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Understanding FDUTPA - Cove Law, P.A.

Understanding FDUTPA

The Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA) was passed in 1973. This state law is intended to complement, and is modeled after, the national Federal Trade Commission Act. Often referred to as Florida’s “Little FTC Act”, it aims to prevent businesses from taking advantage of consumers through lying and manipulation.

Who does FDUTPA protect?

FDUTPA is intended to protect all consumers. “Consumers” is an umbrella term that includes individuals, other businesses, or even an estate — any person or entity that participates in trade and commerce. “Trade and commerce” encompasses “advertising, soliciting, providing, offering, or distributing, whether by sale, rental, or otherwise, of any good or service, or any property, whether tangible or intangible, or any other article, commodity, or thing of value.”

What does FDUTPA outlaw?

FDUPTA forbids any business-related conduct that is “unfair, unconscionable, or deceptive.” Examples include using profanity, calling people names or otherwise disrespecting them, telling a consumer that the failure to pay a debt could result in criminal charges, leaking private information about a consumer, and ignoring requests to cease communications.

What does this mean for telemarketers?

As you can see, telemarketers must remain diligent to avoid FDUTPA violations. It is important for all companies, but especially companies that engage in telemarketing, to be familiar with the ins and outs of this law in order to keep from breaking it. 

What are the consequences of FDUTPA violations?

If you violate the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, you can be sued by a consumer for any losses they incurred as the result of your violation. You can also face investigation or formal action by Florida’s Attorney General’s Office. Usually, businesses are sued for FDUTPA violations, but individuals are routinely joined as defendants as well. 

Who can help me better understand FDUTPA and offer me guidance to keep my business on the right side of the law?

The Cove Law team can help! We can help you make sure that you abide by FDUTPA in all of your business dealings. We can also help you defend yourself if you have been accused of a FDUTPA violation. Our team has a deep understanding of both FDUTPA and the Federal Trade Commission Act, has defended dozens of formal actions where violations of these laws were alleged, and we are available to share that knowledge and experience with our clients. Contact us today to get started.

Written by Andrew Cove

Cove Law has significant experience defending federal investigations and formal actions by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Finance Protection Board and the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as similar matters on the state level by the respective state Attorney General’s Offices and other local agencies.