Who can perform laser tattoo removal in Florida?

who can perform laser tattoo removal in Florida

More than 6.4 million* people in Florida are expected to have tattoos. In fact, Miami is considered to be one of the most tattooed cities in the US. Considering starting a tattoo removal clinic in Florida? Or becoming a laser technician in the Sunshine State? This article will answer crucial questions like who can perform laser tattoo removal in Florida, laser tattoo removal regulations, things needed for tattoo removal business start up, etc. 

Tattoo Removal Business Start Up 

When starting a tattoo removal business, there are several crucial things to consider, plan, and implement. For a step-by-step guide to starting a tattoo removal business, click here. This article covers important aspects of building your business including:

  • tattoo removal equipment choices
  • types of laser tattoo removal machines 
  • tattoo removal business space 
  • marketing and business plan 
  • training and hiring
  • business profitability, and
  • Licenses, state regulations, and insurance

For a detailed analysis of which insurance covers the business will need, click here.

It ultimately comes down to this: laser tattoo removal. Laser removal has emerged as the go-to treatment. It is effective and comparatively safe, being a non-invasive skin treatment. A laser tattoo removal clinic can be a highly profitable business.



Tattoo Removal Market Florida

Not everyone loves their tattoo forever. According to Harris Poll (2015), almost a quarter of people with tattoos suffer from tattoo regret. In fact, the tattoo removal market is currently witnessing a huge expansion. It is set to grow into a $795 million market by 2027 at a growth rate of 19.3% (Allied Market Research). Over 6.4 million people in Florida have at least one tattoo. Many of these tattooed individuals will face tattoo regret too. And when they do start looking for removal options, your tattoo removal clinic in Florida can emerge as their savior. 



Laser Tattoo Removal Regulations Florida

florida laser tattoo removal regulations

The Board of Medicine governs the medical field in Florida. In its help center, the Board has stated that while tattoo artists and tattoo establishments are regulated by the Environmental Health provisions, there is no law in the Florida Medical Practice Act that specifically addresses tattoo removal. Thus, there is a lot of legal ambiguity surrounding who can operate a laser in Florida. 

In Chapter 64B8-9, Standards of Practice for Medical Doctors, surgery has been defined as

‘as any manual or operative procedure, including the use of lasers, performed upon the body of a living human being for the purposes of preserving health, diagnosing or curing disease, repairing injury, correcting deformity or defects, prolonging life, relieving suffering or any elective procedure for aesthetic, reconstructive or cosmetic purposes, to include, but not be limited to: incision or curettage of tissue or an organ; suture or other repair of tissue or organ, including a closed as well as an open reduction of a fracture; extraction of tissue including premature extraction of the products of conception from the uterus; insertion of natural or artificial implants; or an endoscopic procedure with use of local or general anesthetic’.

Thus, in Florida, laser treatment is considered to be a practice of medicine.  

The only other direct reference to laser procedures has been made in reference to electrologists. In 64B8-56.002: Equipment and Devices; Protocols for Laser and Light-Based Devices, the law states that a licensed electrologist may perform hair removal using a laser device. To qualify, the electrologist must 

  1. Complete their training in hair removal and reduction using laser and light-based devices that meets the preconditions set by the law;
  2. Receive certification in the same from a national certification organization recognized by the Council and the Board; 
  3. Use only those devices which they are trained for; and
  4. Operate under the direct supervision of a licensed physician trained in hair removal. 



Who can perform laser tattoo removal in Florida?

In Chapter 458 under Title XXXII of the Florida Statutes, Medical Practice, subsection 458.348 deals with “formal supervisory relationships, standing orders, and established protocols”. 

Section (2) discusses the protocols related to direct supervision. It states that,

All protocols relating to electrolysis or electrology using laser or light-based hair removal or reduction by persons other than physicians licensed under this chapter or chapter 459 shall require the person performing such service to be appropriately trained and work only under the direct supervision and responsibility of a physician licensed under this chapter or chapter 459.

The article further elaborates on the different kinds of medical offices and the number of such establishments a physician can supervise at a time. When it comes to medical offices offering ‘dermatologic or skincare services’ (aesthetic skin services other than plastic surgery), it is stated that the physician may supervise a physician assistant/advanced registered practice nurse if there is no physician supervising on-site, within the jurisdiction of these four provisions:

a) The physician must have certification in either dermatology or plastic surgery authorized by the board. 

b) Apart from the physician’s primary practice location, the physician can supervise only one other office. 

c) Any such office must be within 25 miles of the physician’s primary place of practice. The medical office can be located in a contiguous county, but the distance between any of the offices should not be over 75 miles. 

d) The supervising physician must submit to the board the addresses of all the offices that are under her/his oversight.

The schedule of a physician supervising additional facilities must be posted at all concerned offices. This informs the customers of the hours the office operates and the hours when the physician will be available at the given location.

If a patient comes via referral from another practitioner, it is the responsibility of the physician to inform the patient of the type of license held by the physician and the type of license held by any other practitioner who may treat the patient. The patient can decide who they wish to be seen by and shall sign a form indicating their choice of practitioner before the first consultation or examination takes place. After the initial consultation/examination, the supervising physician is required to analyse the medical records and send in a written report to the referring practitioner within 10 business days (from the day of said examination).

Who can perform laser tattoo removal in Florida (in short):

There is no direct/credited answer to this question. Our team did reach out to the medical board for clarity on this issue but did not receive any response. However, based on our research, we believe that only a licensed physician or a physician assistant/advanced registered practice nurse under physician supervision can operate a laser in Florida. Electrologists qualify for laser hair removal only. 


Florida Business Support

Florida Business Support

Many organizations and government departments help businesses start and run efficiently. Some of them are:

  1. The Division of Library and Information Services under the Department of State offers guidance through the legal aspects of setting up your business and also provides access to educational resources.
  2. The Florida Small Business Development Center Network provides support and assistance to existing and new businesses through its various training programs and free consultation service.
  3. The Florida branch of SBA (Small Business Administration) also has a lot to offer. The SBA is not only a storehouse of information but also provides networking opportunities through its various small business events. The Florida Small Business Resource Guide (For North Florida – click here, for South Florida – click here ) is a comprehensive guide to starting a business in Florida – from funding options to state policies and permits.
  4. The Florida Finance Network helps businesses find federal, state, and private-sector small business financing programs for capital needs. 
  5. Score is a non-profit organization offering educational resources and advice and mentorship from business experts. 
Note: This article does not provide legal advice or interpretation.

*Based on statistics from https://www.ipsos.com/en-us/news-polls/more-americans-have-tattoos-today

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