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The Florida Statutes

The 2019 Florida Statutes

Title XXXIII
REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS
Chapter 559
REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, AND INVESTMENTS, GENERALLY
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F.S. 559.544
559.544 Registration required; exemptions.
(1) No person shall engage in business in this state as a commercial collection agency, as defined in this part, or continue to do business in this state as a commercial collection agency, without first registering in accordance with this part and thereafter maintaining such registration.
(2) Each commercial collection agency doing business in this state shall register with the office and annually renew such registration, providing the registration fee, information, and surety bond required by this part.
(3) No registration shall be valid for any commercial collection agency transacting business at any place other than that designated in the registration unless the office is first notified in advance of any change of location. A registration under this part is not transferable or assignable. Any commercial collection agency desiring to change its registered name, location, or agent for service of process at any time other than renewal of registration shall notify the office of such change prior to the change.
(4) The office shall not accept any registration for any commercial collection agency as validly made and filed with the office under this section unless the registration information furnished to the office by the registrant is complete pursuant to s. 559.545 and facially demonstrates that such registrant is qualified to engage in business as a commercial collection agency, including specifically that neither the registrant nor any principal of the registrant has engaged in any unlawful collection practices, dishonest dealings, acts of moral turpitude, or other criminal acts that reflect an inability to engage in the commercial collection agency business. The office shall inform any person whose registration is rejected by the office of the fact of and basis for such rejection. A prospective registrant shall be entitled to be registered when her or his or its registration information is complete on its face, the applicable registration fee has been paid, and the required evidence of current bond is furnished to the office.
(5) This section shall not apply to:
(a) A member of The Florida Bar, unless such person is primarily engaged in the collection of commercial claims. “Primarily engaged in the collection of commercial claims” means that more than one-half of the income of such person arises from the business of soliciting commercial claims for collection or collecting commercial claims.
(b) A financial institution authorized to do business in this state and any wholly owned subsidiary and affiliate thereof.
(c) A licensed real estate broker.
(d) A title insurance company authorized to do business in this state.
(e) A collection agency which is not primarily engaged in the collection of commercial claims. “Not primarily engaged in the collection of commercial claims” means that less than one-half of the collection revenue of such agency arises from the collection of commercial claims.
(f) A consumer finance company and any wholly owned subsidiary and affiliate thereof.
(g) A person licensed pursuant to chapter 520.
(h) A credit grantor.
(i) An out-of-state collector as defined in this part.
(j) An FDIC-insured institution or subsidiary or affiliate thereof.
History.ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-275; s. 815, ch. 97-103; s. 673, ch. 2003-261.