Steps to Open a Spa

An Elite Team That Stands Behind You.

Step 1: Salon Requirements (61G5-20.002)

(1) Prior to opening a salon, the owner shall:

      1. Submit an application on forms prescribed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation; and
      1. Pay the required registration fee as outlined in the fee schedule in Rule 61G5-24.005, F.A.C.; and
    1. Meet the safety and sanitary requirements as listed below and these requirements shall continue in full force and effect for the life of the salon:
    1. Ventilation and Cleanliness: Each salon shall be kept well ventilated. The walls, ceilings, furniture and equipment shall be kept clean and free from dust. Hair must not be allowed to accumulate on the floor of the salon. Hair must be deposited in a closed container. Each salon which provides services for the extending or sculpturing of nails shall provide such services in a separate area which is adequately ventilated for the safe dispersion of all fumes resulting from the services.
    1. Toilet and Lavatory Facilities: Each salon shall provide – on the premises or in the same building as, and within 300 feet of, the salon – adequate toilet and lavatory facilities. To be adequate, such facilities shall have at least one toilet and one sink with running water. Such facilities shall be equipped with toilet tissue, soap dispenser with soap or other hand cleaning material, sanitary towels or other hand-drying device such as a wall-mounted electric blow dryer, and waste receptacle. Such facilities and all of the foregoing fixtures and components shall be kept clean, in good repair, well-lighted, and adequately ventilated to remove objectionable odors.
    1. A salon, or specialty salon may be located at a place of residence. Salon facilities must be separated from the living quarters by a permanent wall construction. A separate entrance shall be provided to allow entry to the salon other than from the living quarters. Toilet and lavatory facilities shall comply with subparagraph (c)2. above and shall have an entrance from the salon other than the living quarters.
    1. Animals: No animals or pets shall be allowed in a salon, with the exception of fish kept in closed aquariums, or trained animals to assist the hearing impaired, visually impaired, or the physically disabled.
  1. Shampoo Bowls: Each salon shall have shampoo bowls equipped with hot and cold running water. The shampoo bowls shall be located in the area where cosmetology services are being performed. A specialty salon that exclusively provides specialty services, as defined in Section 477.013(6), F.S., need not have a shampoo bowl, but must have a sink or lavatory equipped with hot and cold running water on the premises of the salon.
    1. Comply with all local building and fire codes. These requirements shall continue in full force and effect for the life of the salon.
    (2)Each salon shall comply with the following:
        1. Linens: Each salon shall keep clean linens in a closed, dustproof cabinet. All soiled linens must be kept in a closed receptacle. Soiled linens may be kept in open containers if entirely separated from the area in which cosmetology services are rendered to the public. A sanitary towel or neck strip shall be placed around the patron’s neck to avoid direct contact of the shampoo cape with a patron’s skin.
        1. Containers: Salons must use containers for waving lotions and other preparations of such type as will prevent contamination of the unused portion. All creams shall be removed from containers by spatulas.
        1. Sterilization and Disinfection: The use of a brush, comb or other article on more than one patron without being disinfected is prohibited. Each salon is required to have sufficient combs, brushes, and implements to allow for adequate disinfecting practices. Combs or other instruments shall not be carried in pockets.
      1. Sanitizers: All salons shall be equipped with and utilize wet sanitizers with hospital level disinfectant or EPA approved disinfectant, sufficient to allow for disinfecting practices.
      1. A wet sanitizer is any receptacle containing a disinfectant solution and large enough to allow for a complete immersion of the articles. A cover shall be provided.
      1. Disinfecting methods which are effective and approved for salons: First, clean articles with soap and water, completely immerse in a chemical solution that is hospital level or EPA approved disinfectant as follows:
        1. Combs and brushes, remove hair first and immerse in hospital level or EPA approved disinfectant;
        1. Metallic instrument, immerse in hospital level for EPA approved disinfectant;
        1. Instruments with cutting edge, wipe with a hospital level or EPA approved disinfectant; or
        1. Implements may be immersed in a hospital level or EPA approved disinfectant solution.
      1. For purposes of this rule, a “hospital level disinfectant or EPA approved disinfectant” shall mean the following:
          1. For all combs, brushes, metallic instruments, instruments with a cutting edge, and implements that have not come into contact with blood or body fluids, a disinfectant that indicates on its label that it has been registered with the EPA as a hospital grade bacterial, virucidal and fungicidal disinfectant;
        1. For all combs, brushes, metallic instruments with a cutting edge, and implements that have come into contact with blood or body fluids, a disinfectant that indicates on its label that it has been registered with the EPA as a tuberculocidal disinfectant, in accordance with 29 C.F.R. 1910.1030.
      1. All disinfectants shall be mixed and used according to the manufacturer’s directions.
          1. After cleaning and disinfecting, articles shall be stored in a clean, closed cabinet or container until used. Undisinfected articles such as pens, pencils, money, paper, mail, etc., shall not be kept in the same container or cabinet. For the purpose of recharging, rechargeable clippers may be stored in an area other than in a closed cabinet or container, provided such area is clean and provided the cutting edges of such clippers have been disinfected.
          1. Ultra Violet Irradiation may be used to store articles and instruments after they have been cleansed and disinfected.
        1. Pedicure Equipment Sterilization and Disinfection: The following cleaning and disinfection procedures must be used for any pedicure equipment that holds water, including sinks, bowls, basins, pipe-less spas, and whirlpool spas:
      1. After each client, all pedicure units must be cleaned with a low-foaming soap or detergent with water to remove all visible debris, then disinfected with an EPA registered hospital grade bactericidal, fungicidal, virucidal, and pseudomonacidal disinfectant used according to manufacturers instructions for at least ten (10) minutes. If the pipe-free foot spa has a foot plate, it should be removed and the area beneath it cleaned, rinsed, and wiped dry.
    1. At the end of each day of use, the following procedures shall be used:

(1) All filter screens in whirlpool pedicure spas or basins for all types of foot spas must be sanitized. All visible debris in the screen and the inlet must be removed and cleaned with a low-foaming soap or detergent and water. For pipe-free systems, the jet components or foot plate must be removed and cleaned and any debris removed. The screen, jet, or foot plate must be completely immersed in an EPA registered, hospital grade bactericidal, fungicidal, virucidal, and pseudomonacidal disinfectant that is used according to manufacturer’s instructions. The screen, jet, or foot plate must be replaced after disinfection is completed and the system is flushed with warm water and low-foaming soap for 5 minutes, rinsed, and drained.

(2) After the above procedures are completed, the basin should be filled with clean water and the correct amount of EPA registered disinfectant. The solution must be circulated through foot spa system for 10 minutes and the unit then turned off. The solution should remain in the basin for at least 6 to 10 hours. Before using the equipment again, the basin system must be drained and flushed with clean water.

  1. Once each week, subsequent to completing the required end-of-day cleaning procedures, the basin must be filled with a solution of water containing one teaspoon of 5.25% bleach for each gallon of water. The solution must be circulated through the spa system for 5 to 10 minutes and then the solution must sit in the basin for at least 6 hours. Before use, the system must be drained and flushed.
  2. A record or log book containing the dates and times of all pedicure cleaning and disinfection procedures must be documented and kept in the pedicure area by the salon and made available for review upon request by a consumer or a Department inspector.

(3) No cosmetology or specialty salon shall be operated in the same licensed space allocation with any other business which adversely affects the sanitation of the salon, or in the same licensed space allocation with a school teaching cosmetology or a specialty licensed under Chapter 477, F.S., or in any other location, space, or environment which adversely affects the sanitation of the salon. In order to control the required space and maintain proper sanitation, where a salon adjoins such other business or school, or such other location, space or environment, there must be permanent walls separating the salon from the other business, school, location, space, or environment and there must be separate and distinctly marked entrances for each.

(4) Evidence that the full salon contains a minimum of 200 square feet of floor space. No more than two (2) cosmetologists or specialists may be employed in a salon which has only the minimum floor space.

(5) A specialty salon offering only one of the regulated specialties shall evidence a minimum of 100 square feet used in the performance of the specialty service and shall meet all the sanitation requirements stated in this section. No more than one specialist or cosmetologist may be employed in a specialty salon with only the minimum floor space. An additional 50 square feet will be required for each additional specialist or cosmetologist employed

(6)For purposes of this rule, “permanent wall” means a vertical continuous structure of wood, plaster, masonry, or other similar building material, which is physically connected to a salon’s floor and ceiling, and which serves to delineate and protect the salon.

Step 2: Licensed Massage Establishment

A) License Requirements
    For Licensure as a Massage Establishment, the requirements are as follows and can be found in Section 480.043, F.S.
      1. Must submit to the department an application, upon forms provided by the department, accompanied by any information requested by the department and an application fee. Apply online using the following link:
      2. Upon receiving the application, the department may cause an investigation to be made of the proposed massage establishment.
    Please note: The owner(s) or corporation(s) are/is required to maintain property damage and bodily injury liability insurance coverage on the massage establishment.
      • Proof of insurance must list the exact business name, address and owner(s) of the establishment as listed on the application.
      • Only the licensed massage therapist who is the owner of the establishment may use insurance from a professional association to satisfy this requirement for establishment licensure.
      • For more information regarding types of insurance please contact a licensed insurance agent directly.
Click here for a Sample Inspection Form used by DOH inspectors.

Attestation for Business Assets

If the applicant has more than $250,000 dollars of business assets in this state, please submit a formal opinion letter from a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) duly licensed in this state affirming the corporation had more than $250,000 of business assets in this state for the previous tax year. In lieu of submitting a formal opinion letter from a CPA, the applicant may submit its Florida Corporate Income/Franchise and Emergency Excise Tax Return (Form F-1120, Effective 01/09) from the previous tax year.

Articles of Incorporation

If the proposed massage establishment is owned by a corporation, applicants are required to submit Articles of Incorporation issued by the Secretary of State’s Office.
    B) Process
    1. Applicant must submit application with the appropriate fees to the Board of Massage Therapy.
    2. Any person(s) required to submit to the background screening requirements per 480.043(2), F.S., schedule an electronic fingerprint appointment with a Livescan service provider and is/are fingerprinted.
    3. Upon receipt of application, an application specialist will notify an inspector to contact the facility and schedule an appointment for inspection.
    4. Once all materials are submitted, an application specialist will review them. It may be necessary for the application specialist to request additional information.
    5. After an application specialist has deemed the application complete and the facility has passed inspection a license is issued within 2-3 working days.
* * Please Note: Some applications may require a board appearance and a determination for approval will be decided by the board members at a regularly scheduled meeting of the board.

Step 3: Other Licenses

Step 4: Useful Resources

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