TRAVEL AGENTS - DID YOU KNOW?

Selling Travel in Florida Requires Registration

June 2, 2021

Being a travel agent has dramatically changed over the last twelve (12) months, and more states are enforcing their regulations leaving some travel agents in hot water. According to TravelAgentCentral.com Florida is the #1 choice of travelers in 2021, and the State of Florida is making sure that sellers of travel to their state are following the law. 

 

According to the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), current regulations require “Sellers of Travel” who sell vacations in Florida to register prior to selling travel. Penalties for failing to register as a Seller of Travel range from civil or administrative fines of up to $5,000 for each violation, cease and desist order, and injunctive relief. Each sale or attempted sale may be considered a separate violation.

 

Several requirements must be met before an individual, travel agent, or agency can be registered as a Seller of Travel. https://www.fdacs.gov/Business-Services/Sellers-of-Travel

 

  • Register to do business in Florida through the Florida Department of State. The process for registering as a foreign business takes approximately 60 days from the date the application is mailed. This registration includes securing a registered agent located in the State of Florida. 

  • Apply for a surety bond through a company that is licensed to issue bonds in the State of Florida. The time period for receiving a bond is 2-3 days.

  • Apply and file documentation for registration as a Seller of Travel. If you do not sell vacation certificates, the registration fee is $300.00. If you do sell vacation certificates, the cost is $400.00. All Florida Seller of Travel registrations are valid for one year beginning the day the certificate is issued, and you must renew each year if you intend to continue selling vacations in Florida.

Once you are registered as a registered Seller of Travel in Florida, follow the regulations closely in your sales and business marketing communications. 

  • Include “Name of Business is registered with the State of Florida as a Seller of Travel Registration No. __” in all contracts.

  • Include “Florida Seller of Travel Registration No. __” on all marketing materials including websites and social media marketing. 

  • Display your certificate in a prominent place in your physical business location.

 

Navigating the world of travel regulations post-COVID will have challenges. States like Hawaii and California are considering broader regulations with more people traveling. Although “helping your friend” with his/her Disney trip is fun, be aware that it can also be costly. If you are profiting or receiving any in kind return from travel advice, you are subject to the laws of the state where you are located, and the state where you are booking travel. A small up-front cost and some legal help can keep you out of trouble, and ensure the travel you book is done correctly.   

For more information on seller of travel requirements and registration, email our team at info@gayjoneslaw.com.