TELEMARKETING LICENSES
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Telemarketing License Exemptions

Am I exempt from state telemarketing licenses?
 
This page provides information about some of the possible exemptions which apply to state telemarketing licenses. Approximately 33 states have a state-specific license for call centers. Some of those states also require the individual sales agents to obtain an individual telemarketing license. Generally, you need the license if you call into those states, even if you have no call center in those states. To obtain a telemarketing license, call centers must go through a telemarketing registration process which varies by state.
 
Many exemptions and exceptions apply to the various state telemarketing license requirements. Some of these exemptions have to do with who you call and weather you obtained prior permission to call them. Some exemptions exist if you are only calling people who previously purchased something from you. Some telemarketing license exemptions apply based on what you sell. You might qualify for an exemption in some sates if you have other professional licenses (real estate, insurance, securities, etc.). Also, some exemptions apply depending on the volume of calls you make. In some states, you need to apply for the exemption; in other states you may be automatically exempt without having to do any paperwork. Learn more about nonprofit and charitable telemarketing laws. This web page contains a brief summary only and is not a substitute for the advice of a telemarketing attorney. Never rely on a possible telemarketing license exemption until you are 100% certain that you qualify and have confirmed this with your legal counsel. This information is not guaranteed to be accurate and may contain errors and omissions.

Some of the most important exemptions to the telemarketing license requirements:

Business to Business Calls
Established Business Relationship

Face to Face Follow-up (Appointment Setters)

Isolated Transactions

Publicly-traded Companies

Prior Permission or Inquiry

Licensed Real Estate Professionals

Licensed Insurance Professionals
 Inbound Calls
Other Exemptions


 1. Business-to-business ("B2B") calls. Some states have exemptions for telemarketers who only make B2B calls to other businesses. Whether you qualify may depend on what was sold, whether the business purchased something from you in the past, and whether you send descriptive literature before the new transaction. Some of the states which have a license exemption for B2B calls include: Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Remember that some states require you to apply for the exemption in order to become exempt. Learn more about business to business telemarketing laws. Other factors may apply - speak with a telemarketing attorney to confirm your exemption.

 2. Established Business Relationship ("EBR"). Some states have exemptions for companies who only call their current and former customers. Be careful - whether you qualify may depend on how recent the customer's prior purchase was, what they purchased, etc. Some of these states only allow the exemption for calls to customers who are receiving continuing services from you. The following states have licensing exemptions that relate to the calling of EBR customers: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, DC, Florida, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Other factors may apply - speak with a telemarketing attorney to confirm your exemption.

 3. Face-to-Face follow up (appointment setters). Some states have a telemarketing license exemption if you do not complete the transaction until after a face-to-face meeting with the consumer after the telephone call. These exemptions generally do not apply if the consumer agrees to the charges during the phone call - both the agreement and the collection of money cannot occur until after the face-to-face meeting. Some of the states which have a license exemption for face-to-face follow up include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, DC, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, West Virginia. Other factors may apply - speak with a telemarketing attorney to confirm your exemption.

 4. Isolated transactions. Some states have exemptions for call centers who make only a very small amount of calls into those states. Be careful - some of these states (such as Utah) only allow this exemption if you make 2 or less calls into the state per year. States which have exemptions related to low call volumes are: Alabama, DC, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming. Other factors may apply - speak with a telemarketing attorney to confirm your exemption.
 
 5. Publicly-traded companies. Some states have telemarketing license exemptions for publicly traded companies who are regulated by the Securities Exchange Act or state securities statutes. Some of these states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia. Other factors may apply - speak with a telemarketing attorney to confirm your exemption.
 
 6. Prior Permission or Inquiry. Some states have a telemarketer licensing exemption for call centers who only call consumers who previously gave the call center permission to call them, or who previously inquired about the sellers products or services. Be careful - some of these exemptions only apply if you obtained very specific permission or if the inquiry was within a certain window of time. Some of the states who have exemptions related to prior permission or inquiries are: Alabama, Colorado, DC, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Other factors may apply - speak with a telemarketing attorney to confirm your exemption.
 
 7. Licensed Real Estate Professionals. Some states exempt telemarketers who are properly licensed under the state's real estate licensing statutes. Merely having a real estate license in your home state is often not enough - you may also need the real estate license in the state you want to call into. Some of the states which have a telemarketing license exemption for certain real estate professionals include: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, DC, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennslyvania, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia. Other factors may apply - speak with a telemarketing attorney to confirm your exemption.
 
 8. Licensed Insurance Professionals. Some states will not require you to get a telemarketing license if you are a licensed insurance professional. Be careful - some of these states only allow the exemption for licensed brokers, rather than licensed agents. Always be sure to check whether you need an insurance license in your home state only, or if you also need an insurance license in the state you want to call into. Some of the states which have a telemarketing exemption for certain licensed insurance professionals include: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, DC, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennslyvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Vermont. Other factors may apply - speak with a telemarketing attorney to confirm your exemption.

 9. Inbound Calls. Many states, but not all, exempt telemarketers who only take inbound calls from their state telemarketing license requirements. Thus, if you have a call center located in one state, but accept incoming calls from all over the country, some states would still want you to have their telemarketing license. This can lead to practical concerns, as it may be difficult to know where a call is coming from. Some of the states which have a telemarketing license exemption for inbound calls include: Arizona, DC, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming - speak with a telemarketing attorney to confirm your exemption.
 
 10. Other exemptions. Several other telemarketing license exemptions may apply. For example, some states have exemptions for licensed securities professionals. Other states have exemptions based on where you are incorporated, qualified to do business, etc.   Also, one very popular exemption is for call centers who do not use any prize promotions (sweepstakes, giveaways, limited-time discount premiums, etc.) - in certain states you will not need to register so long as you do not engage in any prize promotions.  Speak with an experienced telemarketing attorney to determine which exemptions apply and whether you need to apply for an exemption or if you are automatically exempt.
 
Important Disclaimer:  In some states, you need to apply for the exemption; in other states you may be automatically exempt without having to do any paperwork. This web page contains a cursory summary only and is not a substitute for the advice of an experienced telemarketing attorney. Never rely on a possible telemarketing license exemption until you are 100% sure that you qualify and have confirmed this with your attorney. This information is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, and may contain errors and omissions.  Telemarketing law and regulations change frequently (for example the FTC recently amended the TSR) and are sometimes subject to interpretation by the regulators who enforce them.  For a free consultation with an experienced telemarketing law firm, you may contact a telemarketing attorney at Allen Legal by calling (801) 930-1117.