If you engage in telephone solicitation, it is your responsibility as an independent agent to know and comply with all applicable federal and state laws regarding telemarketing.
If you use an outside source for sales leads, you must be sure that the lead source is fully compliant with federal and state regulations.
In 2003, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued the Telemarketing Sales Rule and established the National Do-Not-Call Registry.
Telemarketers and sellers are required to search the National Do-Not-Call Registry at least once every 31 days and "scrub" their call lists by deleting the numbers of consumers who have registered. The first five area codes are free. There is an annual fee for each additional area code.
Links to National Do-Not-Call Registries
For your convenience, here are the links to the three national Do-Not-Call Registries.
In addition to the federal rules, many states also have their own laws regarding telemarketing. Be aware that exemptions and restrictions vary among the federal and state rules. Those involved in telemarketing must comply with the applicable laws of the state they are calling from, as well as the state they are calling to. For information about a particular state's laws, contact the state attorney general's office or state consumer protection agency.