FLORIDA PROFESSIONAL LICENSE BLOG

Florida Real Estate Brokers: Be Careful with Fee-Sharing

If you are a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida, you can’t enter into a fee-sharing agreement with just anyone. If you share a commission with, or pay compensation to, a person not properly licensed in Florida as a broker, broker associate, or sales associate, your license can be revoked and you could face fines of up to $5,000 for each violation.

If you are a licensed real estate broker in Florida and have received an administrative complaint from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), you are probably concerned about how this may affect your license. To set up a FREE no-obligation consultation with attorney Jeff Howell or attorney Rickey Strong, contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law at 850-877-7776. We represent licensed real estate brokers statewide, including out-of-state clients who are concerned about the status of their Florida license.

According to Section 475.25(1)(h), Florida Statutes:

The [Florida real estate] commission may deny an application for [real estate broker] licensure, registration, or permit, or renewal thereof; may place a licensee, registrant, or permittee on probation; may suspend a license, registration, or permit for a period not exceeding 10 years; may revoke a license, registration, or permit; may impose an administrative fine not to exceed $5,000 for each count or separate offense; and may issue a reprimand, and any or all of the foregoing, if it finds that the licensee, registrant, permittee, or applicant . . . [h]as shared a commission with, or paid a fee or other compensation to, a person not properly licensed as a broker, broker associate, or sales associate under the laws of this state, for the referral of real estate business, clients, prospects, or customers, or for any one or more of the [broker] services [listed elsewhere in the statutes].

The same statute contains an exception: You may “pay a referral fee or share a real estate brokerage commission with a broker licensed or registered under the laws of [another U.S.] state,” so long as the non-Florida broker does not violate any Florida laws.

According to Rule 61J2-24.001(3)(i), Florida Administrative Code, even if this is your first license-related disciplinary action, the minimum penalty for violating this statute is a suspension of your license for anywhere between 30 days and permanent revocation, in addition to a fine in the amount of $250 to $1,000 for each violation. If your license has been disciplined before, the penalty is a suspension or revocation of your license, plus fines of between $1,000 to $5,000 for each violation. Your disciplinary history is a matter of public record which will be viewable by your clients.

However, these penalties are not set in stone. The Florida Real Estate Commission can take into account any number of aggravating or mitigating factors to increase or lesson the penalties set down in the rules. When you have an experienced real estate attorney fighting for you, you stand a much better chance of receiving the lowest possible penalty, and even of getting the complaint against you dismissed.

Contact the law firm of Howell, Buchan & Strong, Attorneys at Law at 850-877-7776 to set up your FREE no-obligation consultation with attorney Jeff Howell or attorney Rickey Strong today. DBPR has experienced attorneys on its side. So should you!

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