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How to Open a Funeral Home

Step 1: Funeral Establishment

  1. Complete the Business Entity-List of Principals Form located on the website of the Department of Financial Services: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/FuneralCemetery/fc_forms_2012/pdf/DFS-N1-1718.pdf

  2. Fingerprint card submissions for each officer, owner, manager and/or director. You must make the payment for processing at www.ibtfingerprint.com/state/?st=fl. If you are in the state of Florida, please follow the prompts on the website to locate a site to have the fingerprints taken electronically. If you are outside the state of Florida, or unable to find a location in your area, you will need to follow the directions at the aforementioned website in order to pay for the processing and have the fingerprint cards sent to you.

    F.S. 497.142(11)(a) When an applicant is required by this chapter to submit fingerprints in applying for a license, the following persons shall be required to submit such fingerprints: 1. Where the applicant is a natural person, the fingerprints of the natural person making application. 2. Where the applicant is a corporation, the fingerprints of the persons serving in the following capacities: chief executive officer and president, or both persons if the positions are filled by different persons; chief financial officer; chief of operations; general counsel if a corporation employee; and members of the board. 3. Where the applicant is a limited liability company, the fingerprints of all managers and members of the limited liability company. 4. Where the applicant is a partnership, the fingerprints of all partners. (b) In addition to persons identified in paragraph (a) as being required to provide fingerprints, the department may, during its prelicensing investigation of the applicant pursuant to subsection (3), on a case-by-case basis, require fingerprints from any other employee of the applicant if the department has grounds to believe that any such employee may have committed any crime and that such employee’s relationship to the applicant may render the applicant a danger to the public if the license applied for is issued.

  3. If the Funeral Establishment will be contracting any services out (i.e. embalming, refrigeration, storage or transportation of bodies), a copy of the contract must be submitted. It must include the Name of the Establishment, License Number, Address and be signed by the Funeral Director in Charge or Owner.

  4. If the establishment is a Corporation or LLC or has a Fictitious Name, such names must be filed with the Department of State (www.sunbiz.org) and a copy of the certificate must be submitted with the application.

  5. All operational personnel must also take a two hour communicable disease course. Please note the following rule:
    69K-17.0035 Communicable Disease Education Required for Operational Personnel.

    1. All operational personnel as defined in Rule 69K-15.005, F.A.C., shall successfully complete one Board approved course on communicable diseases, within 10 days after the date they are employed by any entity that is subject to Chapter 497, F.S. The course shall be at least two (2) hours and may include the use of approved video-cassette courses, or other types of audio, video, Internet, or home study courses. All persons subject to this rule shall maintain a certificate of completion showing proof of meeting the communicable disease education requirement as a condition of employment with any establishment, facility or service regulated under Chapter 497, F.S.

    2. Courses approved for two (2) or more hours pursuant to paragraph 69K-17.0042(3)(c), F.A.C., can be used to fulfill the two (2) hour communicable disease educational requirement. The name, address, telephone number and email address for approved continuing education providers that offer courses that will satisfy this communicable disease educational requirement can be found on the Department’s website (http://www.myfloridacfo.com/FuneralCemetery).

  6. Please note the following rule:

    69K-21.003 Inspection Criteria (Funeral Establishments).
    The Department shall inspect funeral establishments on the basis of the following:

    1. There shall be either a refrigeration room for the storage of dead human bodies, or written arrangements for the refrigeration and storage of dead human bodies, or a preparation room equipped as follows:

      1. Adequate ventilation, including an exhaust fan with proper screening adequate to exchange the air in the room with outside air at least twelve (12) times per hour;

      2. Operating table with non-porous surface;

      3. Sanitary floors with non-porous surface;

      4. Sanitary waste receptacles;

      5. A hand sink with hot and cold water and a service sink and a floor drain or sanitary drain for the removal of body fluids connected to central sewage system or septic tank. The floor drain may be replaced by an alternative method of removal of body fluids which meet the sanitation requirements of paragraph 69K-21.003(1)(c), F.A.C.;

      6. The following instruments properly maintained:
        1. 1 machine for embalming or gravity equipment;
        2. 1 aspirator;
        3. 1 master trocar;
        4. 1 aneurism needle;
        5. 1 scalpel;
        6. 1 drain tube;
        7. 1 arterial tube;
        8. 1 scissor;
        9. Surgical needles;
        10. Eye caps;
        11. Surgeon’s thread;
        12. 1 head rest;
        13. Razor and blades;
        14. Absorbent cotton;
        15. Antiseptic soap;
        16. Sheet(s);
        17. Towel(s);
        18. Disinfectant;
        19. Tubing;
        20. Disposable surgical gloves.
      7. The following minimum supplies for embalming dead human bodies:
        1. 2 bottles arterial fluid per body;
        2. 1 bottle cavity fluid per body;
        3. Supply of hardening compound for autopsies
    1. Compliance with Sections 497.386 and 4497.388, F.S., and Rule 69K-33.001, F.A.C.

    2. If embalming services are offered to the public, the establishment from which the arrangements are made shall have either a preparation room on the premises in conformity with the requirements of subsection 69K-21.003(1), F.A.C., a centralized embalming facility as defined in subsection 69K-21.003(3), F.A.C., or shall promptly notify the Board office in writing of any arrangements entered into with any other funeral establishment to provide embalming services prior to the service being provided.

    3. The requirements of subsection 69K-21.003(1), F.A.C., may be satisfied by the use of a centralized embalming facility provided that:

      1. Each establishment has a room for the storage of dead human bodies;

      2. The Department is notified of the name and location of the centralized facility;

      3. The centralized facility meets the requirements of subsection 69K-21.003(1), F.A.C., and

      4. The centralized facility is within 75 miles of the establishments served and available for use on a continuous full-time basis.
    4. Preparation room shall meet the requirements of the Department of Health Chapter 64E- 16, F.A.C., which prescribes minimum sanitary practices relating to the management of biomedical waste, including segregation, handling, labeling, storage, transport and treatment. Room shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary manner.

    5. The funeral establishment shall have on site or immediately available sufficient gasketed metal containers of a type required for the transportation of bodies which is adequate to prevent the seepage or emission of offensive fluids or odors.

    6. Where caskets are displayed, the prices shall be conspicuously marked on or in the casket.

    7. Each funeral establishment shall display at the public entrance the name of the establishment and the name of the full time funeral director in charge.

      Specific Authority 497.103, 497.380 FS. Law Implemented 497.380 FS. History–New 2-13-80, Amended 5-21-81, 9-28- 83, 3-26-84, Formerly 21J-21.03, Amended 12-11-88, Formerly 21J-21.003, Amended 3-30-94, 2-20-95, 3-24-98, 6- 14-00, 1-30-02, 4-15-02, 7-6-04, Formerly 61G8-21.003.If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services at 850-413-3039

Step 2: Cinerator Facility License

  1. If the Cinerator Facility will be contracting any services out (i.e. embalming, refrigeration, storage or transportation of bodies), a copy of the contract must be submitted. It must include the Name of the Establishment, License Number, Address and be signed by the Funeral Director in Charge or Owner.

  2. Complete the Elections of Procedures for Removal of Cremated Remains Form located on the website, www.myfloridacfo.com/funeralcemetery

  3. If the facility is a Corporation or LLC or has a Fictitious Name, such names must be filed with the Department of State (www.sunbiz.org) and a copy of the certificate must be submitted with the application.

  4. All operational personnel must also take a two hour communicable disease course. Please note the following rule:
    69K-17.0035 Communicable Disease Education Required for Operational Personnel.

    1. All operational personnel as defined in Rule 69K-15.005, F.A.C., shall successfully complete one Board approved course on communicable diseases, within 10 days after the date they are employed by any entity that is subject to Chapter 497, F.S. The course shall be at least two (2) hours and may include the use of approved video-cassette courses, or other types of audio, video, Internet, or home study courses. All persons subject to this rule shall maintain a certificate of completion showing proof of meeting the communicable disease education requirement as a condition of employment with any establishment, facility or service regulated under Chapter 497, F.S.

    2. Courses approved for two (2) or more hours pursuant to paragraph 69K-17.0042(3)(c), F.A.C., can be used to fulfill the two (2) hour communicable disease educational requirement. The name, address, telephone number and email address for approved continuing education providers that offer courses that will satisfy this communicable disease educational requirement can be found on the Department’s website (http://www.myfloridacfo.com/FuneralCemetery).Rulemaking Authority 497.103(1)(s), (5)(a), 497.162 FS. Law Implemented 497.162 FS. History–New 4-10-94, Amended 9-10-96, 11-20-96, 6-24-01, Formerly 61G8-17.0035, Amended 6-9-09.

  5. Please note the following rule:
    69K-22.002 Inspection.
    Each cinerator facility shall be inspected prior to the issuance and renewal of its license and shall meet the following criteria:

    1. Maintain one or more retorts for the reduction of dead human bodies.

    2. Maintain refrigeration which satisfies the standards set by the Department of Health and which contains a sufficient number of shelves for the average daily number of bodies stored, if unembalmed bodies are kept at the site.

    3. Maintain sufficient pollution control equipment to comply with the Department of Environmental Protection requirements in order to secure annual approved certification.

    4. Either have on site or immediately available sufficient gasketed metal containers of a type required for the transportation of bodies as specified in Rule 10D-37.012, F.A.C.

    5. Maintain the premises in a clean and sanitary condition.

    6. Have appropriate Department of Environmental Protection permits.

    7. All signed contracts are to be retained for a period of at least two years.

      If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services at 850-413-3039

Step 3: Direct Disposal Establishment License

  1. If the Direct Disposal Establishment will be contracting any services out (i.e. embalming, refrigeration, storage or transportation of bodies), a copy of the contract must be submitted. It must include the Name of the Establishment, License Number, Address and be signed by the Funeral Director in Charge or Owner.

  2. If the establishment is a Corporation or LLC or has a Fictitious Name, such names must be filed with the Department of State (www.sunbiz.org) and a copy of the certificate must be submitted with the application.

  3. All operational personnel must also take a two hour communicable disease course. Please note the following rule:
    69K-17.0035 Communicable Disease Education Required for Operational Personnel.

    1. All operational personnel as defined in Rule 69K-15.005, F.A.C., shall successfully complete one Board approved course on communicable diseases, within 10 days after the date they are employed by any entity that is subject to Chapter 497, F.S. The course shall be at least two (2) hours and may include the use of approved video-cassette courses, or other types of audio, video, Internet, or home study courses. All persons subject to this rule shall maintain a certificate of completion showing proof of meeting the communicable disease education requirement as a condition of employment with any establishment, facility or service regulated under Chapter 497, F.S.

    2. Courses approved for two (2) or more hours pursuant to paragraph 69K-17.0042(3)(c),F.A.C., can be used to fulfill the two (2) hour communicable disease educational requirement. The name, address, telephone number and email address for approved continuing education providers that offer courses that will satisfy this communicable disease educational requirement can be found on the Department’s website (http://www.myfloridacfo.com/FuneralCemetery).Rulemaking Authority 497.103(1)(s), (5)(a), 497.162 FS. Law Implemented 497.162 FS. History–New 4-10-94, Amended 9-10-96, 11-20-96, 6-24-01, Formerly 61G8-17.0035, Amended 6-9-09

  4. Please note the following rule:
    69K-23.004 Direct Disposal Establishments.

    1. At least thirty (30) days before the beginning of operation, a direct disposal establishment owner shall apply to the Department on a form provided by the Department for approval. Information to be provided shall include the correct street address, all telephone numbers and any Post Office box numbers. The owner shall also provide the name of the establishment.

    2. Prior to the issuance and renewal of its license a direct disposal establishment shall be approved by the Department if upon inspection by the Department it is shown that:

      1. There is available to the establishment adequate refrigerated storage space at a temperature of 40 degrees F or below for the average daily number of bodies stored;

      2. There are suitable containers available, including both cardboard boxes and airtight containers; and

      3. At least one licensed direct disposer is available at all times.

      4. The establishment shall be at a fixed, non-residential location in a building owned or leased by the direct disposer.

      5. The establishment shall be at least 625 square feet in size.

      6. If the establishment does not itself provide removal services, refrigeration facilities or cinerator facilities at or from its physical location address (profile location), upon application for registration, the establishment shall provide copies of its contracts with a removal service, refrigeration facility, retort or any appropriate combination thereof, located within 75 miles of the establishment’s profile location.

    3. A direct disposal establishment shall be inspected by the Department under the following circumstances, and the Department shall be notified by the owner of the establishment at least 10 days before items (a) or (b) occur:

      1. When a direct disposal establishment moves to a new location;

      2. When ownership of a direct disposal establishment is changed or otherwise transferred; and

      3. When a consumer complaint is made regarding a specific direct disposal establishment.

    4. There shall be one full-time registered direct disposer in charge at each establishment.

    5. In the event that the registered direct disposer in charge of establishment leaves the employ of that business, the owner shall notify the Department within twenty (20) days of the separation and shall identify the registered direct disposer who will be responsible for the establishment. Such notification shall consist of a statement signed by the new direct disposer in charge and the owner, and shall contain the name of the former direct disposer in charge, their registration numbers, the registration number of the direct disposal facility, and the date the change became effective.

    6. biennial renewal fee for direct disposal establishments shall be $300.

    7. There shall be an annual inspection fee of $100 for each direct disposal establishment.

    8. A late renewal penalty fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) shall be paid. This fee is owed when due, and failure to make payment will be a violation of this rule which will be cause to deny any subsequent applications for licensure pursuant to Chapter 497, F.S.

    9. In the event that a licensed establishment changes its licensed business name, the Board office shall be notified within 30 days. Such notification shall include legal documentation of the name change as well as a $25.00 duplicate license fee and the original license. A duplicate license, reflecting the new business name will be generated, upon receipt of the original license and completion of these requirements. Documentation submitted will remain in the Department’s possession.

      Specific Authority 497.103, 497.140, 497.604 FS. Law Implemented 497.140, 497.604 FS. History–New 2-13-80, Amended 11-8-82, 8-16-83, Formerly 21J-23.04, Amended 6-5-90, Formerly 21J-23.004, Amended 4-10-94, 9-17-97, 1-4-98, 2-16-98, 5-17-98, 2-17-00, 6-14-0

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