Delaware Massage Establishment Licensing Law Passed

Delaware House Bill 35 passed in the state legislature and has now been signed into law by Governor Carney. The new law requires that massage businesses must hold a separate massage establishment license in addition to a general business license, and in addition to individual licensure for the therapists working in the business. ABMP opposed the bill, and many of our members spoke out against it as well. The bill passed nonetheless.

The new establishment license requirement applies to:

Any place of business that offers the practice of massage and bodywork and where the practice of massage and bodywork is conducted on the premises of the business, or that represents itself to the public by any title or description of services incorporating the words "bodywork," "massage," "massage therapy," "massage practitioner," "massagist," "masseur," "masseuse," or other words identified in the massage therapy regulations.  A place of business includes any office, clinic, facility, salon, spa, or other location where a person or persons engage in the practice of massage and bodywork.

The new establishment license requirement does not apply to:

(a) The residence of a therapist or an out call location which is not owned, rented, or leased by a massage therapist or massage establishment, unless the location is advertised as the therapist's or establishment's place of business, or

(b) Facilities such as hospitals, physician offices, physical therapy facilities, chiropractic offices, or athletic training facilities.

There is nothing you need to do now. The establishment license requirement does not go into effect until January 2018. In the meantime, the Delaware Board of Massage and Bodywork must draft the regulations that will fill in the details of the new law, and must create an application form for the establishment license. There is no application form available yet. There will be opportunity for public comment on the draft regulations before final regulations are issued.

We will keep you informed about the process via email as it progresses.