Employers/Spa Owner

Are you contemplating adding Massage Therapy as a service in your business located in North Carolina?  Here are the things to consider as you get started:

  • As an employer, you are required to familiarize yourself with the Massage Therapy Practice Act and comply with the Rules and Regulations of the NC Board of Massage & Bodywork Therapy (BMBT),  including any and all changes made by the board.  A link to both documents is found here.

  • Check with your city/county to determine if there are specific licenses required to offer massage therapy,  and obtain these if required.  Some municipalities have additional business licensing or city code requirements.
  • Verify  that the employee who will be offering massage is licensed by the NC Board of Massage & Bodywork Therapy as required.  Each therapist must hold an individual license, and is referred to as a Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist (LMBT). Check to verify licensure  here.  Original copies be obtained by the licensee through the NC BMBT for $25.  Questions may be sent to admin@bmbt.org.
  • The current license, in original form, must be displayed and easily viewed by the public.
  • LMBTs are forbidden to work if their license has lapsed. A license must be renewed every two years. The expiration date is clearly marked on the license and may be verified online here.
  • LMBTs are required to gather intake information and keep thorough progress notes, (often referred to as SOAP notes) for all sessions, and maintain those files for at least four years from date of service.
  • When advertising services offered by the LMBT in your employ, either their license number or the exact phrase “Provided by North Carolina Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapists.” must be visible on the ad and all marketing materials. All websites must have these words or the listed full name and license number of the therapists. When asked, you must be able to provide the list of therapists who currently are in your employ.
  • Do not ask or allow LMBTs to offer services that fall outside their scope of practice as referenced in the Practice Act.
  • It is the responsibility of both you and the Licensed Massage & Bodywork Therapist to report any instances of possible malpractice by the LMBT, and violations or crimes the therapist is convicted of or pleads guilty of to the NC BMBT immediately. You may submit a complaint to admin@bmbt.org or fill out the complaint form found here.
  • Check with admin@bmbt.org for any additional terms required of an establishment that offers massage therapy.  


In 2018, the state of North Carolina passed a law stating that an Establishment Licensure must be obtained and maintained by the employer where massage and bodywork therapy is provided by LMBTs currently licensed in North Carolina.  Current exemptions from, this law include licensed medical doctors, osteopathic physicians, chiropractic physicians, dentists, physical therapists or acupuncturists that offer massage therapy as part of the services they provide in their businesses.

An Establishment License does not override the requirement for each massage therapist to be individually licensed by the NC Board of Massage & Bodywork Therapy.