How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask William B. Esq. Your Own Question
William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8978
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
William B. Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

With regards XXXXX XXXXX "Pre-Need" Sales Agents Licenses and

Resolved Question:

With regards XXXXX XXXXX "Pre-Need" Sales Agents Licenses and Licensee(s): What would the penalties be for a Licensee should they knowingly allow/permit a sales agent to sell pre-need funeral and/or cemetery services without a pre-need sales license? Would they have they "licensee" status revoked or become invalid? Is there a tiered punishment based on how many times (or offenses) they accept? Is there a time period for these infractions?

These all based off of the first question which is what is the comprehensive penalty/penalties for this "turning a blind eye" way of doing business.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. I would like to assist you today. While I have researched this matter thoroughly, I do not have access to the administrative rulings and history to be able to give you an understanding of how the department will exercise its discretion in this matter. I can however provide you with the following. As you are aware, it is required that any seller of pre-needs services be licensed: FL 497.452; also, any revocation or rejection of licensing must be disclosed in an application FL 497.453. I could not find where the Board inquires into or otherwise evaluates unauthorized sales of pre-need services during the application phase.

Understanding that this pre-application conduct is illegal, and that the conduct may arise during the application process, I reviewed the disciplinary guidelines for the department. Unfortunately, there is no entry for the sale of pre-need services without a license, therefore it is difficult to know how the department will rule on such a violation. The guidelines themselves have a certain amount of room for the committee to exercise its discretion in determining whether the nature and scope of the conduct is sufficient to require a dramatic penalty, or a minor one.

While I hope the above is helpful, I understand it is not a definite answer as there is no "stepped" or "tiered" penalty phase for this department. A local attorney that specializes in administrative law may be able to give you a more accurate analysis of the potential outcome of any board decision, but this is a very small market so you will need to look carefully (usually around your state capital). You can find a specialist through the Florida State Bar Website Lawyer Referral Service.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good morning.


While I appreciate your attempt in trying to answer my question, your reply provided no forward movement from where I started, as I'm sure you agree. Since the need for this license is required to practice the area of pre-need sales, there must be consequences, fines, revocation ... something outlining the negative impact a company/licensee will endure if they try to skate around the system. We have this type of accountability in all we say and do. Just requires a bit more digging and since this is best done by experts such as yourselves, that's my reason behind this inquiry in the first place.


Thank you for your time.

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Dear Customer,

I believe I may have misunderstood your question in this regard. I was under the impression you were asking specifically whether or not a non-licensed seller could become licensed even after he or she had made "unlicensed" sales. My answer is above - if disclosed by the applicant during the application process the committee can exercise its discretion in determining whether or not the applicant meets the character requirements to hold this license for future sales.

From your follow up, it appears that I was mistaken in your goal, and thus my information may not have been as helpful as it could have been. Any contract that is entered into with an unlicensed seller is subject to revocation. Such contracts are unenforceable by the seller, and the pre-needs buyer has a right to both make a complaint to the department and if necessary to pursue a civil claim against the seller in civil court. This will be a traditional civil case with causes of action for breach of contract and declaratory relief (and potentially fraud or any other applicable claims associated with the transaction). The liability portion in such a case will be based on the non-licensed status of the defendant. Once this type of claim is filed, it will need to be disclosed on the seller's potential application to become licensed.

I hope that this better answers your question. If not, or if you have any further follow ups, please do let me know. I do want to fully respond to your inquiry, and I apologize for any misunderstanding I had of your initial post.

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Dear XXXXX am following up on your question. I hope that my follow up response was of better assistance to you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you for your business!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Bill. Still not really the direction I was going with this. I'll try to be a bit more clear. If a licensee (company) allows the selling of pre-need services to the public from an employee that is not yet or refused the license (but they sell anyway), what is the ramifications the licensee (not the employee) will get? Basically, is the "licensee" susceptible to losing their ability to sell pre-need because they continued to allow their employees to sell without the required license ... just to turn a profit? Hope this helps a bit more.

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
That does clear up the confusion. Give me a little bit to research the issue of liability of the licensee with regard to non-licensed employees.

I can tell you directly, from a civil liability standpoint, that the the employer is responsible for all conduct by its employee during the course and scope of employment, therefore any illicit or illegal acts done by an employee they know to be unlicensed will be there responsibility as well.

I will get back to you directly regarding any statutory or regulatory restrictions or sanctions for the employer.
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Dear Customer,

I have found the statute that expressly holds the employer or licensee liable for the acts of an agent in the circumstances you are describing.

497.466 (8)(d) "A preneed licensee shall be responsible for the activities of all preneed sales agents, and all funeral directors acting as preneed sales agents, who are affiliated with the preneed licensee and who perform any type of preneed-related activity on behalf of the preneed licensee. In addition to the preneed sales agents and funeral directors acting as preneed sales agents, each preneed licensee shall also be subject to discipline if its preneed sales agents or funeral directors acting as preneed sales agents violate any provision of this chapter."

The section does not expressly identify the sanctions that will be levied against the licensee for a violation of this chapter, but leaves the rule making in this regard to the department or agency (this is very common in legislative rule making).

497.466 (8)
(a) "The licensing authority shall have rule making authority to prescribe forms and procedures for implementation of this section."

Returning to the disciplinary guidelines that I provided earlier (, the department has not specifically set aside a minimum punishment for a violation of 497.466, however, it has reserved the power to enforce the entire section. Again, this is common in regulatory government as the agency focuses on its primary legal violations, but it does make it difficult to identify what the potential punishment will be for specific acts that are not listed.

To address your issue, the licensee is responsible for the acts of its non-licensed agent. The code expressly creates liability for the licensee. Furthermore, the department is empowered to enforce these rules as it sees fit. While there is no set punishment, the scale of punishments within the department works as follows:
(1) letter of guidance
(2) reprimand
(3) fine
(4) probation
(5) suspension
(6) revocation
The committee is required to take into account a number of factors when determining the severity of punishment (this will be your best indicator based on the facts and issues in your specific situation as to how a punishment will be issued to a licensee):

(b) Aggravating or mitigating circumstances may include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. The severity of the violation.

2. The degree of harm to the consumer or public.

3. The number of times the violations previously have been committed by the licensee.

4. The disciplinary history of the licensee.

5. The status of the licensee at the time the violation was committed.

I hope that this is more helpful. The statutory liability for the licensee is clear, the right of the department to punish the licensee is also clear, the only variable that I am unable to answer for you on this forum is the severity of any potential enforcement action by the committee as there is no minimum penalty, and the punishment is based on severity of conduct as opposed to a strict violation.

Please do not hesitate to follow up if you have further questions or if we are still not on the same page (sometimes it can be difficult to get a "meeting of the minds" in this type of forum).
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8978
Experience: Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
William B. Esq. and 13 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good morning. This information is much more helpful and definitely answered my question. Thank you.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Previous | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan

Meet The Experts:

  • Tina



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • Ely's Avatar


    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • JPEsq's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • FiveStarLaw's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.