2012 Florida Statutes
559.813 Remedies; enforcement.—
(1) If a business opportunity seller uses untrue or misleading statements in the sale of a business opportunity, fails to give the proper disclosures in the manner required by this part, or fails to deliver the equipment, supplies, or products necessary to begin substantial operation of the business within 45 days of the delivery date stated in the business opportunity contract, or if the contract does not comply with the requirements of this part, the purchaser may, within 1 year of the date of execution of the contract and upon written notice to the seller, rescind the contract and shall be entitled to receive from the business opportunity seller all sums paid to the business opportunity seller. Upon receipt of such sums, the purchaser shall make available to the seller at the purchaser’s address, or at the places at which they are located at the time notice is given, all products, equipment, or supplies received by the purchaser. The purchaser shall not be entitled to unjust enrichment by exercising the remedies provided in this subsection.
(2)(a) The department may enter an order imposing one or more of the penalties set forth in paragraph (b) if the department finds that a seller or any of the seller’s principal officers or agents:
1. Violated or is operating in violation of any of the provisions of this part or of the rules adopted or orders issued thereunder;
2. Made a material false statement in any application, document, or record required to be submitted or retained under this part;
3. Refused or failed, after notice, to produce any document or record or disclose any information required to be produced or disclosed under this part or the rules of the department;
4. Made a material false statement in response to any request or investigation by the department, the Department of Legal Affairs, or the state attorney; or
5. Has intentionally defrauded the public through dishonest or deceptive means.
(b) Upon a finding as set forth in paragraph (a), the department may enter an order doing one or more of the following:
1. Issuing a notice of noncompliance pursuant to s. 120.695.
2. Imposing an administrative fine not to exceed $5,000 per violation for each act which constitutes a violation of this part or a rule or order.
3. Directing that the seller or its principal officers or agents cease and desist specified activities.
4. Refusing to issue or revoking or suspending an advertisement identification number.
5. Placing the registrant on probation for a period of time, subject to such conditions as the department may specify.
(c) The administrative proceedings which could result in the entry of an order imposing any of the penalties specified in paragraph (b) shall be conducted in accordance with chapter 120.
(3) Any purchaser injured by a violation of this part, or by the business opportunity seller’s breach of a contract subject to this part or any obligation arising therefrom, may bring an action for recovery of damages, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
(4) Upon complaint of any person that a business opportunity seller has violated the provisions of this part, the circuit court shall have jurisdiction to enjoin the defendant from further such violations.
(5) The Department of Legal Affairs, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or the state attorney, if a violation of this part occurs in her or his judicial circuit, are the enforcing authorities for purposes of this part, and they may bring civil actions in circuit court for temporary or permanent injunctive relief and may seek other appropriate civil relief, including, but not limited to, a civil penalty not to exceed $5,000 for each violation, restitution and damages for injured purchasers of business opportunities, and court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees.
(6) Any remedy provided in this section may be recovered in an appropriate action, or the enforcing authority may terminate any investigation or action upon agreement by the offender to pay as stipulated civil penalty, to make restitution or pay damages to purchasers, or to satisfy any other relief authorized in this section and requested by the enforcing authority.
(7) The remedies provided herein shall be in addition to any other remedies provided by law or in equity.
(8) The department has the authority to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 to implement this part.
History.—s. 1, ch. 79-374; s. 86, ch. 92-291; s. 7, ch. 93-244; s. 823, ch. 97-103; s. 24, ch. 97-250.