(1) LICENSE REQUIRED.–No person shall conduct, maintain, manage, or operate a monument establishment in this state unless the monument establishment is licensed pursuant to this part.
(a) The two categories of monument establishment licensure available in this state are:
1. Monument builder.
2. Monument retailer.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 497.550
- Board: means the Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services. See Florida Statutes 497.005
- Cemetery: means a place dedicated to and used or intended to be used for the permanent interment of human remains or cremated remains. See Florida Statutes 497.005
- Corporation: A legal entity owned by the holders of shares of stock that have been issued, and that can own, receive, and transfer property, and carry on business in its own name.
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
- License: includes all authorizations required or issued under this chapter, except where expressly indicated otherwise, and shall be understood to include authorizations previously referred to as registrations or certificates of authority in chapters 470 and 497 as those chapters appeared in the 2004 edition of the Florida Statutes. See Florida Statutes 497.005
- Licensee: means the person or entity holding any license or other authorization issued under this chapter, except where expressly indicated otherwise. See Florida Statutes 497.005
- Monument: means any product used for identifying a grave site and cemetery memorials of all types, including monuments, markers, and vases. See Florida Statutes 497.005
- Monument establishment: means a facility that operates independently of a cemetery or funeral establishment and that offers to sell monuments or monument services to the public for placement in a cemetery. See Florida Statutes 497.005
- Partnership: A voluntary contract between two or more persons to pool some or all of their assets into a business, with the agreement that there will be a proportional sharing of profits and losses.
- Person: when used without qualification such as "natural" or "individual" includes both natural persons and legal entities. See Florida Statutes 497.005
- Rules: refers to rules adopted under this chapter unless expressly indicated to the contrary. See Florida Statutes 497.005
(b) An applicant for licensure as a monument establishment shall designate on the application form the category of monument establishment licensure for which he or she is applying.
(c) Each monument establishment that is licensed under this chapter at 11:59 p.m. on September 30, 2005, is, on and after October 1, 2005, licensed as a monument retailer subject to the requirements of this chapter. A person who becomes licensed as a monument retailer by operation of this paragraph may apply to the board for licensure as a monument builder and, upon payment of applicable application fees and the granting of such application and licensure as a monument builder, such person’s licensure as a monument retailer will expire.
(d) The requirements of this chapter apply to both monument retailers and monument builders, except as provided in this paragraph. Each monument establishment shall be a physical structure that is located at a specific street address, in compliance with zoning regulations of the appropriate local government, and not located on property that is exempt from taxation, but a monument retailer may not otherwise be required to comply with s. 497.552 or be subject to inspection under this chapter.
(e) A monument establishment that is not licensed under the monument-builder category is not eligible for a preneed sales license.
(2) APPLICATION PROCEDURES.–A person seeking licensure as a monument establishment shall apply for such licensure using forms prescribed by rule.
(a) The application shall require the applicant’s name and address, and the name and address of all principals of the applicant. The application shall require the applicant’s social security number, or, if the applicant is an entity, its federal tax identification number.
(b) The application may require information as to the applicant’s financial resources, and may require information as to the experience of the applicant and its principals in the monument establishment business or death care industry.
(c) The applicant shall be required to make disclosure of the applicant’s criminal records, if any, as required by s. 497.142.
(d) The application shall require the applicant to disclose whether the applicant or any of its principals have ever had a license or the authority to practice a profession or occupation revoked, suspended, fined, denied, or otherwise acted against or disciplined by the licensing authority of any jurisdiction.
(e) The applicant shall submit fingerprints in accordance with s. 497.142.
(f) The applicant shall be a natural person at least 18 years of age, a corporation, a partnership, or a limited liability company.
(g) The applications shall require the applicant to demonstrate that the applicant has, or will have before commencing operations, the facilities required under this part.
(h) The application shall be signed in accordance with s. 497.141(12).
(i) The application shall be accompanied by an application fee as determined by licensing authority rule but not to exceed $500.
(j) Upon receipt of the application and application fee, the licensing authority shall inspect the proposed monument establishment facilities in accordance with rules of the licensing authority.
(3) ACTION CONCERNING APPLICATIONS.–A duly completed application for licensure as a monument establishment, accompanied by the required application fee, shall be approved unless there is shown by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant will not, before commencing operations, have the facilities required by this part or that issuance of the license would pose an unreasonable risk to the public because of one or more of the following factors:
(a) The applicant’s lack of experience.
(b) The applicant’s lack of financial resources.
(c) The criminal or disciplinary record of the applicant or its principals.
(d) A demonstrated history of violations of the laws of this state by the applicant or its principals regarding the funeral or cemetery business or other business activities.
(e) A demonstrated history of lack of trustworthiness or integrity on the part of the applicant or its principals.
(4) PROBATIONARY STATUS.–It is the policy of this state to encourage competition for the public benefit in the monument establishment business by, among other means, the entry of new licensees into the monument establishment business. To facilitate issuance of licenses concerning applications judged by the licensing authority to be borderline as to qualification for licensure, the licensing authority may issue new monument establishment licenses on a probationary basis, subject to conditions specified by the licensing authority on a case-by-case basis, which conditions may impose special monitoring, reporting, and restrictions on operations for up to the first 24 months of licensure, to ensure the licensee‘s responsibleness, competency, and financial stability. However, no such probationary license shall be issued unless the licensing authority determines that issuance would not pose an unreasonable risk to the public, and the licensing authority must within 24 months after issuance of the license either remove the probationary status or determine that the licensee is not qualified for licensure and institute proceedings for revocation of licensure.
(5) LICENSE NOT TRANSFERABLE OR ASSIGNABLE.–A monument establishment license shall not be transferable or assignable.