Navigating the maze of licensure as a travel agent can be overwhelming, complicated, and downright confusing. If you are with a credible host agency, you generally can qualify to sell travel using their Seller of Travel licenses in the states that require one. The onus is on you, however, to verify that your host actually holds these licenses. In essence, you should always ask for written proof from your host agency of their Seller of Travel licensure including a copy of the certificate from the states that require the license.
There are five states requiring Seller of Travel licenses: California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, and Washington. Each of these states have one thing in common: if you live in these states, or, you are advertising to or selling to residents of these states, you must have a Seller of Travel license. Without a license, you can be subject to significant penalties and fines and even revocation of your ability to sell travel in that state.
Any agent who is located in California and/or advertises to or sells travel to a resident of the state of California MUST be registered with the state. Groupit Travel Host Agency registers you under our Host Agency licensure. However, there may be cases in which an agent does not qualify under our licensure such as those registered to do business as an S-Corporation. We recommend that you visit the California Seller of Travel License website to learn more.
Additionally, when you advertise or sell to residents of the state of California, remember that California requires you to include the following:
California Seller of Travel Registration Number: License #
Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California
Obtaining a Seller of Travel license in Florida is a grueling process for host agencies as the state also requires the host agency to register as a "foreign corporation", obtain a surety bond, pay significant licensure fees, and undergo a very comprehensive, lengthy application process.
Any agent located in Florida and/or who advertises to or sells travel to a resident of the state of Florida must be registered with the state. Most travel agents meet the criteria to file a Statement of Exemption under their host agency’s Seller of Travel license. This requires that you, the agent, complete the form and along with a $50.00 fee, register to sell travel in Florida.
Please be aware of the penalties for not being registered: Civil or administrative fines of up to $5,000 for each violation, cease and desist order, and injunctive relief. Each sale or attempted sale may be considered a separate violation.
When advertising and/or selling to residents of Florida, you must include the following on all materials:
Registered sellers of travel must include the following phrase in their contracts:
Groupit Travel Host Agency, like many host agencies, is not licensed as a Seller of Travel in Hawaii. This is because Hawaii does not offer an exemption for agents who sell travel using our credentials.
Please be aware that if you reside in Hawaii or plan to advertise or sell travel to residents of Hawaii, you must obtain your own Seller of Travel license. You can visit the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs for more information.
Travel agents and travel agencies (and its employees/independent contractors) who reside in Iowa or advertise/sell to Iowa residents, must register with the Secretary of State as a travel agency. Groupit Travel Host Agency will register you with the state of Iowa under our license if you meet the criteria to be added.
Any travel agent who advertises or sells travel services to residents of Washington must be registered with the state of Washington Business Licensing Service. Under Groupit Travel Host Agency's licensure, you are able to engage in advertising or selling travel services to residents of Washington.
STILL HAVE MORE QUESTIONS?
Groupit Travel Host Agency conducts its business operations with 100% integrity and transparency. We are here to provide you with all of the guidance and mentoring needed to ensure that as a business owner, you are in compliance with the laws that govern selling travel and travel-related products. Please contact our CEO, Stacey Ray for more information about joining our team!
DISCLAIMER: This material is for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems.