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...
Steps to Apply for a Contractor’s License in Florida

Steps to Apply for a Contractor’s License in Florida

Applying for a contractor’s license in Florida is accomplished at the local and state level. The process of licensing is under the purview of the Construction Industry Licensing Board, with guidance from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. In this article, we discuss the steps you need to take to apply for a Florida contractor’s license. Figure Out the Kind of Contractor License You Need to Apply For There are two kinds of FL contractor’s license. At the level of the state, there is the Certified License and at the local level, there is the Registered License. Once you’ve figured this out, you have to determine if you are a Division I Contractor or a Division II Contractor. Division I Contractors are general contractors, building contractors, and residential contractors. Division II Contractors, on the other hand, are more specific, such as Underground Utility Contractors, Tank Lining Applicators, Specialty Contractors, Solar Contractors, Sheet Metal Contractors, Roofing Contractors, Spa/Pool Contractors, Pollutant Storage System Contractors, Plumbing Contractors, Mechanical Contractors, and Air-Conditioning Contractors. Get the Application Forms You can get the application forms through the Construction Industry Licensing Board. Study for and Pass the Exams To get a Certified Contractor License, you have to study for and pass the Division I or Division II exams, as applicable. This does not include Pool Contractors. Professional Testing conducts these examinations. If you think you are ready to take the exams, go online to register and apply through their website or contact them via email at flconstruction@proftesting.com. More information is available in the application form. If you think you need further preparation prior to...
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...
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...
What You Need to Know about Applying for a Contractor’s License: The Basics

What You Need to Know about Applying for a Contractor’s License: The Basics

First of all, you should do some research into the laws your state has regarding applying for and getting a contractor’s license. The contractor’s licensing laws vary from state to state, so the first step you ought to take is to contact the Contractors’ Licensing Board to find out what your state requires. In some states, a contractor’s license is not a requirement. Also bear in mind that because each state has its own licensing laws, if you move states, you have to go through the process of obtaining a license once again. There are reciprocity agreements between some states, so check if the state you are thinking of going to has such an agreement with the one you got your license in. After you have ascertained what kind of license your state requires you to have, you can contact that state’s Contractor’s Licensing Board and set a date to take the exam. In most of the states that ask contractors to have a license, you will probably need to pay tuition before you take the contractor’s licensing exam. There is a lot of reading and preparation to do for an exam, so the sooner you start it, the better. In some states, but by no means all, you have to pass two exams, one is a trade exam and the other a business and law exam. You might be asked to sit more exams to get your contractor’s license, depending on your state’s requirements. Depending on your state and your business needs, you may have to take several exams. Make sure that before you sit the exams you...