Section 497.407, Florida Statutes 2001
497.407 Certificate of authority; annual statement; renewal; transfer.--
(1) An application to the board for a certificate of authority shall be accompanied by the statement and other matters described in this section in the form prescribed by the board. Annually thereafter, within 3 months after the end of its fiscal period, or within an extension of time therefor, as the board for good cause may grant, the person authorized to engage in the sale of preneed contracts shall file with the department a full and true statement of her or his financial condition, transactions, and affairs, prepared on a basis as adopted by rule of the board, as of the preceding fiscal period or at such other time or times as the board may provide by rule, together with information and data which may be required by the board.
(2) The statement shall include the following:
(a) The types of preneed contracts proposed to be written.
(b) The name and address of the place of business of the person offering to write preneed contracts.
(c) Evidence that the person offering the statement:
1. Has the ability to discharge her or his liabilities as they become due in the normal course of business and has sufficient funds available during the calendar year to perform her or his obligations under her or his contract;
2. Has complied with the trust requirements for the funds received under contracts issued by herself or himself as hereinafter described;
3. Has disbursed interest, dividends, or accretions earned by trust funds, in accordance with this chapter and rules promulgated thereunder; and
4. Has complied with this chapter and any rules of the board and the department.
(d) Any other information considered necessary by the board to meet its responsibilities under this chapter.
(3) If the person is an individual, the statement shall be sworn by her or him; if a firm or association, by all members thereof; or, if a corporation, by any officer of the corporation.
(4)(a) An application to the board for an initial certificate of authority shall be accompanied by an application fee of $500. Thereafter, each annual application for renewal of a certificate of authority shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee as follows:
1. For a certificateholder with no preneed contract sales during the immediately preceding year ....... $300.
2. For a certificateholder with at least 1 but fewer than 50 preneed contract sales during the immediately preceding year ....... $400.
3. For a certificateholder with at least 50 but fewer than 250 preneed contract sales during the immediately preceding year ....... $500.
4. For a certificateholder with at least 250 but fewer than 1,000 preneed contract sales during the immediately preceding year ....... $850.
5. For a certificateholder with at least 1,000 but fewer than 2,500 preneed contract sales during the immediately preceding year ....... $1,500.
6. For a certificateholder with at least 2,500 but fewer than 5,000 preneed contract sales during the immediately preceding year ....... $2,500.
7. For a certificateholder with at least 5,000 but fewer than 15,000 preneed contract sales during the immediately preceding year ....... $6,000.
8. For a certificateholder with at least 15,000 but fewer than 30,000 preneed contract sales during the immediately preceding year ....... $12,500.
9. For a certificateholder with 30,000 preneed contract sales or more during the immediately preceding year ....... $18,500.
(b) Any person or entity that is part of a common business enterprise that has a certificate of authority issued pursuant to this section and elects to operate under a name other than that of the common business enterprise shall submit an application on a form adopted by the board to become a branch registrant. Upon the approval of the board that such entity qualifies to sell preneed contracts under this chapter except for the requirements of subparagraph (2)(c)1. and if the certificateholder meets the requirements of such subparagraph, a branch registration shall be issued. Each branch registrant may operate under the certificate of authority of the common business enterprise upon the payment of a fee established by the board not to exceed $150 accompanying the application on April 1 annually. The fee shall be payable to the department's Regulatory Trust Fund.
(5) Upon the board being satisfied that the statement and matters which may accompany it meet the requirements of this chapter and of its rules, it shall issue or renew the certificate of authority if upon investigation by the board it appears that the principals, including directors, officers, stockholders, employees, and agents of such person, are of good moral character and have reputations for fair dealing in business matters.
(6) The certificate of authority shall expire annually on June 1, unless renewed, or at such other time or times as the board may provide by rule.
(7) An application for an initial certificate of authority or for the annual renewal of the certificate shall disclose the existence of all preneed contracts for service or merchandise funded by any method other than a method permitted by this chapter, which contracts are known to the applicant and name the applicant or her or his business as the beneficiary upon the death of the purchaser of the preneed contract. Such disclosure shall include the name and address of the contract purchaser, the name and address of the institution where such funds are deposited, and the number used by the institution to identify the account. With respect to contracts entered into before January 1, 1983, the board may not deny or refuse to renew a certificate of authority solely on the basis of such disclosure. The board may not require the purchaser of any such contract to liquidate the account if such account was established before July 1, 1965. The board may use the information disclosed to notify the contract purchaser and the institution in which such funds are deposited should the holder of a certificate of authority be unable to fulfill the requirements of the contract.
(8) On or before April 1 of each year, the certificateholder shall file with the board in the form prescribed by the board a full and true statement as to the activities of any trust established by it pursuant to this chapter for the preceding calendar year.
(9) In addition to any other penalty that may be provided for under this chapter, the board may levy a fine not to exceed $50 a day for each day the certificateholder fails to file its annual statement, and the board may levy a fine not to exceed $50 a day for each day the certificateholder fails to file the statement of activities of the trust. Upon notice to the certificateholder by the board that the certificateholder has failed to file the annual statement or the statement of activities of the trust, the certificateholder's authority to sell preneed contracts shall cease while such default continues. The board shall deposit all sums collected under this section to the credit of the department's Regulatory Trust Fund.
(10) To facilitate uniformity in financial statements and to facilitate department analysis, the board may by rule adopt a form for financial statements.
(11) The board may authorize the transfer of certificates of authority and establish fees for the transfer in an amount not to exceed $100. Upon receipt of an application for transfer, the executive director may grant a temporary certificate of authority to the proposed transferee, based upon criteria established by the board by rule, which criteria shall promote the purposes of this chapter in protecting the consumer. Such a temporary certificate of authority shall expire at the conclusion of the next regular meeting of the board unless renewed by the board.
(12) Each certificateholder shall pay to the department's Regulatory Trust Fund an amount established by the board not to exceed $10 for each preneed contract entered into. This amount must be paid within 60 days after the end of each quarter. These funds must be used to defray the cost of the board and the department in administering the provisions of this chapter.
History.--s. 5, ch. 28211, 1953; ss. 6, 7, ch. 65-393; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 77-438; s. 169, ch. 79-164; s. 246, ch. 79-400; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 4, 31, 32, ch. 83-316; s. 2, ch. 85-89; s. 4, ch. 88-139; ss. 93, 122, ch. 93-399; s. 20, ch. 96-400; s. 1147, ch. 97-103; s. 27, ch. 99-155; s. 10, ch. 2000-195.
Note.--Former s. 639.10.