Though simple, this diagram is helpful for visualizing the licensing requirements…in just one more way.

Employed LMTs are registered with one address (the Employer’s) and are included on the massage establishment license as a practicing LMT at that Employer’s address: no other than the State professional license is needed if that is the only address/establishment at which the LMT is practicing.

Many MTs tell me they don’t believe that they need to have certain licenses to perform at specific [other] addresses – ‘for’ or ‘not for’ money. The fact is: MTs have to have AT LEAST a State professional license to put their hands on anyone as a certified Massage Therapist (then you are an LMT). All the other licenses are “unbelievable” but necessary to earn money or ‘volunteer’ in each jurisdiction in which your own business operates (then you are an LMT practicing in Las Vegas, Clark County, etc).

IF you are performing massage therapy outside of an employment/Employer situation, you are [also] an Independent Massage Therapist, and the second fact is: to make money doing massage (including ‘tips’), you must have a Local business license that applies to the address at which you want to practice – ‘for’ or ‘not for’ money. If an LMT is not doing it for money, s/he is promoting her/his service and providing a regulated professional service, which is considered ‘doing business’. If an LMT is giving away massage – ‘donating’ – then s/he has to be working for her/his own company (self-employment connotates an IMT business license) in order to give away ‘free massages’ and have appropriate legal means to provide massage therapy. Liability insurance is strongly suggested and sometimes required for the location at which you are providing any type of massage therapy services.

Exceptions to being certified and not licensed AND practicing differ slightly in each jurisdiction, and may include: immediate household residents and/or family or family up to two generations outside of the practitioners (eg. son/grandson or aunt/niece) – check with each jurisdiction for these exceptions to the licensing/practicing requirements.

The legal differences between MTs practicing as Employees and/or IMTs can be confusing. When you consider performing massage therapy, using the information you gained as a certified massage therapist, you can boil it all down to one question: “what license to i need to perform a massage at ___________(insert address here)________?”

The answer to this question may be found here, at a GIS map that is used by the City of Las Vegas and other municipalities to determine ownership and LOCATION of a property’s address in the Las Vegas Valley: gisgate.co.clark.nv.us/openweb/

Here’s an easy, 3-Click process to find out what jurisdiction an address is in:

Step 1: Visit the GIS map (link above, too) – I save this in my Bookmarks for easy access.

Step 2: start entering (not case-sensitive) the Address of the location in which you want to perform massage therapy.

Step 3: click the full Address that appears in the drop-down list. (Unit, Apartment, or Suite numbers do not affect the final outcome, so no need to enter them)

3-Click Process diagram (page 1)
Steps 1-3: determining an Address's Jurisdiction

Step 4: based on the outcome, ask yourself: “Do I have a license for that jurisdiction?” If the answer is ‘YES!’, then go to your massage therapy appointment. If not, then find out how to get a license BEFORE you attend to your client at that location.

3-Click Process diagram (page 2)
Step 4: determining an Address's Jurisdiction

The above method is one that I use and have success with – legal records (tax map) cross-referenced with the same jurisdiction’s massage therapy business license requirements keeps my conscious clear, and what I believe to be legalized.

Good luck!

this post was originally published on May 6, 2009 – it has been updated to reflect current links & new (improved!) steps for determining an Address’s Jurisdiction [of massage practice in the Las Vegas area]

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