What is a Florida Contractor’s License and Why is it So Important?

What is a Florida Contractor’s License and Why is it So Important?

In order to provide contractor services in Florida, a person should hold a general contractor’s license. In Florida, there are two classifications for contractor license, namely ‘certified’ and ‘registered.’ A contractor should hold a valid license to avoid penalties and a loss of rights (an exception is if the scope of work falls under ‘basic handyman services’). What is the Difference Between a Registered and a Certified Contractor License? The key difference between the two is that a certified contractor license allows the contractor to complete work throughout the entire state whereas a contractor with a registered contractor license is limited to specific jurisdictions. Certified Contractor License To become a certified contractor, a contractor needs to pass the Florida State Certification Exam, either the Division I (for general building and residential contractors) or Division II license (for trade-specific contractors such as commercial pool installation, HVAC, drywall and plumbing). The Division I exam consists of 3 sections: Project management Contract administration Business & finance The Division II exam has only two sections Business & finance Trade knowledge Registered Contractor License To become a registered contractor, you need to have passed the certification exam or hold a Certificate of Competency (issued by the local licensing office). Why is a Florida Contractor’s License Important? Holding a valid license is vital to avoid penalties issued by the State of Florida, as well as the loss of rights that happen as a result of working as a contractor without a license. To Avoid Penalties In Florida, unlicensed contract work is taken very seriously. A first offense (considered a 1st-degree misdemeanor) allows for up to...
Construction Contracts: What to Keep in Mind as a FL Contractor

Construction Contracts: What to Keep in Mind as a FL Contractor

It’s good to always be on top of your construction contracts as a holder of a contractor’s license in Florida. You might just want to assume everything will go well. However, a lot of things can go awry when you begin a brand new project. You have to take the time to go through your contract for any flaws or errors. When you do so, you are saving yourself a whole lot of time and effort on legal problems. Timelines Check that the contract has a workable and feasible timeline for both yourself and your customer. On the one hand, customers (property owners, recipient of construction services) probably have stringent deadlines in mind. The customers may have other scheduled tasks that are contingent on your project finishing on time. Maybe a homeowner wants you to finish an addition to their property before they can put it up for sale. On the other hand, you as a FL contractor’s license holder need to say yes to a timeline only if it is doable. Do not over-commit or under-commit. Pricing Before commencing the project, have an agreed price for services that will be rendered by the contractor. Make sure that all details are in the contract. Also, specifications must be made on the pricing scheme. Would the payment be done in lump sum? Through rate per unit? Or is there a more applicable pricing method you have in mind? Terms of Payment The contract must indicate if you would like to receive monthly payments or a lump sum. If you are receiving monthly payments, check that the payment amounts and dates...
Required Experience and Education for a Contractor License in Florida

Required Experience and Education for a Contractor License in Florida

Based on the recent news, the construction industry in the state of Florida is one of the most promising sectors in the US—this makes it an opportune time to acquire a contractor’s license and get the money rolling into your b ank account. Note that as soon as you receive your Florida contractor’s license, continuing education courses are needed for FL contractor’s license renewal (around 14 hours). Before you figure out what kind of experience and education you specifically need, you have to decide what kind of FL contractor license to acquire. There are two different kinds of contractor’s license in Florida. The registered contractor’s license in Florida allows the contractor to work inside a particular area in Florida. What is needed for this kind of Florida contractor’s license is a certificate of competency. And the other kind is a certified license. This FL contractor license lets you as a contractor work anywhere in the state.  Focusing on Experience and Education For Florida, there are different approaches to qualifying for a contractor’s license. First, you must have 4 years of experience and/or education. The education can be 4 years at a school of higher learning that has been accredited and gives you degree that is connected to construction. Or you can opt for 3 years of higher learning course followed by 1 year of working experience in the construction industry. As you can see, there should be a combination of experience and education. There are also other ways in which to combine experience and education in order to qualify as a contractor. You can have 3 years being a...
Winning a Project with a Contractor’s License in Florida

Winning a Project with a Contractor’s License in Florida

If you have a contractor’s license in Florida, you know that the very best thing to holding that license is actually winning projects. Winning projects entail that you bid on them first. In fact, construction contractors usually get most of their jobs through the bidding process. In this article, we discuss some ways in which to improve your bidding, so you can win those projects, especially since you have that FL contractor’s license. Remember the Two Golden Rules The two golden rules are: submit very accurate cost estimates and offer the lowest bid among all other contractor’s license holders. The second rule is almost always true when you’re bidding for a government project. For other projects, qualifications and other variables are just as important as your price level. To make sure you’re bidding the right amount, you can make use of construction building software. Be Accurate with Your Bids As previously mentioned, giving accurate bids is very crucial to winning projects. This means, for example, if you have a FL contractor license, you should be able to bid using the costs and terms of material, labor and overhead and indirect expenses. Knowing the right amount will get you to that sweet spot without having to price your bid too low so that you’re losing money or pricing your bid so high that you don’t even get to be considered for the project. There are several ways in which to increase the accuracy of your cost computations. First, factor in quantity takeoffs and work scope. Second, create a bill of quantities, which itemizes the materials and work needed. Third, check...
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...