously been convicted of, or found guilty of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, any felony and, if so, the name of such person, the nature of the offense, the date of the offense, the court having jurisdiction in the case, the date of conviction or other disposition, and the disposition of the offense.
(f) Whether the applicant or any of its officers, directors, trustees, or employees have, regardless of adjudication, been convicted of, or found guilty of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, or have been incarcerated within the last 10 years as a result of having previously been convicted of, or found guilty of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, a crime within the last 10 years involving fraud, theft, larceny, embezzlement, fraudulent conversion, or misappropriation of property, or any crime arising from the conduct of a solicitation for a charitable organization or sponsor and, if so, the name of such person, the nature of the offense, the date of the offense, the court having jurisdiction in the case, the date of conviction or other disposition, and the disposition of the offense.
(g) Whether the applicant or any of its officers, directors, trustees, or employees have been enjoined from violating any law relating to a charitable solicitation and, if so, the name of such person, the date of the injunction, and the court issuing the injunction.
(3) The application for registration must be accompanied by a fee of $300. A professional fundraising consultant which is a partnership or corporation may register for and pay a single fee on behalf of all of its partners, members, officers, directors, agents, and employees. In that case, the names and street addresses of all the officers, employees, and agents of the fundraising consultant and all other persons with whom the fundraising consultant has contracted to work under its direction must be listed in the application. Each registration is valid for 1 year. The registration may be renewed for additional 1-year periods upon application to the department and payment of the registration fee.
(4) A professional fundraising consultant may enter into a contract or agreement with a charitable organization or sponsor only if the charitable organization or sponsor has complied with all applicable provisions of this chapter. A contract or agreement between a professional fundraising consultant and a charitable organization or sponsor must be in writing, signed by two authorized officials of the charitable organization or sponsor, and filed by the professional fundraising consultant with the department at least 5 days before the performance of any material service by the professional fundraising consultant. Solicitation under the contract or agreement may not begin before the filing of the contract or agreement.
(5) The contract must contain all of the following provisions:
(a) A statement of the charitable or sponsor purpose for which the solicitation campaign is being conducted.
(b) A statement of the respective obligations of the professional fundraising consultant and the charitable organization or sponsor.
(c) A clear statement of the fee that will be paid to the professional fundraising consultant.
(d) The effective and termination dates.
(e) A statement that the professional fundraising consultant will not, at any time, have control or custody of contributions.
(6)(a) The department shall examine each registration statement and all supporting documents filed by a professional fundraising consultant and determine whether the registration requirements are satisfied. If the department determines that the registration requirements are not satisfied, the department must notify the professional fundraising consultant within 15 business days after its receipt of the registration statement; otherwise the registration statement is approved. Within 7 business days after receipt of a notification that the registration requirements are not satisfied, the applicant may request a hearing. The hearing must be held within 7 business days after receipt of the request, and any recommended order, if one is issued, must be rendered within 3 business days after the hearing. The final order must then be issued within 2 business days after the recommended order. If a recommended order is not issued, the final order must be issued within 5 business days after the hearing. The proceedings must be conducted in accordance with chapter 120, except that the time limits and provisions set forth in this paragraph prevail to the extent of any conflict.
(b) If a professional fundraising consultant discloses information specified in paragraphs (2)(e)-(g) in the initial application for registration or renewal application, the time limits set forth in paragraph (a) are waived, and the department shall process the initial application for registration or the renewal application in accordance with the time limits set forth in chapter 120. The registration of a professional consultant shall be automatically suspended for failure to disclose any information specified in paragraphs (2)(e)-(g) until such time as the required information is submitted to the department.
(7) All registration fees must be paid to the department and deposited into the General Inspection Trust Fund.
(8) Unless otherwise provided, any material change in information filed with the department pursuant to this section must be reported in writing to the department within 7 working days after the change occurred.
(9) A person may not act as a professional fundraising consultant, and a professional fundraising consultant, or an officer, director, trustee, or employee thereof, may not knowingly employ an officer, trustee, director, or employee, if such person has, in any state, regardless of adjudication, been convicted of, been found guilty of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, or has been incarcerated within the last 10 years as a result of having previously been convicted of, been found guilty of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to, a crime within the last 10 years involving fraud, theft, larceny, embezzlement, fraudulent conversion, or misappropriation of property, or a crime arising from the conduct of a solicitation for a charitable organization or sponsor, or has been enjoined in any state from violating a law relating to a charitable solicitation.
(10) The department may deny or revoke the registration of a professional fundraising consultant if the professional fundraising consultant, or any of its officers, directors, or trustees, has had the right to solicit contributions revoked in any state or has been ordered by a court or governmental agency to cease soliciting contributions within any state.
History.ss. 8, 26, ch. 91-208; ss. 5, 19, ch. 94-287; s. 6, ch. 95-372; s. 561, ch. 97-103; s. 3, ch. 99-307; s. 2, ch. 2001-351; s. 10, ch. 2013-251; s. 11, ch. 2014-122.