The Best Way to Win the Job as a General Contractor in Florida

The Best Way to Win the Job as a General Contractor in Florida

Your job as a general contractor in Florida is to simplify the construction or remodeling process for the homeowner. In many cases, homeowners have had a bad experience or have heard horror stories by a friend who’s had a remodeling project go badly. This is usually due to an unreliable general contractor. Therefore, the best way to win a job is to build the customer’s confidence in your business. They are more likely to choose your services if you answer their questions, ensure your paperwork is in order, share good references, offer a written estimate and set up clear terms of payment.   1. Answer All Their Questions Quickly and Efficiently The way that you conduct yourself in your dealings with the client, gives them a good idea of what they can expect for the rest of the project. Prior to the homeowner signing with you, ensure that you answer all their questions as fully and as quickly as possible. This will allow the client to see how you will conduct yourself as their advocate once the contract has been signed. Answer all questions thoroughly and make it easy for them to understand. Homeowners want to be confident that they comprehend the implications for the project. For example, they want to know their expected cost and the estimated timeline for the project. Be as transparent about the whole process as possible, so that your client feels comfortable moving forward with you at the reins. 2. Ensure That All Your Paperwork is in Order A homeowner or building owner, especially for larger projects, will do their due diligence researching your...
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...
How General Contractors in Florida Can Keep Their Workers’ Compensation Exemption Intact

How General Contractors in Florida Can Keep Their Workers’ Compensation Exemption Intact

All general contractors in Florida are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees to cover liabilities in the event of on-the-job injuries. However, there are situations in which an exemption from this requirement may be possible. In this post, we’ll cover the requirements for obtaining this exemption and how to renew it each year. Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Exemptions? Florida general contractors are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance under Florida state law. This includes sole proprietors, partnerships, limited liability corporations (LLCs) and corporations. Independent contractors and subcontractors cannot be excluded from workers’ compensation insurance, though they would have been from other benefits. All contractors must provide proof of coverage. For the purposes of workers’ compensation, every individual involved with a project must be considered either an employer or employee and carry the proper insurance. Requirements for Renewing an Exemption from Workers’ Compensation Insurance In order to be exempt, Florida general contractors must apply for a Certificate of Election to be Exempt from Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Law. Regardless of whether the applicant is employed by a corporation or limited liability corporation (LLC), the following conditions must be met to be considered for an exemption: The LLC or corporation must be registered with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations, and listed as active. The applicant must provide a state driver license number or Florida ID number. The applicant must own at least 10 percent of the LLC or corporation. No more than three officers of the LLC or corporation may apply for exemption. Anyone else will need to be covered by workers’...