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Many businesses and other organizations record their phone calls so that they can document business transactions, train their employees, and improve customer service. It is extremely important to seek legal advice from an attorney if you are considering recording telephone calls or oral communication between parties. This article is not meant to serve as legal advice. However, we want to remind that there are federal and state laws regarding this practice. Florida, for example, is a “two-party consent” state, which requires that all parties of a conversation must give consent when one party wants to record a phone conversation. This includes the recording or the disclosure of the contents of any wire, oral or electronic communication in Florida. Recording, disclosing, or endeavoring to disclose without the consent of all parties is a felony, unless the interception is a first offense committed without any illegal purpose, and not for commercial gain, which would be a misdemeanor. Each recorded phone call made illegally that is a felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a maximum $5,000.00 fine. It is considered better practice to announce at the beginning of a call that the conversation is being recorded so the other caller(s) can determine if they wish to give consent to the recording. We recommend licensees proceed with extreme caution if you or your business engages in this practice. Every state has different laws pertaining to the recording and dissemination of recorded phone calls. If you are thinking of making recordings, it is strongly advised that you retain an attorney in your area to seek advice before doing so. [See Chapter 934, Florida Statutes] Twelve states currently require that all parties consent to the recording. These states are:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Illinois (debated, see next section)
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana (requires notification only)
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • Pennsylvania
  • Washington