These 31 states have a local telephone solicitor licensing process. Many of these same states also require the placement of a telemarketing surety bond. Most call centers are unaware that the licensing is required not only for their home state where they call from, but also applies to all the states they call into. The process, forms and annual dues vary greatly by state. Thankfully, the cost in most states is minimal. Also, each license state has a list of possible licensing exemptions. Some states exempt consent-based campaigns, inbound campaigns, and professional insurance and real estate licensees, for example. Other states exempt telemarketers who refrain from prize promotions. Marketers who lack licensing or who only have their home state license should promptly conduct a 50-states exemption analysis to determine their obligations and exposure. In general, states want unlicensed call centers to come into compliance and operate in the sunlight, meaning they rarely penalize call centers for coming to get the license for the first time. Licensing is not an issue to blow off though, as some states (Florida, for example) routinely raid and shut down unlicensed floors.
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