There are three kinds of state laws that directly affect travel agencies. No matter what business model your agency follows – independent, hosted or some hybrid of the two, it’s critical that you understand the laws and regulations that govern travel sellers. Most are set at the state level and vary depending on what state or even country you operate in. In some cases, a host agency will either manage this on your behalf or extend licensure to you at a discounted rate, but again it’s a critical piece of any travel business!
State Law #1
Seller of Travel Laws, which require travel agencies to register, regulate sales by travel agencies, and usually require financial protections for consumers.
The five states with such laws are as follows:
If you happen to be located in any of the above states OR if you are planning to sell to the residents of these states, we highly recommend that you look into their requirements. The California Seller of Travel law is by far the most strict and complex. If you are an independent contractor and are wondering what is required to be exempt in the State of California, travel attorney Mark Pestronk gives some details on what it takes here.
Nevada, Oregon, Ohio, and Rhode Island used to have such laws, but they were repealed. For more information on these five states, check out this great Travel Weekly article on Seller of Travel laws by Mark Pestronk.
State Law #2
The second type of state law doesn’t require any registration, but it does regulate sales, mainly by requiring certain disclosures and refund obligations. Those states include Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York.
State Law #3
The third type of state law simply requires travel agencies to register and pay a fee for a specific occupational or professional license. Those states are Delaware and Louisiana. New agencies in Delaware are required to register for an occupational license (scroll to No. 24). However, you only need this if you actually open a travel agency in Delaware (not if you are just planning to sell to Delaware residents).
- Florida Seller of Travel License Application
- Iowa Seller of Travel License Application
- Hawaii Seller of Travel License Application
- California Seller of Travel License Application
- Washington Seller of Travel License Application
If you're starting a travel agency in one of the above states, the next thing you'll need to do after completing your application is get your agency accredited with TRUE, ARC, or IATA. Getting accredited will get you recognized as a legitimate travel professional and allow you to earn commission with suppliers.
Ready to get your Travel Agency Accreditation? Talk with an expert for free today!