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Do I Have to be a Licensed Masseuse to Operate a Body Rub Business?

Posted by Peter Tilem || 30-Mar-2015

Filling Docs Some clients will contact me and ask me about setting up a body rub business, and in particular, whether or not they need to be a licensed masseuse. The law in New York is very strict. In order to practice massage or hold yourself out as a masseuse or a masseur, it’s important to be licensed. It’s a Class E Felony, under the educational laws of the State of New York, to practice massage without a license or to hold yourself out as a masseuse unless you’re a licensed masseuse.

Very often in prostitution stings, police officers will try to obtain evidence that prostitutes, or people acting as prostitutes, are massaging without a license. This is a more serious charge than prostitution. It’s important that if you’re engaging in this type of conduct that you’re not using the term masseuse or masseur or not hold yourself out as a massage therapist, as that’s a felony charge.

If you have any questions about this, which is a fairly complex area of law, it’s important that you speak to an experienced lawyer, or particularly one of our experienced criminal lawyers who are well versed in these types of charges.