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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXIII
MOTOR VEHICLES
Chapter 320
MOTOR VEHICLE LICENSES
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F.S. 320.60
320.60 Definitions for ss. 320.61-320.70.Whenever used in ss. 320.61-320.70, unless the context otherwise requires, the following words and terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Agreement” or “franchise agreement” means a contract, franchise, new motor vehicle franchise, sales and service agreement, or dealer agreement or any other terminology used to describe the contractual relationship between a manufacturer, factory branch, distributor, or importer, and a motor vehicle dealer, pursuant to which the motor vehicle dealer is authorized to transact business pertaining to motor vehicles of a particular line-make.
(2)(a) “Common entity” means a person:
1. Who is directly or indirectly controlled by or has more than 30 percent of its equity interest directly or indirectly owned, beneficially or of record, through any form of ownership structure, by a manufacturer, an importer, a distributor, or a licensee, or an affiliate thereof; or
2. Who has more than 30 percent of its equity interest directly or indirectly controlled or owned, beneficially or of record, through any form of ownership structure, by one or more persons who also directly or indirectly control or own, beneficially or of record, more than 30 percent of the equity interests of a manufacturer, an importer, a distributor, or a licensee, or an affiliate thereof.
(b) Notwithstanding subparagraph (a)1. or subparagraph (a)2., an entity that would otherwise be considered a common entity of a distributor under subparagraph (a)1. or subparagraph (a)2. because of its relation to a distributor is not considered a common entity of that distributor if:
1. The distributor to which the entity is related was a licensed distributor on March 1, 2023;
2. The entity is not a common entity of a manufacturer or an importer; and
3. The distributor to which the entity is related is not, and has never been, a common entity of a manufacturer or an importer.
(3) “Demonstrator” means any new motor vehicle that is carried on the records of the dealer as a demonstrator and is used by, being inspected or driven by the dealer or his or her employees, or driven by prospective customers for the purpose of demonstrating vehicle characteristics in the sale or display of motor vehicles sold by the dealer.
(4) “Department” means the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
(5) “Distributor” means a person, resident or nonresident, who, in whole or in part, sells or distributes motor vehicles to motor vehicle dealers or who maintains distributor representatives.
(6) “Factory branch” means a branch office maintained by a manufacturer, distributor, or importer for the sale of motor vehicles to distributors or to motor vehicle dealers, or for directing or supervising, in whole or in part, its representatives in this state.
(7) “Importer” means any person who imports vehicles from a foreign country into the United States or into this state for the purpose of sale or lease.
(8) “Independent person” means a person who is not an agent; a parent; a subsidiary; a common entity; an officer; a director; or an employed representative of a licensee, a manufacturer, an importer, or a distributor.
(9) “Licensee” means any person licensed or required to be licensed under s. 320.61.
(10) “Line-make vehicles” are those motor vehicles which are offered for sale, lease, or distribution under a common name, trademark, service mark, or brand name of the manufacturer of same. However, motor vehicles sold or leased under multiple brand names or marks shall constitute a single line-make when they are included in a single franchise agreement and every motor vehicle dealer in this state authorized to sell or lease any such vehicles has been offered the right to sell or lease all of the multiple brand names or marks covered by the single franchise agreement. Except, such multiple brand names or marks shall be considered individual franchises for purposes of s. 320.64(36).
(11) “Manufacturer” means any person, whether a resident or nonresident of this state, who manufactures or assembles motor vehicles or who manufactures or installs on previously assembled truck chassis special bodies or equipment which, when installed, form an integral part of the motor vehicle and which constitute a major manufacturing alteration. The term “manufacturer” includes a central or principal sales corporation or other entity through which, by contractual agreement or otherwise, it distributes its products.
(12) “Motor vehicle” means any new automobile, motorcycle, or truck, including all trucks, regardless of weight, including “heavy truck” as defined in s. 320.01(10) and “truck” as defined in s. 320.01(9), the equitable or legal title to which has never been transferred by a manufacturer, distributor, importer, or dealer to an ultimate purchaser; however, when legal title is not transferred but possession of a motor vehicle is transferred pursuant to a conditional sales contract or lease and the conditions are not satisfied and the vehicle is returned to the motor vehicle dealer, the motor vehicle may be resold by the motor vehicle dealer as a new motor vehicle, provided the selling motor vehicle dealer gives the following written notice to the purchaser: “THIS VEHICLE WAS DELIVERED TO A PREVIOUS PURCHASER.” The purchaser shall sign an acknowledgment, a copy of which is kept in the selling dealer’s file.
(13)(a) “Motor vehicle dealer” means any person, firm, company, corporation, or other entity, who,
1. Is licensed pursuant to s. 320.27 as a “franchised motor vehicle dealer” and, for commission, money, or other things of value, repairs or services motor vehicles or used motor vehicles pursuant to an agreement as defined in subsection (1), or
2. Who sells, exchanges, buys, leases or rents, or offers, or attempts to negotiate a sale or exchange of any interest in, motor vehicles, or
3. Who is engaged wholly or in part in the business of selling motor vehicles, whether or not such motor vehicles are owned by such person, firm, company, or corporation.
(b) Any person who repairs or services three or more motor vehicles or used motor vehicles as set forth in paragraph (a), or who buys, sells, or deals in three or more motor vehicles in any 12-month period or who offers or displays for sale three or more motor vehicles in any 12-month period shall be prima facie presumed to be a motor vehicle dealer. The terms “selling” and “sale” include lease-purchase transactions.
(c) The term “motor vehicle dealer” does not include:
1. Public officers while performing their official duties;
2. Receivers, trustees, administrators, executors, guardians, or other persons appointed by, or acting under the judgment or order of, any court;
3. Banks, finance companies, or other loan agencies that acquire motor vehicles as an incident to their regular business; or
4. Motor vehicle rental and leasing companies that sell motor vehicles to motor vehicle dealers licensed under s. 320.27.
(14) “Motor vehicle dealer association” means a not-for-profit entity organized under the laws of this state and qualified as tax-exempt under s. 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code which acts as a trade association that primarily represents the interests of franchised motor vehicle dealers and has a membership of at least 500 franchised motor vehicle dealers as defined in s. 320.27(1)(c)1.
(15) “Person” means any natural person, partnership, firm, corporation, association, joint venture, trust, or other legal entity.
(16) “Sell,” “selling,” “sold,” “exchange,” “retail sales,” and “leases” include:
(a) Accepting a deposit or receiving a payment for the retail purchase, lease, or other use of a motor vehicle, but does not include facilitating a motor vehicle dealer’s acceptance of a deposit or receipt of a payment from a consumer or receiving payment under a retail installment sale contract;
(b) Accepting a reservation from a retail consumer for a specific motor vehicle identified by a vehicle identification number or other product identifier;
(c) Setting the retail price for the purchase, lease, or other use of a motor vehicle, but does not include setting a manufacturer’s suggested retail price;
(d) Offering or negotiating with a retail consumer terms for the purchase, lease, or other use of a motor vehicle;
(e) Offering or negotiating with a retail consumer a value for a motor vehicle being traded in as part of the purchase, lease, or other use of a motor vehicle, but does not include a website or other means of electronic communication that identifies to a consumer a conditional trade-in value and that contains language informing the consumer that the trade-in value is not binding on any motor vehicle dealer;
(f) Any transaction where the title of a motor vehicle or a used motor vehicle is transferred to a retail consumer; or
(g) Any retail lease transaction where a retail consumer leases a vehicle for a period of at least 12 months, but does not include administering lease agreements, taking assignments of leases, performing required actions pursuant to such leases, or receiving payments under a lease agreement that was originated by a motor vehicle dealer.
(17) “Service” means any maintenance or repair of any motor vehicle or used motor vehicle that is sold or provided to an owner, operator, or user pursuant to a motor vehicle warranty, or any extension thereof, issued by the licensee.
(18) “Used motor vehicle” means any motor vehicle the title to which has been transferred, at least once, by a manufacturer, distributor, importer, or dealer to an ultimate purchaser.
History.s. 1, ch. 20236, 1941; s. 7, ch. 22858, 1945; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 70-424; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 95, ch. 71-377; s. 1, ch. 72-112; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 28, ch. 77-357; s. 1, ch. 77-457; s. 129, ch. 79-400; ss. 16, 17, 18, ch. 80-217; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; s. 1, ch. 84-69; ss. 3, 20, 21, ch. 88-395; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 17, ch. 93-219; s. 368, ch. 95-148; s. 32, ch. 2000-313; s. 19, ch. 2001-196; s. 1, ch. 2003-269; s. 2, ch. 2006-183; s. 1, ch. 2011-230; s. 3, ch. 2017-187; s. 1, ch. 2023-233.