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Division Director

Greg Thomas

Insurance Agent and Agency Services
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0318
Bureau of Licensing
(850) 413-3137
Bureau of Investigation
(850) 413-3136

Opening an Insurance Agency

Thinking of opening an insurance agency?

So, you’re thinking about opening your own insurance agency?! Well, before you open the doors for the first time, a review of the laws and rules affecting insurance representatives and the operation of Florida agencies could be very beneficial to you. After all, you want to maintain a compliant agency. Insurance laws are located in Title XXXVII of the Florida Statutes and predominantly in Chapter 69B of the Florida Administrative Code.

Here’s a quick overview of the laws and procedures that new (and not-so-new) agents frequently inquire about, along with the applicable legal citations, for opening a major* lines insurance agency.  If that's not for you, be sure to check out the guidelines for opening title insurance agencies and bail bond agencies.

*For clarification, when we refer to major lines, we are referring to those agencies that sell property, casualty, health, and/or life insurance including variable annuity products.

Naming your agency

Florida law prevents you from naming your agency anything that would be misleading or deceptive in any way. Names chosen should not imply that the agency is an insurance company, governmental agency, or any other national or state organization. We will not allow any agency to use a name that does not meet this criteria. [s. 626.602, F.S.] 

Obtain an agency license

No individual or business can act as an insurance agency unless they possess an insurance agency license. You apply for a license through MyProfile using the agency's information (Federal Employer Identification Number, etc.). [s. 626.172, F.S.]

When you apply for an agency license, you will be asked when the agency began transacting. The transaction date requested is the date the agency began transacting insurance business in the State of Florida. This is not the date the agent became licensed nor the date the agency became incorporated. Current fingerprints will need to be submitted to us, if they have not been already, for any individual who is not currently licensed and appointed as an agent, such as an officer or director. Also, if the agency changes its agent in charge, or officers, the agency has 30 days to inform us of the changes.  [s. 626.541, F.S.]

Designating an agent in charge

Each person operating an insurance agency and each location of a multiple-location agency is required to designate a licensed and appointed agent in charge for each location.  You do this when you're applying for your agency license or adding a location, but if it changes you can let us know through the agency's MyProfile account. [s. 626.0428 and 626.172, F.S.]

On a related matter, you are required to notify us within 30 days if there is a change in your name, residence address, principal business street address or mailing address, e-mail address, or telephone numbers.  This is quickly and easily done by logging in to the MyProfile account for you and/or the agency, depending on what needs to be changed and for whom. [s. 626.551, F.S.]

Display of Agency License Required

All Florida insurance agencies are required to display the Department-issued agency license prominently and in a manner that makes the certificate clearly visible to any customer or potential customer who enters the agency. Posting your Department-issued agency certificate provides consumers with the information they need to verify an agency's license status before they make a financial decision. Failure to comply with this statute may result in disciplinary action against the agency. Please be sure you’ve prominently posted your agency certificate today! [s. 626.172, F.S.]

Don’t forget to check out these cites also:

Florida Statute sections
626.536 Reporting of actions
626.561 Reporting and accounting for funds
626.572 Rebating; when allowed
626.7352 Customer representative’s office
626.7354 Customer representative’s powers; agent’s and agency’s responsibility
626.748 Agent’s records
626.749 Place of business in the residence (general lines)
626.797 Code of ethics (life, health and variable annuities)

Florida Administrative Code rules
69B-150 Life and health advertising requirements
69B-211 Insurance Representatives
69B-213 Customer Representatives
69B-215 Agents
69B-222 Unlicensed insurance personnel

Where to find these guidelines

You can find all this information, and more, online. Our web address is www.MyFloridaCFO.com/Division/Agents. Be sure to check out the various Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) we have received and provided answers to help guide you.

Good luck with your agency!