West Virginia Bill Impacts Massage Establishments

Business owners, Senate Bill 786 (SB 786) was enacted in late April, impacting massage establishment licensing, emergency suspension orders, and inspections. ABMP details how the bill may affect you and your business below.

Establishment Licensing
Beginning July 1, 2025, a massage establishment license will be required in West Virginia. An establishment license will need to be renewed every other year, and the cost to renew will not exceed $100. Sole practitioners do not need an establishment license.

Emergency Establishment Suspension Order
SB 786 gives authority for the West Virginia Massage Therapy Licensing Board (Board) to issue emergency orders to halt business operations if an establishment violates massage state regulations. The bill allows the executive director of the Board to issue an emergency order that suspends an establishment’s operations. An emergency suspension order may be issued if:

  1. A law enforcement agency notifies the Board it is investigating a massage establishment for a human trafficking offense;
  2. The Board has reasonable cause to believe an offense is being committed at a massage establishment and observes one or more regulation violations upon inspection; or
  3. One or more regulation violations are observed upon routine inspection.

If violations were observed during an inspection, SB 786 requires the Board’s executive director to issue an emergency establishment suspension order. The Board will provide the massage establishment a summary of inspection findings that resulted in the emergency order. The summary will describe what compliance measures must be taken for the emergency order to be rescinded. The massage establishment must remain closed to the public until it is in compliance.

An emergency order will identify the massage establishment by its business name and indicate the establishment is closed by order of the Board. The emergency order must be printed on 8.5” x 11” paper and taped to the front door of the establishment, so it is clearly visible to the public. A massage establishment cannot remove the emergency order notice or open for business until it is in compliance. If an establishment opens while subject to an emergency order, the business will be fined $1,000 per day for each day of violation.