Massage Business Licensing Program Aims to Reduce Human Trafficking

Massage Business Licensing Program Aims to Reduce Human Trafficking
Massage Business Licensing Program Aims to Reduce Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is something you’ve probably heard on the news. You may also have heard that illegal massage parlors are often exploited by human traffickers. A new ordinance in Unincorporated Douglas County aims to reduce this crime through permits and inspections.

Following a formal public hearing on Tuesday, April 11, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to establish business licensing requirements for massage facilities with the sole purpose of preventing human trafficking in Douglas County.

“Unfortunately, illegal massage parlors have become hotbeds of human trafficking,” said board chair Commissioner Abe Laydon. “This ordinance is the result of working with our state and federal lawmakers, our Douglas County Sheriff, and our District Attorney. By allowing permits and inspections, we can together help protect our communities — including our legal Business owners.”

While municipalities have been regulating massage parlors through local business licenses, there is nothing in state law that would allow counties to do the same for businesses located in unincorporated areas. That changed in 2022, when the Colorado legislature passed House Bill 1300, allowing counties to regulate massage businesses.

In addition to the licenses already required for massage service providers, the Douglas County ordinance will:

  • Requires every new massage facility in Douglas County to obtain a license before operating
  • Require every existing massage facility to apply for a license by the end of 2023
  • Applicants are required to be at least 18 years old
  • Applicants are required to disclose whether they have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in any federal, state, or municipal court for a crime related to human trafficking, such as prostitution, fraud, theft, embezzlement, or money laundering, or whether they must register as a sex offender By
  • Applicants are required to disclose whether they have previously worked in the massage business
  • background check required

The sheriff’s office and county staff will review permit applications. The regulations come into effect on May 20, 2023. At that time, existing businesses will be able to visit to begin the licensing process. read full regulationsor Watch the public hearing.

watch this video Get information from local leaders about human trafficking.

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