If you are interested in becoming a travel agent (seller of travel), you should know that you may need a license. Some states require it. Take care to have the right licensing in place before you begin operating your travel agency.
Fortunately, the process of obtaining a California, Washington, Hawaii, or Florida travel agency license isn’t too complicated. However, it is important to know your obligations and responsibilities. Here’s some information that covers everything you need to know.
What Is a Travel Agency License?
A travel agency license is a license to sell travel and travel services. The precise requirements may vary from one state to another. However, if you operate a travel agency in a state that requires licensing, you must comply with that.
Additionally, you are usually obligated to become licensed in a state if you sell travel there, even if you are located somewhere else. For example, a travel agent in Missouri who sells vacations to NYC must obtain a New York travel agent license.
Should I Get a Florida Travel Agency License?
It is often a good idea to become a licensed seller of travel in states that have major tourist destinations. Of course, Florida and California have Disney in addition to dozens of other attractions. New York has Times Square, Broadway, Central Park, and more. So many people are also attracted to the natural beauty of Washington and Hawaii.
Before you decide, remember to consider your future plans. You may not sell travel experiences in these states now, but you might in the future. Licensing isn’t prohibitively expensive, so perhaps you should be prepared.
Other Travel Agency Licenses and Accreditations
If you don’t sell travel in a state that requires a license, you may have other obligations. For example, in Illinois, travel agents are required to establish a trust account. Delaware travel agents need to get an occupational license. In Louisiana, you must pay an annual licensing fee if you operate a retail travel agency in a storefront.
While you research travel agency licenses, don’t forget to look into accreditations. These may not be mandatory, but they can make a big difference when it comes to your business growth.
One of these is the ARC accreditation. You will need this if you want to be able to issue plane tickets directly to your clients. There are other affiliate accreditations as well, including the TCRC registration that protects travelers in California.
Take the time to learn your obligations. Then take the steps to obtain the licenses you will need now and in the future.