1. The department of state shall have the power to issue licenses to private investigators. Nothing in this article shall prevent a private investigator licensed hereunder from performing the services of a watch, guard or patrol agency or bail enforcement agent as defined herein; however, a watch, guard or patrol agency or bail enforcement agent may not perform the services of a private investigator as defined herein.
2. No person, firm, company, partnership, limited liability company or corporation shall engage in the business of private investigator or advertise his, their or its business to be that of private investigator notwithstanding the name or title used in describing such agency or notwithstanding the fact that other functions and services may also be performed for fee, hire or reward, without having first obtained from the department of state a license so to do, as hereinafter provided, for each bureau, agency, sub-agency, office and branch office to be owned, conducted, managed or maintained by such person, firm, company, partnership, limited liability company or corporation for the conduct of such business.
3. No person, firm, company, partnership, limited liability company or corporation shall engage in the business of furnishing or supplying for fee, hire or any consideration or reward information as to the personal character or activities of any person, firm, company, or corporation, society or association, or any person or group of persons, or as to the character or kind of the business and occupation of any person, firm, company or corporation, or own or conduct or maintain a bureau or agency for the above mentioned purposes, except exclusively as to the financial rating, standing, and credit responsibility of persons, firms, companies or corporations, or as to the personal habits and financial responsibility of applicants for insurance, indemnity bonds or commercial credit or of claimants under insurance policies, provided the business so exempted does not embrace other activities as described in section seventy-one of this article, or except where such information is furnished or supplied by persons licensed under the provisions of section twenty-four-a or subdivision three-b of section fifty of the workers' compensation law or representing employers or groups of employers insured under the workers' compensation law in the state insurance fund, without having first obtained from the department of state, as hereafter provided, a license so to do as private investigator for each such bureau or agency and for each and every sub-agency, office and branch office to be owned, conducted, managed or maintained by such persons, firm, limited liability company, partnership or corporation for the conduct of such business. Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed to include the business of adjusters for insurance companies, nor public adjusters licensed by the superintendent of financial services under the insurance law of this state.
4. Any person, firm, company, partnership or corporation who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
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