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The Florida Statutes

The 2019 Florida Statutes

Title XXXIII
REGULATION OF TRADE, COMMERCE, INVESTMENTS, AND SOLICITATIONS
Chapter 501
CONSUMER PROTECTION
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F.S. 501.974
501.974 Veterans’ organizations; prohibition against advertising.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Business entity” means any corporation, partnership, limited partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, association, individual, or trust, whether fictitiously named or not, doing business in this state.
(b) “Veterans’ organization” means a business entity whose net earnings do not inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual and that exists substantially for one or more of the following purposes:
1. Promoting the social welfare of the community.
2. Assisting disabled and needy war veterans and members of the United States Armed Forces and their dependents, and the widows and orphans of deceased veterans.
3. Providing entertainment, care, and assistance to hospitalized veterans or members of the United States Armed Forces.
4. Carrying on programs to perpetuate the memory of deceased veterans and members of the United States Armed Forces, and to comfort their survivors.
5. Conducting programs for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes.
6. Providing insurance benefits for their members or dependents of their members or both.
7. Providing social and recreational activities for their members.
8. The earnings of the organization are devoted to charitable, religious, scientific, literary, educational, or fraternal purposes.
(2) A business entity may not advertise or hold itself out to the public as a veterans’ organization or similar entity unless the entity is a veterans’ organization.
(3) A business entity that violates subsection (2) violates the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act under part II.
(4) Consistent with part II, a veterans’ organization whose membership is limited to past or present members of the United States Armed Forces, individuals who are cadets or are spouses, widows, widowers, ancestors, or lineal descendants of past or present members of the United States Armed Forces or of cadets may bring an action to obtain a declaratory judgment that a business entity is violating this section and to enjoin the entity who has violated, is violating, or is otherwise likely to violate this section.
(5) A business entity that knowingly and intentionally represents itself as a veterans’ organization or similar organization but that does not comply with subsection (2) commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 1, ch. 2013-126.