What are the Insurance Requirements for Florida Contractors?

What are the Insurance Requirements for Florida Contractors?

Before we move on to discussing insurance requirements of contractors license in the state of Florida, let’s first start with understanding who a Florida general contractor insurance if for. It is basically for contractors managing new buildings, renovation services, and all other tasks related to the entire project. Normally Florida contractors have area of specialty in family homes, restaurants, commercial buildings, stadiums and factories. Mostly Florida contractors first look into specification like design, work and material and then schedule phases of the entire project as well as insurance requirements as a whole and for subcontractors. Before initially issuing or renewing a contractor’s license in the state of Florida, the applicant should show evidence that they have in place, the mandated insurance policies. To be able to accomplish this, the applicant should give a signed affidavit showing that he or she has gotten and will keep property damage and public liability insurance throughout the period of the contractor’s license in Florida. This is important for the public’s safety, welfare, and protection. In order to check on the signed affidavit’s accuracy, the Construction Industry Licensing Board will perform random sample audits of FL contractor’s license per zip code. After a written request from the Board, every Florida contractor’s license holder, within 30 days of the mailing request, must give proof of coverage using a Certificate of Insurance (original). The Certificate of Insurance is really crucial because it has to be updated on the job site, prior to working on any contract. If you do not have it, you would probably be breaching the contract and can lead to legal complications under...
Which Services in Florida Need a Contractor’s License?

Which Services in Florida Need a Contractor’s License?

The State releases FL contractor licenses according to the tasks being accomplished. This is contrary to the belief that they are being issued based on a contractor’s specialty. The process begins with the contractor registering with the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB). This is so that they can work in the local area of a company. If the organization chooses to work in the outskirts of the local town, they have to go through the procedures of licensing and certification. For Which Services Require the Most Number of Licenses in Florida? Generally, Florida contractors are mandated to be licensed and registered to work in the whole state. Interestingly enough, due to its sunny climate, Florida has a lot of swimming pool works that are always ongoing. Florida actually has the highest rate of swimming pools in the United States. The CILB even made its own specialty licenses to keep this particular industry highly regulated. A couple of the specialty licenses for swimming pool works are decking, excavation, piping, pool finishing, pool layout and design, and trip installation. Which Services Don’t Need a General Contractor License in Florida? Wherever you go in the state of Florida, there are many construction tasks that do not need a general contractor license, at least at the level of the state. Nevertheless, every contractor should go to their city and local county government office to double check if permits are needed so they can accomplish their work. Some particular tasks that have no need of state licenses are window treatments (excluding window installations), wallpapering, interior and exterior painting, any type of flooring, any type...
As the Holder of a Contractor’s License in Florida, Why Is It Important to Pull Permits Before Work Is Actually Done?

As the Holder of a Contractor’s License in Florida, Why Is It Important to Pull Permits Before Work Is Actually Done?

Although rules and regulations vary per location, as the holder of a contractor’s license in Florida, you know you are required to get a permit for projects that go beyond basic maintenance and repair or straightforward aesthetic boosts. A couple of requirements may seem like a hassle, but regulations are there, typically for safety reasons. Even though pulling permits may seem like a burden, this is very important before you get your work started as the holder of a FL contractor’s license. When Should I Begin to Pull Permits? The straight answer is: before you start any project as a FL contractor license holder. When city officials come across projects that does not have permits nor have been inspected, they are required to issue a cease and desist until you’ve gotten those permits. In addition, a lot of cities in Florida set heavy fines for work that was started without having the necessary permits. Moreover, going under the radar is not an option, being a certified Florida contractor’s license holder. Real estate agents and their potential buyers would most likely require proof of permits and inspection of your work. You may have to pay heavy fees if you applied for permits after the fact. As the Holder of a General Contractor License in Florida, Should I Always Be the One to Pull a Permit? As the holder of a general contractor license in Florida, you should typically be the one to pull the permits. Homeowners can only pull permits on their own if they are doing the work themselves or have family and friends who are not being paid...
What is the Impact of a Lien on the Holder of a Contractor’s License in Florida?

What is the Impact of a Lien on the Holder of a Contractor’s License in Florida?

Based on the law of the state of Florida, those who work in a property or offer materials, and are not fully paid, have the right to claim payment against the property. This is known as a construction lien. So, if the holder of a Florida contractors license fails to pay his or her suppliers for materials or subcontractors, the individuals who are owed money could look to the property as payment. What this indicates is that if a lien is filed against a property, the property can be sold against the will of the owner in order to compensate for the materials, labor, or other related services that the holder of a contractor’s license in Florida failed to pay. Here is more information on avoiding construction liens on property when hiring a FL contract license holder and having improvements of greater than $2,500. Is There a Way to Protect Myself If the Holder of a Florida Contractors License is Paid in Full but Fails to Pay Contractors or Suppliers? Yes! First of all, create a written statement that takes away your property from lien threats. This is called a Release of Lien. Prior to making any payment to a licensed contractor, make sure you get this waiver from your subcontractors and suppliers, encompassing the work done and the materials used on the property. Ask the general contractor license holder, to share the list of suppliers and contractors they have further sub-contracted for material and other related services for the property. Ask them to send you the details through registered mail. If the contract includes partial payments prior to...
If I Have a Contractor’s License in Florida, Should I Renew My Workers Compensation Exemption?

If I Have a Contractor’s License in Florida, Should I Renew My Workers Compensation Exemption?

The answer is a big yes! As a holder of a general contractor license in Florida, business owners of limited liability companies or LLCs and corporations can be included in the compensation coverage for workers and its connected premium cost determination. However, as the holder of a FL contractor license, you may opt out from this requirement and indicate your exclusion when you file for exemption via the website of the Division of Workers Compensation in Florida. Even though partnerships and sole proprietorship’s cannot file for exemption in Florida, corporations and LLCs with a Florida contractor’s license should regularly exempt their officers or members from workers compensation coverage since this can substantially decrease their yearly premiums. If A Worker Has An Exemption, Will They Be Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits If They Get Hurt on the Job? If an LLC owner or a corporate officer has an exemption, they are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are hurt on the job. So, if an officer or an owner gets injured and files for an exemption, they cannot make a claim on the policy of the holder of a general contractor license in Florida or on their policy. Is Exemption Reliant on the Kind of Industry? Rules on exemption are reliant on your main industry. Note that the rules are divided into rules for construction companies and rules for non-construction companies. Exemptions in construction are not as relaxed as compared to other industries. Construction companies can only file for a maximum of three exemptions, costing $50 for every officer or owner. This can get challenging if the LLC...
Why is it Crucial to File Annual Reports  As a Holder of a Florida Contractors License?

Why is it Crucial to File Annual Reports As a Holder of a Florida Contractors License?

Those with a general contractor’s license in Florida should file an Annual Report, which confirms and/or updates the records held by the Department of State of Florida, every year. You should do this in order for you to keep your “active status” as a general contractor license holder. Note that you are mandated to file this report, whether or not you have any information to update. What are the Repercussions If You Don’t File an Annual Report? If you have a contractor’s license in Florida and you still decide not to file your annual report on or before the 3rd Friday of September, your business will be dissolved administratively. Alternatively, your business can be revoked from the Department of State’s records. This becomes effective on the 4th Friday of September. While administratively revoked or dissolved businesses can be reinstated, the additional requirements can be a hassle. You need to submit a reinstatement application and you are required to pay all of the associated fees, such as the annual reports fees due and the reinstatement fee during submission time. What if My Business Has Closed Shop? Do I Still Need to File an Annual Report? Fortunately, you are not required to file an annual report if your business as a holder of a contractor’s license in Florida has closed. What Happens After I Submit My Annual Report? If you filed online using a credit card, reports are processed and these are posted online immediately. If you paid via money order or check as a holder of a general contractor license in Florida, wait around three to five days if you...
Workers’ Compensation Requirements for Florida General Contractors

Workers’ Compensation Requirements for Florida General Contractors

Workers’ compensation insurance is required for contractors in Florida. What are the requirements for coverage? Should you apply for exemptions? What are the pros and cons of coverage versus exemptions? This is your guide to workers’ compensation insurance for general contractors in Florida. Florida Coverage Requirements All contractors working within the State of Florida must carry workers’ compensation insurance for each of their employees. This includes the owner and any corporate officers or LLC (Limited Liability Company) members. General contractors are responsible for making sure that subcontractors carry the proper insurance for their own employees. If the subcontractor is not covered, those employees are considered, by law, to be the employees of the general contractor, who is now liable for any injuries that occur. For this reason, many general contractors require the subcontractors that they work with to provide proof of current workers’ compensation coverage before any work can begin. Exemptions Certain individuals within a company, such as the owner and corporate officers, may obtain an exemption from workers’ compensation coverage. These individuals must hold at least 10 percent ownership in the company. No more than three officers are eligible for exemption at any time. The exemption requires an application form called the Notice of Election to be Exempt. Once this is approved, a Certificate of Election to be Exempt is issued. This certificate must be renewed annually to remain valid. Coverage vs. Exemption Workers’ compensation coverage is the option preferred by the State of Florida. It reduces your liability in the event of on-site injury. Even if an independent contractor, not covered under your policy, is injured, they...
What Are the Most Important Legal Requirements for Becoming a General Contractor in Florida?

What Are the Most Important Legal Requirements for Becoming a General Contractor in Florida?

Florida is a great state to become a general contractor, with a multitude of building projects to keep contractors busy. But becoming a general contractor in Florida comes with plenty of particulars to keep track of and stay on top of. These are some of the most important legal requirements that are necessary if you are a Florida general contractor yesor plan to become one in the near future. Annual Reports Every business in Florida must file an annual report every year. It is normally due by May and failing to file the report can result in severe penalties, including a hefty fine that can cost your company hundreds of dollars. The administration of your company could even be dissolved by the state. Workers’ Compensation Insurance or Exemptions All contractors in Florida are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance on employees, but exemptions are possible for up to 3 officers. Once an exemption is obtained, it must be renewed before it expires. If you fail to renew the exemption, you will be responsible for obtaining workers’ compensation insurance. Failing to do either one will result in liabilities for the company. Lien Law An important aspect of a general contractor business in Florida is remembering to follow lien law. A construction lien is essentially an affidavit which states that a general contractor has provided supplies, labor, or services to improve property and has not yet been paid for these services. Florida’s lien law governs the requirements related to this affidavit. The lien is secured for the value of the materials, labor, or services. The Notice of Commencement is a critical...
Protecting Yourself as a Contractor: The Importance of Notice Commencement and Lien Laws

Protecting Yourself as a Contractor: The Importance of Notice Commencement and Lien Laws

When you are in possession of your Florida contractor’s license and ready to start working on large-scale projects, it is essential to take the time to ensure that proper procedure is followed. This not only benefits you as the contractor’s license holder, but also the workers who will complete the project alongside you. What is a Notice Commencement? A Notice Commencement is a legal document that makes a project’s commencement known, which is filed by the owner of the property, or the owner’s agent. This document should be used when making improvements or alterations to a property which total $2500 or more ($7500 for mechanical) and should be displayed prominently at the job site. It provides critical information, such as the property owner’s name and address, and the address of the project. These details are important for everyone who is working on the project, like the workers who are providing labor and materials, so that they are able to file a Notice to Owner and secure their lien rights. The Notice Commencement must be filed before the project begins, but no more than 90 days before the start of the project. Failure to begin the project within 30 days of recording voids the notice. How does it Benefit Me? As an individual with a contractor’s license in Florida, the information contained within the Notice Commencement is vital in case there are issues with payment and it becomes necessary to file a lien. What is a Lien? Whether you hold a general contractor license or something more specialized, it is essential to be aware of the possibility that you may need...
The End of Paper Licenses for Florida General Contractors

The End of Paper Licenses for Florida General Contractors

A general contractor license is a valuable thing to have when you are pursuing your career goals of working in and on property. For Florida contractors, license requirements mean passing an exam, meeting a list of additional requirements (four years of documented experience in the field, credit report, financial statements, etc.), and then waiting for a paper license to be delivered in the mail. At Contractors Reporting Services, we understand that you want to get to work as soon as possible. Up until now, when you applied for a new general contractor’s license in Florida or even a renewal, there was often a waiting period of up to two weeks to receive a paper license in the mail. As of 2018, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) will be moving the Construction Industry Licensing Board and the Electrical Contractor’s Licensing Board over to a paperless system. What does this mean for My Florida Contractor’s License? The news that the DBPR is changing the way licenses are distributed is huge for you as a contractor. No longer will you have to wait two weeks to receive your paper license in the mail; instead you will be able to print out your license at your own personal convenience after the application has been approved. This applies to both new license applications and renewals. Being able to access your general contractor license via the paperless medium will mean that the time between license approval and obtaining it is slashed almost entirely. There is the potential instant access after your Florida contractor’s license is approved, meaning that you will be able...