53-208.10.  Issuance of license.

(a)        Upon the filing of a complete application, the Commissioner shall investigate the financial condition and responsibility, financial and business experience, and the character and general fitness of the applicant. The Commissioner may conduct an on-site investigation of the applicant, the reasonable cost of which shall be borne by the applicant. If the Commissioner finds that the applicant's business will be conducted honestly, fairly, and in a manner commanding the confidence and trust of the community and that the applicant has fulfilled the requirements imposed by this Article and has paid the required license fee, the Commissioner shall issue a license to the applicant authorizing the applicant to engage in the licensed activities in this State. If these requirements have not been met, the Commissioner shall deny the application in a written statement setting forth the reasons for the denial.

(b)        The Commissioner shall approve or deny every application for an original license within 120 days from the date a complete application is submitted, which period may be extended by the written consent of the applicant. The Commissioner shall notify the applicant of the date when the application is deemed complete. In the absence of approval or denial of the application, or consent to the extension of the 120-day period, the application is deemed approved and the Commissioner shall issue the license effective as of the first day after the 120-day or extended period has elapsed.

(c)        No license shall be denied except on 10 days' notice to the applicant. Any applicant aggrieved by a denial issued by the Commissioner under this section may at any time within five days from the date of receipt of written notice of the denial, contest the denial by serving a written demand for a hearing on the Commissioner. The serving of a written demand on the Commissioner shall automatically stay the denial until a ruling is issued. The Commissioner shall set a date for a hearing not later than 30 days after service of the response, unless a later date is set with the consent of the applicant. The hearing authorized by this subsection shall be an informal hearing. (2001-443, s. 2.)