Chapter 10

Massage Establishment Licensing

3-10-1: Legal Authority


Pursuant to Idaho Code sections 50-301 and 50-307, the Idaho legislature has authorized the City to adopt and enforce ordinances, rules and regulations governing standards and procedures for licensing persons who engage in or operate a trade or business within the City. (2019 Code)

3-10-2: Purpose


A. Specified: The City's purpose in adopting this chapter is to promote the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens by regulating businesses, owners, managers and employees within the massage industry without restraining, burdening or over regulating the businesses or occupations of those who operate within the confines of the licensing scheme and all other applicable laws and regulations. The City finds that massage establishments are sometimes used for unlawful purposes regardless of the number of self-regulating businesses and thus strict compliance with the requirements of this chapter and those regulations found in chapter 1, article A of this title are necessary.


B. Nonliability Of City: The issuance of a license pursuant to this chapter does not constitute a representation of any affirmance to any person who transacts business with a person licensed pursuant to this chapter that said licensee is free from risk. The City shall not be liable for, nor shall a cause of action exist for, any loss or damage based upon the failure of any person licensed under this chapter to meet the standard contained in this chapter. (2019 Code)

3-10-3: Scope


This chapter establishes minimum standards and procedures for licensing owners and employees of a massage establishment and the operation of a business as a massage establishment. (2019 Code)

3-10-4: Title


This chapter shall be known as the MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENT LICENSING ORDINANCE. (Ord. 17-13, 6-18-2013)

3-10-5: General Licensing Provisions Applicable


To the extent not inconsistent with this chapter, the provisions set forth in chapter 1, article A of this title, shall apply with full force and effect to all provisions and sections of this chapter and chapter 1, article A of this title is hereby incorporated herein by reference and applies to those rights and responsibilities not further defined herein. (2019 Code)

3-10-6: Definitions


For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and derivations shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future tense, words in the plural number include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory. Words used throughout this chapter, but not defined herein or in chapter 1, article A of this title, shall have their plain, ordinary and common meaning. Words in any gender shall apply to the feminine, masculine and neuter genders.

APPLICATION: The document completed and submitted by an applicant for a City massage establishment license, including all required supporting information and documentation.

CLIENT: A person who receives a massage, massage therapy or any other service within a massage establishment.

EMPLOYEE: Any person employed by a massage establishment who is not an owner, a manager or a massage therapist.

MANAGER: A. Any person who oversees or directs any element or aspect of the operation of a massage establishment.

B. Evidence that a person is a manager may include, but is not limited to, indicia that the person has power or authority to:

1. Hire, fire or discipline the massage establishment's employees or massage therapists;

2. Set or control the massage establishment's hours of operation;

3. Create rules or policies applicable to the massage establishment's operation, or its employees or massage therapists; or

4. Spend money on behalf of the massage establishment.

C. A manager may be:

1. The owner of a massage establishment;

2. An employee of a massage establishment; or

3. A massage therapist.

MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENT: A. A fixed place of business of two (2) or more individuals, or of a partnership, firm, association, corporation or business entity, or any other combination of individuals, which:

1. Uses the word "massage" in any solicitation or advertisement; or

2. Engages in, conducts, carries on or permits massage or massage therapy to be conducted or carried on, for money or other consideration.

B. That portion of a premises operated as above in which massage or massage therapy is ancillary to the primary business.

MASSAGE THERAPIST: Defined in Idaho Code section 54-4002.

MASSAGE THERAPY (MASSAGE OR THE PRACTICE OF MASSAGE THERAPY): The practice of massage therapy is defined in Idaho Code title 54, chapter 40. By way of illustration, the definition includes any method of manual manipulation of, pressure on, or friction against, the external part of the body of another by rubbing, stroking, kneading, slapping, pounding, tapping, vibrating or other stimulation with the hands or other body parts, or with the aid of mechanical or electrical devices, with or without supplementary aids, such as oils, rubbing alcohol, liniments, antiseptics, powders, creams, lotions, ointments or other similar preparations commonly used in the practice of massage. For purposes of this chapter, the terms "massage" and "massage therapy" are included in this definition and may be used interchangeably.

OWNER: A person having any ownership interest in a massage establishment, including, but not limited to, an officer, director, manager or partner of a corporation, a partnership, or any other business entity, formation or relationship. (Ord. 17-13, 6-18-2013; amd. 2019 Code)

3-10-7: License Required; Exemptions


A. Application: Application for a license shall be made to the City Clerk's Office as set forth in section 3-1A-6 of this title. No owner or manager of a massage establishment shall permit or allow any person to engage in, or attempt to engage in, the practice of massage therapy within a massage establishment unless the massage establishment:

1. Possesses a valid City massage establishment license; or

2. Is exempted by this Code from the massage establishment license requirement.


B. Exemptions: The following are exempt from the massage establishment license requirement:

1. Hospitals, residential care facilities and assisted living facilities licensed by the State;

2. Public and private secondary schools or accredited colleges and universities eligible to disburse Federal financial aid, and the athletic programs of such schools, colleges and universities;

3. Sports venues at which massage may be conducted on the members of professional sports franchises by athletic trainers employed by professional sports franchises. Where a sports venue shares a structure with another business or businesses, such as a hotel or motel, this exemption shall not apply to any other existing business within the structure where massage or massage therapy may take place;

4. The business locations of persons currently certified or licensed in or by the State in medicine, surgery, osteopathy, physical therapy, chiropractic, podiatry, nursing or kinesiology;

5. The business locations in which barbers and cosmetologists, currently licensed by the State, practice massage limited to the neck, face, scalp, hair, hands or feet, when such massage is conducted in conjunction with a cosmetic service, such as a haircut or styling, shave, manicure or pedicure;

6. A massage establishment in which only one massage therapist is employed or practices massage or massage therapy. Any massage establishment having two (2) or more massage therapists employed or practicing massage or massage therapy shall not qualify for this exemption. (Ord. 17-13, 6-18-2013; amd. 2019 Code)

3-10-8: Application And Renewal Information


In addition to the requirements found in chapter 1, article A of this title, every application for a new or renewed massage establishment license shall include:


A. Occupancy Permit: A copy of the occupancy permit for the building in which the massage establishment will operate; and


B. Information; Documents: The following information and documents for every owner and manager of the massage establishment shall be provided:

1. Social security number;

2. Date of birth;

3. Vital information (height, weight, hair color, eye color, and sex);

4. A photograph, taken by a City Clerk's Office representative;

5. A photocopy of valid State issued photo identification;

6. Employment history for the five (5) years preceding the application date; and

7. A photocopy of the massage therapist license issued by the State for every person who performs or will perform massage in the massage establishment during the term of the massage establishment license. (Ord. 17-13, 6-18-2013; amd. 2019 Code)

3-10-9: Qualifications And Responsibilities


A. Qualifications: No massage establishment license shall be issued to any applicant if any person required to be on the application:

1. Is under the age of eighteen (18) years; or

2. Is not the bona fide owner or lessee of the premises within which the massage establishment is to be operated.


B. Violations: A massage establishment shall not be issued a license, and an existing license shall be revoked pursuant to the revocation authority set forth in this chapter, if the operation of the massage establishment is found to violate any existing law, ordinance or regulation, including, but not limited to, building, zoning and health regulations. Issuance of a massage establishment license does not exempt any person from obedience to any other law, ordinance or regulation. (Ord. 38-15, 8-25-2015; amd. 2019 Code)

3-10-10: Revocation And Suspension


A. License Revocation:

1. A third license suspension within three (3) years shall be deemed a revocation.

2. Every license revocation shall be effective at twelve o'clock (12:00) midnight on the third day following the date written notice is sent to the licensee.


B. License Suspension:

1. Every licensee who violates any provision of the Idaho Code or this Code, in addition to the criminal or civil penalties prescribed by law for such violation, shall have their massage establishment license suspended for a period not to exceed one hundred eighty (180) days.

2. Every license suspension shall be effective at twelve o'clock (12:00) midnight on the third day following the date written notice of the suspension is sent to the licensee. (Ord. 17-13, 6-18-2013; amd. 2019 Code)

3-10-11: Right Of Review


Every applicant who, upon application, is denied a license governed by this chapter, or who has a license governed by this chapter suspended or revoked, shall have a right of review. Review procedures shall follow those set forth in chapter 1, article A of this title. (Ord. 17-13, 6-18-2013; amd. 2019 Code)

3-10-12: Operating And Sanitary Requirements


A. Standards And Requirements: Every massage establishment shall be constructed, operated and maintained in compliance with the following minimum standards and requirements:

1. Physical Facilities:

a. All massage therapy in a massage establishment shall be in a room, cubicle or area dedicated to that purpose.

b. Steam rooms, shower compartments, steam compartments, tub compartments, toilet rooms and adjacent exit areas shall have smooth, nonabsorbent and easily cleanable floors and walls.

c. Floors of wet and dry heat rooms shall be adequately sloped to one or more floor drains properly connected to an approved sewer system, except that dry heat rooms with wooden floors need not be provided with sloped floors and floor drains.

d. A source of water, compliant with the State Plumbing Code (as adopted and as amended by title 9, chapter 4 of this Code) shall be available within the immediate area of the dry and wet heat rooms to facilitate cleaning.

e. The premises shall be equipped with facilities and equipment for disinfecting or sanitizing nondisposable instruments and materials used to administer massages.

f. Massage tables, exercise tables and benches shall have easily cleanable upholstery or other approved material covering the entire surface that may come into contact with a client during a massage.

g. Pools, tubs and similar equipment designed for multiple use without the water being changed, shall comply with all State and other applicable laws. The water contained in tubs, baths and similar equipment designed for a single use shall be emptied after each use, thoroughly cleaned and properly sanitized prior to the next use.

h. No massage establishment shall be used as a shelter or living quarters for any person. The owner and family members of a massage establishment operated as a home occupation, as defined by subsection 11-012-02.5 of this Code, are exempt from this prohibition. If a massage establishment is located within, but is ancillary to, a business, such as a hotel or motel, this prohibition shall apply only to the areas designed, designated or used as a massage establishment.

i. Restroom and toilet facilities shall be provided in a convenient location separate from a room in which massage is performed, to provide privacy.

j. Each hand washing facility shall include hot and cold running water, soap or detergent, and sanitary single service towels or an air hand dryer. A common towel shall not be provided or used for hand drying.

k. No room, cubicle or area that is designed to accommodate the practice of massage or massage therapy shall have a door that is equipped with a locking mechanism.

2. Cleaning And Maintenance:

a. Every appliance, exercise table and every other piece of equipment, furniture or apparatus within a massage establishment shall be kept clean, in good repair and maintained in a sanitary condition.

b. Wet and dry heat rooms, steam or vapor rooms, or steam or vapor cabinets, shower compartments and toilet facilities and rooms shall be thoroughly cleaned after each day the establishment is in operation.

c. Every massage establishment shall provide clients with clean, sanitized sheets, towels or other linens. No common use of sheets, towels or other linens shall be permitted.

d. Every instrument, apparatus, equipment or appliance designed to be reused shall be sanitized or disinfected after each use.

3. Managers, Massage Therapists And Employees:

a. Every manager, massage therapist and employee shall maintain a high degree of personal hygiene by wearing clean clothes, and conduct the business and operations of the massage establishment in a sanitary and hygienic manner.

b. Every massage therapist shall wash their hands thoroughly after going to the bathroom, smoking or eating, and before and after administering a massage or treatment on each client, and as often as necessary to remove soil and contamination during a massage therapy or treatment session.

c. No massage therapist shall administer a massage or give treatment if he or she knows, or should know, that he or she has any contagious or communicable disease.

4. Hours Of Operation: Every massage establishment shall be closed for business between the hours of ten o'clock (10:00) P.M. and seven o'clock (7:00) A.M.


B. Required Records:

1. Every massage establishment shall keep and maintain:

a. A book containing the names, dates of birth and a legible photocopy of the State massage license of every massage therapist employed by or contracting with the massage establishment; and

b. A menu of all services available at the massage establishment, including the price for each service, which shall be posted in plain view of clients.

c. A log, including the date, time and type of massage or massage therapy service performed, the amount of money or other payment received from the client, including the amount of tip or gratuity.

2. Every document and record required by this chapter shall be dated and kept at the massage establishment for a minimum period of one year from the date of the last record contained therein, and on or off the premises for the period required by State law or the rules, code of ethics or standards of practice of the State Board of Massage Therapy.

3. Every owner, manager, massage therapist and employee shall immediately present the records required herein for inspection or review upon request of any law enforcement officer or Licensing Officer.


C. Insurance Required:

1. Every owner shall possess a policy of insurance that provides general liability coverage in the amount of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00) for all foreseeable risks that may arise from the operation of a massage establishment and from the practice of massage therapy. Said policy shall be issued by an insurance carrier duly authorized to do business in the State, and a certificate of insurance shall accompany each application, specifying the City as the certificate holder.

2. Every massage therapist performing massage or massage therapy at the massage establishment shall be covered by the policy of insurance required by this section.

3. Every owner shall maintain, at the massage establishment, documentary proof of compliance with the insurance requirements contained in this section.


D. Inspections:

1. A Licensing Officer may, at any time during business hours and as frequently as reasonably necessary to ensure compliance, inspect any massage establishment.

2. Every massage establishment shall obtain and receive every other inspection required by law, including, but not limited to, inspections performed by the Fire Department, the building inspector, the Central District Health Department, and any other department or agency authorized to conduct a required inspection. (Ord. 17-13, 6-18-2013; amd. 2019 Code)

3-10-13: Illegal Acts


In addition to the illegal acts and omissions proscribed throughout this chapter, each of the following acts or omissions shall be unlawful:


A. Licenses Required: No owner or manager of a massage establishment shall permit or allow any person to engage in, or attempt to engage in, the practice of massage therapy within the massage establishment unless the massage establishment:

1. Possesses a valid City massage establishment license; or

2. Is exempted by this Code from the massage establishment license requirement.


B. Licenses Generally:

1. Every massage establishment license issued pursuant to this chapter shall remain the property of the City, and shall be surrendered to the City Clerk within seventy two (72) hours of suspension, revocation or expiration, or immediately upon demand by a Licensing Officer.

2. No person shall have in their possession a massage establishment license issued pursuant to this chapter that has been denied, suspended, revoked or that has expired.

3. No massage establishment license shall be transferred.

4. Every owner and manager shall notify the City Clerk in writing within two (2) business days upon the change of any of the information provided in the massage establishment license application submitted to the City Clerk.

5. Every applicant, massage therapist, manager and owner shall continue to have and maintain all the qualifications, and none of the disqualifications, for licensure pursuant to this chapter.

6. Every applicant, massage therapist, manager and owner shall notify the City Clerk within two (2) business days in the event any person whose name appears on an application for a massage establishment license loses any qualification or gains any disqualification for licensure pursuant to this chapter.

7. Every massage establishment license and State issued massage therapist license shall be posted in the massage establishment at all times, and shall be in full and clear view of clients and potential clients.

8. Every owner, manager and massage therapist, upon request of any law enforcement, Licensing Officer or any client, shall immediately present all required licenses for inspection.

9. No manager or owner shall employ or allow any person to perform massage or massage therapy in a massage establishment under their management or ownership, unless such person possesses a valid massage therapy license issued by the State or is specifically exempted in State Code from the requirement to possess a State massage therapist license.

10. No person with any license governed by this chapter that has expired or has been suspended or revoked shall engage in the practice of massage or massage therapy, or attempt to practice massage or massage therapy in a massage establishment.

11. No person shall operate or run a massage establishment with a suspended or revoked license.


C. Construction, Operation And Maintenance Of Establishments:

1. Every massage establishment shall comply with the minimum operating and sanitary requirements of section 3-10-12 of this chapter.

2. No massage establishment shall operate or be open for business between the hours of ten o'clock (10:00) P.M. and seven o'clock (7:00) A.M.

3. The owner and manager of every massage establishment shall notify the City Clerk in writing within two (2) business days of every change in ownership or management of the massage establishment.

4. The owner and manager of every massage establishment shall notify the City Clerk in writing within two (2) business days of every change in massage therapists employed by, or working at, the massage establishment, whether such change is by new or renewed employment, termination or discharge, transfer or other employment change.

5. No person shall perform massage or massage therapy in any cubicle, room or area equipped with a locking door.

6. No living or sleeping in massage establishment.

a. No person shall use a massage establishment as housing, living quarters or sleeping quarters.

b. No owner or manager shall permit or allow a massage establishment to be used as housing, living quarters or sleeping quarters by any person.

c. Home occupations, as defined in subsection 11-012-02.5 of this Code, are exempted from this prohibition.


D. Required Records:

1. No owner, manager, massage therapist or employee shall fail to keep the records required by this chapter.

2. No owner, manager, massage therapist or employee shall refuse or fail to immediately present all records required to be kept by this chapter to a Licensing Officer upon request.


E. Inspections:

1. Every massage establishment shall obtain and receive every inspection required by law, including, but not limited to, inspections performed by the Fire Department, the building inspector, the Central District Health Department and any other department or agency authorized to conduct a required inspection.

2. No owner, manager, massage therapist or employee shall fail to immediately grant full massage establishment access to a Licensing Officer or any other person authorized or required by law to inspect the massage establishment.


F. Other Unlawful Practices:

1. No owner, manager, massage therapist or employee shall allow or permit any person under the age of eighteen (18) years to come into or remain in any massage establishment without parental approval.

2. No owner, manager, massage therapist or employee shall sell, give, dispense, provide or keep, or cause or permit to be sold, given, dispensed, provided or kept, any alcoholic beverage or liquor within any massage establishment.

3. No owner, manager, massage therapist or employee shall initiate or engage in any sexual contact or sexual act in any massage establishment.

4. No owner, manager, massage therapist or employee shall keep, or allow to be kept, within any massage establishment any item known as or commonly used as a marital or sexual aid, including, but not limited to, any contraceptive item or device, vaginal or anal lubricant, or any sex toy.

5. No owner, manager, massage therapist or employee shall solicit, initiate, engage in, permit or allow any act that violates Idaho Code section 54-4001 et seq., the rules of the Idaho State Board of Massage Therapy, or the Code of Ethics or standards of practice set forth in IDAPA section 24.27.01 et seq. (Ord. 17-13, 6-18-2013; amd. 2019 Code)

3-10-14: Violations And Penalty


A. Violations: Every violation of a provision of this chapter shall be a misdemeanor. (Ord. 17-13, 6-18-2013)


B. Misdemeanor Criminal Penalty: Every misdemeanor violation of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to penalty as provided in section 1-4-1 of this Code. (Ord. 17-13, 6-18-2013; amd. 2019 Code)


C. Administrative License Penalty: In addition to the misdemeanor criminal penalties provided by this section, every person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be subject to the administrative license penalties of license denial, license revocation or license suspension, as set forth in chapter 1, article A of this title. (Ord. 17-13, 6-18-2013)