The Importance of a General Contractor License in Florida

The Importance of a General Contractor License in Florida

In order to run a profitable, sustainable business as a licensed general contractor in Florida you need to comply with the relevant regulations for the state. This includes holding the correct permits and licenses. Florida State’s licensing requirements are specific and, depending on the nature of your work; you may need a different license in order to work legally. Contracting without a license in Florida is a serious offense, and the penalties are severe. For this reason, it’s important to understand who monitors compliance, what the different licenses are, as well as the consequences for non-compliance. Who Monitors Contractor License Compliance? In Florida, applying for a contractor license is done with the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) headquartered in Tallahassee with field offices throughout the State. They are responsible for licensing and regulating the construction industry. They meet regularly to consider applications, adjudicate on disciplinary cases as well as conducting licensing and discipline hearings. Their website offers the functionality to perform a Florida contractor license search which makes it easy for all parties involved in a project to verify that they are working with a contractor who holds a valid general contractors license. It’s an important check as it can help protect an owner from having to double-pay, and also reduces the risk of a subcontractor or supplier not being paid by the general contractor.  The website also allows complaints to be lodged and has a portal for contractor license applications. What are the Different General Contractor Licenses? In Florida the law provides for two different license classifications: ‘Certified’ – a certified contractor license is valid throughout Florida ‘Registered’...
8 Different Licensing Services That You Might Need as a Florida General Contractor

8 Different Licensing Services That You Might Need as a Florida General Contractor

Once a contractor has passed the state exam, there are a number of licenses and reports that they will be required to hold in order to work as a general contractor in Florida. There are also several that may become necessary under certain circumstances. Eight important licensing and reporting requirements include initial applications, change of status, state and county registration, additional business licensing, license reinstatements, financial stability reports and works comp exemptions. Initial Applications (Including Certification and Registration) Once a contractor has passed their State exam, they will need to provide trade-specific information. As these requirements vary from trade to trade, using a specialized application service can save time and money as delays have a direct impact on a contractor’s ability to work. Change of Status (Also Known as a Transfer) In the event of a contractor moving from one company to another, there are licensing implications. The State requires that a contractor files an application and meets specific requirements to be eligible to transfer. This process can be time-consuming as there are often delays. County and State Registration Once contractors have passed the state county exam, they are required to obtain a State Registration as well as a Certificate of Competency (also referred to as a county registration) in order to operate as a general contractor in Florida. Registration and Renewal of Licenses Registering your license is a requirement if you are working, wanting to obtain permits or advertising in a local municipality. Keeping up to date with State and County license renewals allows a general contractor to remain in compliance with Local Codes and State Statutes. Additional...
How to Get a General Contractor License in Florida

How to Get a General Contractor License in Florida

To get a Florida contractor’s license, you are required by the state of Florida to be approved by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and there are two key steps to complete before a license can be issued: first, completing the exam and second, submitting an application. There are two different licensing classifications. The first is a general contractor certified license. This is valid throughout Florida and grants permission for the contractor to work anywhere in the state. The second is a general contractor registered license. This limits the contractor to working within certain specified local jurisdictions. The contractor is also required to hold a certificate of competency issued by those jurisdictions. Step 1: Complete the Exam Certified General Contractor License in Florida An applicant who has applied for a certified general contractors license in Florida will need to pass the Florida State Construction Examination before beginning the application process. General Contractors License Exam Developed by the Bureau of Education & Testing, the examination is split into three parts, and the applicant is required to pass all three. The three exams are project management (written exam taken at a test center), contract administration (written exam taken at a test center) and business and finance (computer-based exam, administered at Pearson VUE). The first and second test segments may be taken in Orlando, Miami or Tallahassee (the applicant is required to select a first and second choice when applying). The tests can be taken in February, April, June, August, October, and December. In order to take the tests, the completed application and fees need to be received by the testing...
What Customers Look for When Hiring a Contractor in Florida

What Customers Look for When Hiring a Contractor in Florida

Being a general contractor license holder is one thing–being a contractor that customers would love to hire is another. It’s not just about pricing your services well. For a customer to hire you, it’s also important to have the contractor’s license, qualifications, references, and the right workforce. This article discusses some of the things that would make your business more attractive to customers. Get the Correct Florida Contractor’s License Make sure you have the proper FL contractor’s license for your particular expertise and a specific project. Remember that to work on any of the following you must have a FL contractor license: air-conditioning, building, general, mechanical, plumbing, pollutant storage, residential, roofing, sheet metal, solar, swimming pool or spa, and underground utility and excavation. You do not need a contractor license in Florida if you’re doing a project connected to window treatments, wallpaper, paint, flooring, countertops, cabinets, etc. As the holder of a contractor’s license in Florida, you have to be bonded and insured. This shows to your customer that if an accident happens in a project or if you fail to perform in accordance to your contract, they are protected. By indicating that you want your customers to be projected means you are confident enough in your services. Highlight Your Experience Potential customers will check out what past customers have to say about the contractors they are about to hire. Be ready to present references, whether they may be colleagues, peers, or previous clients. Make sure to have at least 5 credible references that know your work well. A new customer may contact references and ask about your abilities...
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...