Title 5
Businesses and Professions

Chapter 33.2
Funeral Director/Embalmer and Funeral Service Establishments

R.I. Gen. Laws § 5-33.2-12

§ 5-33.2-12. Funeral establishment and branch offices licenses.

(a) No person, association, partnership, corporation, limited-liability company, or otherwise, shall conduct, maintain, manage, or operate a funeral establishment or branch office unless a license for each funeral establishment and branch office has been issued by the department and is conspicuously displayed. In the case of funeral services conducted under the license of a funeral establishment held in any private residence, public building, or church, no separate establishment license shall be required. A licensed funeral establishment must be distinct and separate from other non-funeral service related activity for which it is licensed. No license to operate a funeral establishment shall be issued by the department unless the applicant for the funeral establishment license has registered with the department a licensed funeral director/embalmer who shall be in charge as the funeral director of record. The branch office of a funeral establishment must have a separate branch office establishment license but not a separate funeral director of record. One branch office shall be allowed to operate under the funeral establishment license, and this one branch office may be permitted to operate without a preparation room. Applications for the funeral establishment license and branch office shall be made on forms furnished by the division accompanied by the application fees as set forth in § 23-1-54. Upon receipt of a completed application and the recommendation of the board, the division shall issue a license. All funeral establishment and branch office licenses shall expire on the thirty-first day of December of each year, unless sooner suspended or revoked. A license shall be issued to a specific licensee for a specific location and is not transferable. The funeral establishment licensee shall notify the division, in writing, delivered in person or by certified mail, within ten (10) days from the date of termination of employment, for any cause, of the funeral director/embalmer of record with the division for the funeral establishment. The license of the funeral establishment shall expire forty-five (45) days from the date the division was notified by the licensee, if no new funeral director/embalmer is registered with the division. No funeral services shall be conducted at the funeral establishment without a funeral director/embalmer being registered with the division as the funeral director of record for that funeral establishment. Two (2) licensed funeral directors may operate jointly at one location if one of their existing funeral establishments closes its place of business and joins an existing licensed funeral establishment. Each firm will hold its own separate establishment license. One cannot operate a branch office by invoking this section. Human dead remains shall not be held more than forty-eight (48) hours without embalming or without refrigeration for the purpose of maintaining public health. A funeral establishment must, at the minimum, contain a preparation room equipped with tile, cement, or composition floor, necessary drainage and ventilation, and containing necessary instruments and supplies for the preparation and embalming of dead human remains for burial, transportation, or other disposition.

(b) Any person who inherits any ownership interest to a funeral establishment may continue to conduct the business of that establishment as their ownership interest would allow upon the following:

(1) Filing with the division a statement of change of fact concerning that inheritance; and

(2) Conducting the business of the establishment in compliance with all the requirements of this chapter.

History of Section.
P.L. 1995, ch. 255, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 73, art. 39, § 6; P.L. 2012, ch. 241, art. 9, § 7.