A funeral home is not your typical business, but it is a business nonetheless. And businesses must be licensed. Because of the work that a funeral home does, handling the deceased and body disposition, it’s a type of business that’s heavily regulated.
Given the sensitivity, seriousness and expense of the services, it’s important to understand the licensing requirements so that you are assured the funeral home you select is operating legitimately. Here’s a rundown of what affects funeral home licensing and the types of licenses that may be needed.
Check With the State Licensing Board
Before reading the details below, it’s important to understand that each state sets their own funeral home licensing requirements. Usually there is some sort of cemetery and funeral regulatory board that oversees the industry for a state. They may even have a published list of funeral homes that are currently licensed that can be used to verify information.
State health codes can also come into play. They are a factor for a number of funeral services, such as cremation and embalming, that could require special licensing in addition to the standard licenses.
Business License and Permits
Like other businesses, a funeral home must have a business license and the necessary permits to operate. Again, exactly what will be required is going to vary by the municipality. The Occupational (OSHA) may also need to review the facilities to sign off of permits that everything is up to code.
Separate License for the Funeral Director
Typically, the funeral director will need their own professional license that’s issued by the state after a person has completed the necessary coursework, apprenticed for a year or more and pass both the national and state licensing exams.This license is independent of the funeral home, however, the funeral home can’t operate unless its director is licensed.
There could also be a difference in the licensing for a funeral director as opposed to an embalmer.
Special Licensing May Be Needed for Embalming
Embalming fluid can be a very dangerous substance. Even a funeral director can’t necessarily use embalming fluid. That’s why there’s almost always a special licensing requirement for anyone who’s handling it at a funeral home. Often the funeral director must complete additional education and hold an embalmers license.
What to Keep in Mind About Funeral Home Licenses
Before agreeing to pay a funeral home for services, ask about their licensing if there’s any uncertainty. They should be able to provide details regarding their license status. If they can’t, the best option is probably to go with another funeral home that can prove they are fully licensed.
Also, keep in mind that funeral service licenses must be renewed on a regular basis. Always check the date for when a license is valid. If the license is close to expiring, ask the funeral home if they’ve already renewed so there’s no possible disruption in the services.
Hopefully this information has shed light on the licensing requirements for funeral homes to legally operate. If you’d like to know more about licensing requirements, give the Direct Cremate team a call or text whenever is most convenient for you. We’re happy to provide more information or help you arrange direct cremation services.