Section 559.935, Florida Statutes 2007
(1) This part does not apply to:
(a) A bona fide employee of a seller of travel who is engaged solely in the business of her or his employer;
(b) Any direct common carrier of passengers or property regulated by an agency of the Federal Government or employees of such carrier when engaged solely in the transportation business of the carrier as identified in the carrier's certificate;
(c) An intrastate common carrier of passengers or property selling only transportation as defined in the applicable state or local registration or certification, or employees of such carrier when engaged solely in the transportation business of the carrier;
(d) Hotels, motels, or other places of public accommodation selling public accommodations, or employees of such hotels, motels, or other places of public accommodation, when engaged solely in making arrangements for lodging, accommodations, or sightseeing tours within the state, or taking reservations for the traveler with times, dates, locations, and accommodations certain at the time the reservations are made, provided that hotels and motels registered with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation pursuant to chapter 509 are excluded from the provisions of this chapter;
(e) Persons involved solely in the rental, leasing, or sale of residential property;
(f) Persons involved solely in the rental, leasing, or sale of transportation vehicles;
(g) Persons who make travel arrangements for themselves; for their employees or agents; for distributors, franchisees, or dealers of the persons' products or services; for entities which are financially related to the persons; or for the employees or agents of the distributor, franchisee, or dealer or financially related entity;
(h) A developer of a timeshare plan or an exchange company approved by the Division of Florida Land Sales, Condominiums, and Mobile Homes pursuant to chapter 721, but only to the extent that the developer or exchange company engages in conduct regulated under chapter 721; or
(i) Persons or entities engaged solely in offering diving services, including classes and sales or rentals of equipment, when engaged in making any prearranged travel-related or tourist-related services in conjunction with a primarily dive-related event.
(2) Sections 559.928, 559.929, 559.9295, 559.931, and 559.932 shall not apply to:
(a) Sellers of travel directly issuing airline tickets who have contracted with the Airlines Reporting Corporation for the most recent consecutive 3 years or more under the same ownership and control and who do not offer vacation certificates; or
(b) Sellers of travel offering vacation certificates who have contracted with the Airlines Reporting Corporation for the most recent consecutive 5 years or more under the same ownership and control.
(3) Sections 559.928, 559.929, 559.9295, 559.931, and 559.932 shall also not apply to a seller of travel that is an affiliate of an entity exempt pursuant to subsection (2) subject to the following conditions:
(a) In the event the department finds the affiliate does not have a satisfactory consumer complaint history or the affiliate fails to respond to a consumer complaint within 30 days, the related seller of travel exempt pursuant to subsection (2) shall be liable for the actions of the affiliate, subject to the remedies provided in ss. 559.9355 and 559.936.
(b) In the event the department is unable to locate an affiliate, the related seller of travel exempt pursuant to subsection (2) shall be fully liable for the actions of the affiliate, subject to the remedies provided in ss. 559.9355 and 559.936.
(c) In order to obtain an exemption under this subsection, the affiliate shall file an affidavit of exemption on a form prescribed by the department. The affidavit of exemption shall be executed by a person who exercises identical control over the seller of travel exempt pursuant to subsection (2) and the affiliate. Failure to file an affidavit of exemption prior to engaging in seller of travel activities shall subject the affiliate to the remedies provided in ss. 559.9355 and 559.936.
(d) Revocation by the department of an exemption provided to a seller of travel under subsection (2) shall constitute automatic revocation by law of an exemption obtained by an affiliate under the subsection.
(e) This subsection shall not apply to:
1. An affiliate that independently qualifies for another exemption under s. 559.935.
2. An affiliate that sells, or offers for sale, vacation certificates.
(f) For purposes of this section, an "affiliate" means an entity that meets the following:
1. The entity has the identical ownership as the seller of travel that is exempt under subsection (2).
2. The ownership controlling the seller of travel that is exempt under subsection (2) also exercises identical control over the entity.
3. The owners of the affiliate hold the identical percentage of voting shares as they hold in the seller of travel that is exempt under subsection (2).
(4) The department may revoke the exemption provided in subsection (2) or subsection (3) if the department finds the seller of travel does not have a satisfactory consumer complaint history, has been convicted of a crime involving fraud, theft, misappropriation of property, deceptive or unfair trade practices, or moral turpitude, or has not complied with the terms of any order or settlement agreement arising out of an administrative or enforcement action brought by a governmental agency or private person based on conduct involving fraud, theft, misappropriation of property, deceptive or unfair trade practices, or moral turpitude.
(5) This section shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 120.
(6) The department shall request from the Airlines Reporting Corporation any information necessary to implement the provisions of subsection (2). Persons claiming an exemption under subsection (2) or subsection (3) must show a letter of exemption from the department before a local occupational license to engage in business as a seller of travel may be issued or reissued. If the department fails to issue a letter of exemption on a timely basis, the seller of travel shall submit to the department, through certified mail, an affidavit containing her or his name and address and an explanation of the exemption sought. Such affidavit may be used in lieu of a letter of exemption for the purpose of obtaining an occupational license. In any civil or criminal proceeding, the burden of proving an exemption under this section shall be on the person claiming such exemption. A letter of exemption issued by the department shall not be used in, and shall have no bearing on, such proceedings.
History.--ss. 1, 2, ch. 88-363; s. 6, ch. 89-296; s. 14, ch. 91-236; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 1, ch. 92-160; s. 88, ch. 92-291; s. 1, ch. 93-107; s. 211, ch. 94-218; s. 7, ch. 94-298; s. 5, ch. 95-314; s. 836, ch. 97-103.
Note.--Former s. 559.927(12).