- Proposed legislation filed on Monday would require all businesses with physical locations to accept cash as a payment option for in-person transactions alongside other payment methods.
- The bill would also prohibit businesses from imposing fees or conditions on cash payments and is applicable to most transactions except for remote sales, certain professional services, and high-denomination cash transactions.
- Businesses that do not comply with the law may face civil penalties ranging from $2,500 for first-time violations to up to $10,000 for repeat offenses, with enforcement granted to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services if the bill is enacted.
A piece of legislation filed in the Florida House on Monday by Rep. Joel Rudman would require all businesses statewide to accept cash payments for in-person transactions.
The primary mandate of the bill states that businesses with physical locations must accept cash as a payment option when customers are present and when the business already accepts other forms of payment.
The measure, if adopted, would prohibit fees or conditionals for cash payments from being imposed by businesses. In other words, if the bill becomes law, businesses cannot charge extra fees or apply restrictions when customers use cash.
“A business must accept an offer of payment in cash for any transaction involving the purchase of any tangible good or any service if, in connection with such transaction, the business would accept one or more other forms of payment and the customer seeking to engage in such transaction is physically present at the place of business,” reads the bill.
The bill does not apply to remote sales (e.g., online or phone transactions), and certain professional services, such as those provided by accountants, architects, and attorneys. Secondary exceptions also include transactions involving payments with cash denominations over $20 and single transactions exceeding $5,000.
The legislation outlines civil penalties for businesses that do not comply, with penalties escalating for repeat offenses. First-time violations may result in penalties of up to $2,500, while subsequent incidents could incur penalties of up to $10,000. Should the bill find traction in the upcoming Legislative Session, its implementation and enforcement will be delegated to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.