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Operating as a Pawnbroker Without a License is a Felony in Florida

Anyone who wants to own a pawn shop or operate as a pawnbroker must obtain the proper license in Florida from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. A separate license is required for each pawnshop. If a pawnshop changes locations, the pawnshop owner must give 30 days’ written notice to the Department so the license can be amended to reflect the new address. A pawnshop license is valid for one year and must be renewed upon expiration.

There are certain requirements which must be met before the Department will issue a pawnbroker’s license. Those requirements can be found in the statute here. One requirement is that the pawnshop applicant must not have been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or no ciontest to a felony or other crime involving theft, fraud or stolen property within the previous ten years.

In a recent criminal case west of Jacksonville, Florida, a pawnshop owner was charged with operationg as a pawnbroker without a license after failing to renew their pawnbroker’s license. The pawnbroker did get an initial license for the pawnshop but failed to renew it while still operating the pawnshop. The pawnshop owner was convicted of the charge, which is a third degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to five years in prison.