For any true professional doing business in this state, obtaining a Florida contractor’s license is a key step in the process. And since Florida doesn’t allow any reciprocity — just because you have a license in another state doesn’t mean you’re free to practice your trade here in Florida — it means anyone who wants to claim they are a licensed contractor in this state has to go through the process, regardless of their status or experience elsewhere.
But what does getting licensed in the State of Florida entail?
First of all, it’s important to note that there are two types of licenses in Florida: Certified and Registered. Certified contractors can work anywhere in Florida, while Registered contractors can only work in the county or municipality where they were issued what is called a competency card. The process, as one might expect, is a bit different depending on what type of license a contractor is attempting to obtain.
To obtain a Certified license, the requirements are:
- Four years of experience in the field in which the contractor is attempting to obtain a license, one of which must have been in a supervisory role. To prove that experience, it must be certified by a contractor who already holds a Certified license, or it must be certified by a licensed architect, engineer or building official in the United States.
- Those applying for a Certified license must also pass the Florida Certified Contractor’s Examination, which in turn must be administered by certified location, at one of their on-record and established testing dates and times.
- Those looking to become a Certified contractor in the State of Florida must already carry Workers’ Compensation (or an exemption), Liability, and Property Damage Insurance.
- Finally, applications must provide credit reports, proof of satisfaction of liens and judgments, and proper showing of financial stability, including net worth requirements.
To obtain a Registered license in a specific municipality, only the last two requirements apply, making it far easier to obtain if the contractor only plans to work in a limited location, rather than state-wide.
There is a licensure by endorsement option, which allows contractors who have been licensed in another state to appear before the licensing board, to petition having a license issued to them based on them already having fulfilled the requirements elsewhere. The endorsement isn’t by any means guaranteed, and requires the applicant to prove they passed an exam that is “substantially similar” to the one given in Florida, as well as providing proof of insurance and financial stability.
The process of getting a Florida contractor’s license is not swift or easy, especially when contractors have so much to do on the job already. Companies like Contractor’s Reporting Services aim to take the pain out of the process by helping contractors with every step along the way, from preparing reports, to filling out paperwork, to renewals and exceptions. Visit Contractors Reporting Services to learn more about how we can handle the headaches so you can get back to doing what you do best: working on the job sites.
Contractors Reporting Services | 3795 N Nebraska Ave, Tampa, FL 33613 | 1-800-487-2084