Rules & Regulations For Operating a Funeral Home


Many casual observers feel that, with people passing away every day, opening a funeral-home business would be a good investment. It is not quite that easy: There are licenses to heed and regulations that must be followed. If you elect not to, you run the risk of being sued by the family of the deceased, as well as having your license to operate revoked.


When you are opening a funeral home, it is required that you have a license to operate. You must apply for this license at least 60 days prior to opening your funeral home. A board will approve a funeral home license. The first regulation is that the funeral home have a licensed director who will be in charge of the facility. The funeral home also needs a manager to operate and run it. The law does not hold the funeral home director or owner liable for any violations that may occur without the knowledge of the manager.

Crematory Regulation Act

The Crematory Regulation Act was established for individuals who wish to have their bodily remains cremated, instead of being buried beneath the ground in a casket. The act requires that any funeral home seeking to perform a cremation must meet all federal, state and local environmental-protection regulations. Records of cremations performed must be kept by the controller or director of the funeral home under this act, showing that the cremation device the funeral home used was in proper operating condition. The act also requires that a crematory authority be licensed, and for a controller to perform cremations.

Disposition Remains Act

All directors opening a funeral home are required to be familiar with the Disposition Remains Act. This act requires that whomever the decedent left in control of his estate or over his remains make the decisions for his burial or cremation. With a disposition, the decedent may choose what he wants done to his body, and if cremation is the choice, no family or friend will have the option to reverse that decision and have the body embalmed and buried. Violating this act is a violation of your funeral home care license, which may then be revoked.

Embalming Rules

The law requires that a funeral home or burial facility contain a proper setting for the performing of embalming services. This room should be fully equipped with the necessary ventilation and drainage facilities, as well as have all the necessary embalming equipment and supplies. When the corpse of the deceased is undergoing the embalming, no persons other than the funeral home director, mortuary students or licensed embalmers are allowed to be in the room with the corpse unless the body is fully dressed and prepared.

Vital Records Act

The Vital Records Act is an act all funeral homes must also comply with. This act makes it mandatory for the records of the deceased, such as a death certificate, to be filed. Within seven days of the burial or death of an individual, the funeral home responsible for the cremation or burial of the body must sign and properly fill in the necessary information of the deceased, and turn it into appropriate records office. The funeral home is under no circumstances allowed to alter the correct information. Some people who fake their deaths have funeral homes alter the information, which is a felony; charges can be brought against the funeral home if this is done.

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