Federal Trade Commission

The Funeral Rule

Under the Funeral Rule, funeral providers are required to give consumers accurate, itemized price information and disclose other information about funeral goods and services.

Who is required to comply with the Funeral Rule?

All “funeral providers” must comply with the Funeral Rule. You are a funeral provider if you sell or offer to sell both funeral goods and funeral services to the public. Funeral goods are all products sold directly to the public in connection with funeral services. Funeral services are:

-services used to care for and prepare bodies for burial, cremation, or other final disposition; and

-services used to arrange, supervise, or conduct the funeral ceremony or final disposition of human  remains

You do not need to be a licensed funeral director to be covered by the Rule, nor does your business need to be a licensed funeral home to be covered by the Rule. Cemeteries, crematories, and other businesses can also be “funeral providers” if they market both funeral goods and services.

You must comply with the Rule even if a particular consumer buys only goods or only funeral services, as opposed to both. If you offer to sell both goods and services, you must comply with the Rule for every customer.  You are covered by the Rule even if you organize your business to sell goods through one company and services through another. If you are a funeral provider, you cannot avoid being covered by the Rule by restructuring your business.

Who is NOT required to comply with the Funeral Rule?

You are not required to comply with the Rule if you sell only funeral goods, such as caskets, but not services related to the disposition of remains.

Assistance from the FTC

The Federal Trade Commission offers comprehensive guidelines to assist funeral directors in complying with the Funeral Rule.

The Federal Trade Commission Act (Truth in Advertising)

Before a company runs an ad, it has to have a “reasonable basis” for the claims. A “reasonable basis” means objective evidence that supports the claim. At a minimum, an advertiser must have the level of evidence that it says it has. For example, the statement “Two out of three doctors recommend ABC Pain Reliever” must be supported by a reliable survey to that effect. In most cases, ads that make health or safety claims must be supported by “competent and reliable scientific evidence” – tests, studies, or other scientific evidence that has been evaluated by people qualified to review it. To best serve the consumer, and to best protect the business you have fought long and hard to build, focusing on federal truth-in-advertising standards is imperative. The A-to-Z primer accessed through the link below is an essential resource for businesses of any size. Learn about FTC Advertising Tips.