Home Solicitation Permits
Pursuant to Chapter 501, Florida Statutes, individuals who engage in certain door-to-door solicitation activities that sell, lease or rent consumer goods or services with a purchase price in excess of $25.00 are required to obtain a Home Solicitation Permit.
The following individuals are excluded from this requirement:
- (a) Bona fide agents, business representatives, or salespersons making calls or soliciting
orders at the usual place of business of a customer.
- (b) Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making a call or business visit upon the express
invitation, oral or written, of an inhabitant of the premises or her or his agent.
- (c) Telephone solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls which involve transactions
that are unsolicited by the consumer and consummated by telephone.
- (d) Solicitors, salespersons, or agents conducting a sale, lease, or rental of consumer
goods or services by sample, catalog, or brochure for future delivery.
- (e) Minors, as defined in s. 1.01(13), Florida Statutes, conducting home solicitation sales under
the supervision of an adult supervisor who holds a valid home solicitation sale permit.
- (f) Those sellers or their representatives that are currently regulated as to the sale of
goods and services by Chapter 475 or Chapter 497, Florida Statutes.
- (g) Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls or soliciting orders on behalf of a
religious, charitable, scientific, educational, or veterans' institution or organization
holding a sales tax exemption certificate under s. 212.08(7)(a), Florida Statutes.
The Board Records Department has the responsibility of collecting fees for home solicitation permits,
acceptance and review of permit applications, and issuance of approved permits.
To learn more about the process of acquiring a permit, please see our questions and answers.
You may obtain a permit application form online by clicking here or at the location listed below.
Clerk of the Circuit Court, Board Records Department
315 Court Street, 5th Floor
Clearwater, FL 33756
Telephone: (727) 464-3458
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS REGARDING HOME SOLICITATION PERMITS AS AUTHORIZED BY CHAPTER 501.022, FLORIDA STATUTES:
The 1986 Florida Legislature amended the above law to require that as of October 1, 1986, persons who
are engaged in certain personal door-to-door solicitation activities obtain permits issued by the County.
This is a very general outline of the provisions of the above law and any specific questions regarding its
applicability to any individual or business situation should be referred to private attorneys for advice.
Solicitors will be referred to as "sellers," those being solicited as "buyers," and the Clerk of the
Circuit Court as the "Clerk."
Questions and Answers regarding home solicitation permits
How is "Home solicitation sale" defined by law?
"Home solicitation sale" means a sale, lease, or rental of consumer goods or services with a purchase price in excess of
$25 which includes all interest, service charges, finance charges, postage, freight, insurance, and service or handling charges, whether
under single or multiple contracts, made pursuant to an installment contract, a loan agreement, other evidence of indebtedness, or a cash
transaction or other consumer credit transaction in which:
What is this permit called?
- (a) the seller or a person acting for him or her engages in a personal solicitation of the sale, lease, or rental at a place
other than at the seller's fixed location business establishment where goods or services are offered or exhibited for sale, rental and
- (b) the buyer's agreement or offer to purchase is given to the seller and the sale, lease, or rental is consummated at a
place other than at the seller's fixed location business establishment, including a transaction unsolicited by the consumer and consummated
by telephone and without any other contract between the buyer and the seller or representative prior to delivery of the goods or performance
of the services. It does not include a sale, lease, or rental made at any fair or similar commercial exhibit or sale, lease, or rental that
results from a request for specific goods or services by the purchaser or lessee or a sale made by a motor vehicle dealer licensed
under s. 320.27, Florida Statutes, which occurs at a location or facility open to the general public or to a designated group.
Who must obtain a permit?
Home Solicitation Permit.
When is solicitation not "Home Solicitation"?
All adults who engage in door-to-door, face-to-face "home solicitation sales" as defined in the law,
and all adults who supervise minors engaged in such home solicitation sales.
Who is exempt from these requirements?
When the aggregate value of the sale, lease or rental of consumer goods is less than $25.00; when the solicitation is by use of catalogs, samples, or brochures for future delivery; when the solicitation is made at the invitation of the prospective buyer; when solicitation is made at the usual place of business of a buyer regarding product or service for use in connection with the buyer's regular business; when the solicitor is under 18 years of age (except when otherwise covered by the law, minors must be supervised by an adult who has a valid permit); when the solicitation is for certain funeral arrangements as regulated by Chapters 470, 497 and 639, Florida Statutes; or when the solicitation occurs at a fair or similar commercial exhibit.
According to s. 501.022, (1)(b), Florida Statutes, the following are exempt from operation of
home solicitation sale:
Who issues the permit?
- Bona fide agents, business representatives, or salespersons making calls or soliciting orders at the usual place of business of
a customer regarding product or service for use in connection with the customer's business.
- Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making a call or business visit upon the express invitation, oral or written, of
an inhabitant of the premises or her or his agent.
- Telephone solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls which involve transactions that are unsolicited by the
consumer and consummated by telephone and without any other contact between the buyer and the seller or representative
prior to delivery of the goods or performance of the services.
- Solicitors, salespersons, or agents making calls or soliciting orders on behalf of a religious, charitable, scientific,
educational, or veterans' institution or organization holding a sales tax exemption certificate under s. 212.08(7)(a),
How much does it cost to apply for a permit and how long is it valid?
Clerk of the Circuit Court
Board Records Department
315 Court St., 5th Floor
Clearwater, FL 33756
Business hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
A non-refundable fee of $100.00 is required to apply for a permit valid for one year from date of
issuance. An additional fee of $24.00 is also required to submit information to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for a criminal background search.
How does one apply for a permit?
Obtain an application form from the Board Records Department or online in Microsoft Word format by
Applicant must provide the
Clerk with two (2) head and shoulders (passport) photographs, at least 1" x 1 1/2" in size. An
application is completed and notarized, along with a complete set of fingerprints taken by an
authorized law enforcement agency. A package of the materials will be processed for a criminal
Where do I get fingerprinted?
To get fingerprinted by an authorized law enforcement agency, you can visit the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Fingerprinting Service Office located at 4645 145th Avenue, Clearwater, FL or visit their website to view information about fingerprinting. There is a $5.00 fee associated with this service and it is only offered to Pinellas County citizens. Note: Please state that the fingerprints are for a background check as there are many different types of fingerprinting services offered by the Sheriff's office.
How long will it take for the permit to be issued?
Is this the only permit required?
This will vary depending on how soon the fingerprint and background checks can be completed.
The law requires FDLE and the Sheriff to report any criminal information within 60 days after
they receive the fingerprints and a copy of the application.
For what reasons may a permit be denied, revoked or suspended?
Yes, unless a municipal permit is required. Please contact the municipality where home solicitation sales will occur regarding the permitting requirements.
How will notice of approval or denial of an application be handled?
If it is determined that an applicant or permitholder has:
(a) been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere in certain crimes;
(b) has obtained a permit by fraud, false statement, misrepresentation, or failure to truthfully answer any question in the
required permit application;
(c) failed to obtain required municipal occupational licenses or has failed in any material respect to comply
with the provisions of s. 501.201 - 501.055, Florida Statutes.
What will a permit look like?
If the application is approved, the Clerk will notify the applicant by mail or phone. If the
application is denied, the Clerk will notify the applicant by certified mail, return receipt requested.
What if a permit is issued and then the holder moves or has a name change?
It will be a laminated identification card bearing the photograph of the permitholder as well as
additional identifying information.
Who will enforce the law?
Any such change must be furnished to the Clerk in writing within 15 days.
What is the responsibility of businesses having employees covered by this law?
Local law enforcement agencies, including the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. The Pinellas County Department of Justice and Consumer Services will also investigate complaints.
What if the person(s) engaging in home solicitation sales is going to be active in more than one
county or on a statewide basis?
Businesses should refer to s. 501.046, Florida Statutes, and verify compliance with the
requirements contained therein.
What are the penalties for failure to comply with the law?
The applicant should obtain a permit in the county where the primary place of business is located
or, if no such location, from the Clerk in any county. If a permit is issued, it may be registered
upon payment of any applicable fee with the Division of Consumer Services and upon
verification of validity of the underlying permit, the Division shall issue a certificate, valid for
one year, which shall allow the holder to solicit on a statewide basis.
- Under s. 501.55, Florida Statutes, penalties range from misdemeanor in the first degree to felony in the third degree.
- If you believe that a person is operating in violation of this statute, please contact the Pinellas County Office of Justice and Consumer Services at (727) 464-6200.