Potential Exemptions for the State Telemarketing License

Many states require you to have a telemarketing license before you make telephone calls to or from those states. While it’s possible that you may need a license for each of your target states, there are usually many exemptions and you should look into them beforehand to see if any apply to your business. You may save yourself significant time and money.

You want to call established customers

If you primarily call your own customers, then you may qualify for an exemption. This applies both to current customers and past customers, though most states impose conditions about customers who have not purchased your goods or services for a certain length of time.

You mainly make B2B calls

Does your call center primarily make calls to other businesses? Many states have exemptions for business to business calls. To qualify, you may have to meet requirements related to the product or service you’re selling, your history of business with the other company, and others.

You are a licensed professional

Some states provide exemptions for specific types of licensed professionals. If you already have a license in a profession such as insurance, real estate, or securities, then you may qualify for a telemarketing license exemption in your home state (and possibly in other states). In the case of insurance professionals, some states only allow licensed brokers to be exempt rather than both brokers and agents.

You have previous permission to call

Some call centers only reach out to individuals that have given them prior permission or made prior inquiries. If your center only dials customers who have already given you permission to call them—or customers who previously inquired about your product or service—then you may be eligible for this exemption. Some states require specific consent or impose a limited time frame to contact your customers.

You are calling to set in-person appointments

Your call center may function primarily to make appointments to meet with customers face to face, which is when you conduct your business transactions. If your fees are agreed upon and collected in person, rather than on the phone, you may qualify for this exemption.

You meet other specific requirements

You may be eligible for other types of exemptions if your telemarketing center only receives incoming calls, makes occasional “one-off” calls to certain states, or refrains from promotional activities like sweepstakes and giveaways. Every business is different, and the individual quirks of your company may end up helping it qualify for a license exemption.

Even if you appear to qualify for an exemption, you may need to meet additional requirements depending on the state. In some cases you’ll need to file a formal application for the state exemption before it can be officially applied to your company. Always remember to check whether you need a license for each state you’re calling into, in addition to the one you need for your home state.

If this seems like a lot of information to consider, you’re not wrong—but you don’t have to handle it alone. The telemarketing attorneys at Cove Law can tell you whether you qualify for any specific license exemptions, explain the requirements, and help you file any necessary applications. Give us a call to see how we can make life easier for you and your business.

Andrew Cove
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