State Laws & Regulations
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Unlike most states, the State of Colorado does not license funeral directors or embalmers. Colorado's legislature abolished the previous licensing system in 1982, primarily because of a lack of complaints by consumers and a cumbersome regulatory system.
For many years, CFDA has actively promoted legislation that would restore licensing for funeral professionals in Colorado. The state legislature has repeatedly voted down these measures because there are relatively few complaints by Colorado consumers about funeral service providers in the state.
In 2009, the Colorado General Assembly passed House Bill 09-1202 that restored regulation for funeral establishments and crematories. This act created a new licensing system for funeral homes and crematories in Colorado, administered by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), Colorado's consumer protection agency.
- All funeral establishments and crematories must register annually with DORA's Office of Funeral Establishment and Crematory Registration.
- There is no state regulated board in which to transfer or apply for individual license. To practice as a funeral director or embalmer in Colorado, you must be employed by a licensed funeral home or crematory.
- Funeral homes and crematories are licensed and must follow standards of practice and Title Protection statutes for the individuals who are employed within the business.
- Title protection limits the practice of individuals and establishes minimum qualification for those who promote services under the job titles of Mortuary Science Practitioner, Funeral Director, Embalmer, or Cremationist. These individuals are regulated by laws that pertain to the registered funeral home or crematory.
Colorado Regulatory Agencies
The Division of Professions & Occupations (DPO) within the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regulates all licensed professions and occupations in Colorado.
Within DORA/DPO, the Office of Funeral Home and Crematory Registration regulates funeral homes and crematories in the state of Colorado. Program activities include annual registration of funeral home and crematories, investigating complaints, and enforcing disciplinary actions against those who violate the Mortuary Science Code and the program's rules. The mission of the program is to maintain the profession’s integrity and protect its consumers.
DORA does not license or regulate morticians, funeral directors, embalmers, or cremationists. Standards of practice are administered through licensed funeral establishments and crematories.
The Vital Records Section of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment administers registration and issuance for death certificates, disposition permits, etc.
The Colorado Division of Insurance requires businesses that "sell or offer to sell" preneed funeral arrangements be licensed as Preneed Contract Sellers.
The Colorado Department of Revenue administers the tax requirements for sales tax, vehicle registration, wages and withholding.
All businesses must be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State.
Other Regulatory Agencies
The Federal Trade Commission maintains supervision and enforcement over highly restrictive regulations regarding the listing of products and distribution of price lists.
- The Funeral Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), makes it possible for you to choose only those goods and services you want or need and to pay only for those you select, whether you are making arrangements when a death occurs or in advance. The Rule allows you to compare prices among funeral homes, and makes it possible for you to select the funeral arrangements you want at the home you use. (The Rule does not apply to third-party sellers, such as casket and monument dealers, or to cemeteries that lack an on-site funeral home.)
The location and construction of crematories and funeral homes is covered first by a complex series of local planning and zoning ordinances, as well as rules and regulations issued by the Colorado State Department of Health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), in addition to all laws that apply to the creation and development of business enterprises in Colorado.
The employment of and management of staff is covered first by all labor laws at the state and federal level.
Employee health and safety matters are regulated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA).
In addition to the above, funeral directors, funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries are subject to all laws that apply to all businesses, including laws relating to, but not limited to
- equal employment opportunities
- equal treatment of customers
- compliance with all health standards
- compliance with all air quality standards
- all taxation laws.