BROKERAGE OFFICES

Office Requirements

An active broker must open and maintain at least one office consisting of an enclosed room in a building of stationary construction where the broker’s books, records, and files should be kept. The office should also allow for privacy to properly conduct the negotiation and closing of real estate transactions. A broker is allowed to have an office outside Florida, and could have an office in his or her home if not contrary to local zoning ordinances (6112-10.022 F.A.C.).

Sales associates must be registered and work from the broker’s office or branch office.

Sign Requirements

All offices must be registered and be identified with an appropriate sign. The sign at the office entrance must identify each office including all branch offices maintained by the broker. The sign must contain:

  • name of the broker
  • the words Licensed Real Estate Broker (or Lic. Real Estate Broker)
  • corporate name if applicable
  • trade name if applicable
  • partnership name if applicable
  • sales associates’ names if desired

Americans with Disabilities Act

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, public accommodations must comply with specific requirements related to architectural standards for new and altered buildings; reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures; effective communication with people with hearing, vision, or speech disabilities; and other access requirements.

Additionally, public accommodations must remove barriers in existing buildings where that can be done without much difficulty or expense, given the public accommodation’s resources. Commercial facilities must comply with the act’s architectural standards for new construction and alterations.

The Florida Americans with Disabilities Accessibility Implementation Act (Chapter 553.502, F.S.) incorporates the accessibility requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act into Florida law so that the Florida Accessibility Code for Building Construction is equivalent to federal 

BRANCH OFFICES

An active broker (or brokerage) license authorizes the licensee to do business at a single, main office. Any additional offices are considered branch offices and must be individually licensed as such. A branch office must be licensed if the name or advertising of a broker having a principal office located elsewhere is used in such a manner as to reasonably lead the public to believe that such office is owned and operated by that broker.

The nature of the activity conducted at a location determines whether it is a branch office or not. It sales associates are permanently assigned there, literature identifying the address of the location is used, customers and clients are invited there to conclude transactions, and so on, It must be licensed as a branch office. A temporary shelter to get out of the sun or rain would not be required to be licensed (Chapter 475.24, F.S. and 6132-10.023 F.A.C.).

Sales associates must be registered from and work out of an office maintained and registered in the name of the broker or employer. However, sales associates may be registered from the principal office but work at branch offices (61J2-10.022 F.A.C.).

A fee is required for the registration of each branch office. If a broker closes a branch office but reopens at the same location within the same license renewal period, then no fee is required. If a broker closes a branch office and simultaneously opens a branch office at a different location, then a fee is required (6132-10.023(3) F.A.C.).