Legal Memorandum LI11

REGISTRATIONS REQUIRED FOR ALL DISPENSING LOCATIONS

Any person or entity conducting the business of dispensing hearing aids must be a business registrant. GBL §789 (4),(6); GBL §790(5); and GBL §797(3). A registration is required for "each permanent business location." GBL §790(5) & §797(3). A business registrant may have more than one business location at which dispensing is conducted, provided that each location has a business certificate of registration and employs a registered dispenser who is under the supervision of the primary business registrant.

An individual who dispenses hearing aids, as defined in GBL §789(6), whether as a principal in a business or as an employee/dispenser in a business, must be personally registered as a dispenser or as a trainee. For purposes of this statute, an independent contractor may be considered as an "employee" of a dispensing business.

While a dispenser/audiologist may have a fixed "permanent business location" elsewhere in the state, a continuous relationship and provision of services at a particular facility other than a dispenser's office (such as in a nursing home, adult home, hotel, storefront or other secondary location) could be deemed an additional "permanent business location" sufficient to trigger the need for a business registration by the primary business registrant for that secondary location.

On the other hand, if the nursing home or other secondary facility itself engages in "dispensing," either directly or indirectly, it must obtain its own business certificate of registration. This may depend on the contractual relationship between the nursing home or other facility and the dispenser/audiologist it provides or contracts with for the provision of "dispensing" services.

This analysis hopefully provides guidance to registrants and dispensers and their attorneys in interpreting the necessity of obtaining business certificates of registrations for branch or secondary locations. MJK 4/2/01