149A.70 Business practices.
Subdivision 1. Use of titles. Only a person holding a valid license to practice mortuary science issued by the commissioner may use the title of mortician, funeral director, or any other title implying that the licensee is engaged in the business or practice of mortuary science. Only the holder of a valid license to operate a funeral establishment issued by the commissioner may use the title of funeral home, funeral chapel, or any other title, word, or term implying that the licensee is engaged in the business or practice of mortuary science. Only the holder of a valid license to operate a crematory issued by the commissioner may use the title of crematory, crematorium, or any other title, word, or term implying that the licensee operates a crematory or crematorium.
Subd. 2. Business location. A funeral establishment or crematory shall not do business in a location that is not licensed as a funeral establishment or crematory and shall not advertise a service that is available from an unlicensed location.
Subd. 3. Advertising. No licensee or intern shall publish or disseminate false, misleading, or deceptive advertising. False, misleading, or deceptive advertising includes, but is not limited to:
(1) identifying, by using the names or pictures of, persons who are not licensed to practice mortuary science in a way that leads the public to believe that those persons will provide mortuary science services;
(2) using any name other than the names under which the funeral establishment or crematory is known to or licensed by the commissioner;
(3) using a surname not directly, actively, or presently associated with a licensed funeral establishment or crematory, unless the surname had been previously and continuously used by the licensed funeral establishment or crematory; and
(4) using a founding or establishing date or total years of service not directly or continuously related to a name under which the funeral establishment or crematory is currently or was previously licensed.
Any advertising or other printed material that contains the names or pictures of persons affiliated with a funeral establishment or crematory shall state the position held by the persons and shall identify each person who is licensed or unlicensed under this chapter.
Subd. 4. Solicitation of business. No licensee shall directly or indirectly pay or cause to be paid any sum of money or other valuable consideration for the securing of business or for obtaining the authority to dispose of any dead human body.
For purposes of this subdivision, licensee includes a registered intern or any agent, representative, employee, or person acting on behalf of the licensee.
Subd. 5. Offer; solicitation or acceptance of fees; commissions; or other reimbursement. No licensee or intern shall offer, solicit, or accept a commission, fee, bonus, rebate, or other reimbursement in consideration for recommending or causing a dead human body to be disposed of in specific crematory, mausoleum, or cemetery.
Subd. 5a. Solicitations prohibited in certain situations. No funeral provider may directly or indirectly:
(1) call upon an individual at a grave site, in a hospital, nursing home, hospice, or similar institution or facility, or at a visitation, wake, or reviewal for the purpose of soliciting the sale of funeral goods, funeral services, burial site goods, or burial site services or for the purpose of making arrangements for a funeral or the final disposition of a dead human body, without a specific request for solicitation from that individual;
(2) solicit the sale of funeral goods, funeral services, burial site goods, or burial site services from an individual whose impending death is readily apparent, without a specific request for solicitation from that individual; or
(3) engage in telephone solicitation of an individual who has the right to control the final disposition of a dead human body within ten days after the death of the individual whose body is being disposed, without a specific request for solicitation from that individual.
This subdivision does not apply to communications between an individual and a funeral provider who is related to the individual by blood, adoption, or marriage.
Subd. 6. Use of unlicensed personnel; interns; and practicum students. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a licensed funeral establishment may employ unlicensed personnel to perform the duties of a funeral director or mortician so long as the unlicensed personnel act under the direct supervision of an individual holding a current license to practice mortuary science in Minnesota and all applicable provisions of this chapter are followed. It is the duty of the licensees, individual or establishment, to provide proper training for all unlicensed personnel, and the licensees shall be strictly accountable for compliance with this chapter. This subdivision does not apply to registered interns who are under the direct and exclusive supervision of a registered licensee or a student duly registered for a practicum through an accredited college or university or a college of funeral service education accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education.
Subd. 7. Unprofessional conduct. No licensee or intern shall engage in or permit others under the licensee's or intern's supervision or employment to engage in unprofessional conduct. Unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to:
(1) harassing, abusing, or intimidating a customer, employee, or any other person encountered while within the scope of practice, employment, or business;
(2) using profane, indecent, or obscene language within the immediate hearing of the family or relatives of the deceased;
(3) failure to treat with dignity and respect the body of the deceased, any member of the family or relatives of the deceased, any employee, or any other person encountered while within the scope of practice, employment, or business;
(4) the habitual overindulgence in the use of or dependence on intoxicating liquors, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, or any other mood altering substances that substantially impair a person's work-related judgment or performance;
(5) revealing personally identifiable facts, data, or information about a decedent, customer, member of the decedent's family, or employee acquired in the practice or business without the prior consent of the individual, except as authorized by law;
(6) intentionally misleading or deceiving any customer in the sale of any goods or services provided by the licensee;
(7) knowingly making a false statement in the procuring, preparation, or filing of any required permit; or
(8) knowingly making a false statement on a certificate of death.
Subd. 8. Disclosure of ownership. All funeral establishments and funeral providers must clearly state by whom they are owned in all business literature, correspondence, and contracts.
Subd. 9. Disclosure of change of ownership. (a) Within 15 days of a change in ownership of a funeral establishment or funeral provider, the funeral establishment or funeral provider shall notify all preneed consumers by first class mail of the change in ownership. The notification shall advise the preneed consumers of their right to transfer all preneed trust funds to a new funeral provider and shall advise all preneed consumers who have revocable preneed trusts of their right to terminate the trust and receive a refund of all principal paid into the trust, plus interest accrued.
(b) For purposes of this subdivision:
(1) "change in ownership" means:
(i) the sale or transfer of all or substantially all of the assets of a funeral establishment or funeral provider;
(ii) the sale or transfer of a controlling interest of a funeral establishment or funeral provider; or
(iii) the termination of the business of a funeral establishment or funeral provider where there is no transfer of assets or stock; and
(2) "controlling interest" means:
(i) an interest in a partnership of greater than 50 percent; or
(ii) greater than 50 percent of the issued and outstanding shares of a stock of a corporation.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes