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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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 part of lien law. This document is a notice of public record announcing the commencement of the project. It typically gives a brief description of the project and the property, along with other pertinent information such as:

  • Owner’s name and address
  • Contractor’s name
  • Lender’s name
  • Surety (if the project is bonded)
  • Names of anyone else who is involved

The owner of the property is responsible for filing the Notice of Commencement with the public records of the county. It must be recorded within 90 days before the start of the project.

  1. Permits

Building permits are essential for general contractors in Florida. Obtaining them before work begins is equally important. Trying to get one retroactively can be a hassle, and if you are denied, work has already begun, which leaves you in a difficult position. Make sure to receive all required permits before any work begins.

Keep Track of All Your Legal Requirements in Florida

There are a lot of legal requirements to keep track of as a general contractor in Florida. Trying to stay on top of all of them can be headache-inducing. Contractors Reporting Services in Tampa, Florida, can help you stay on top of each one. We offer contracting and business services for new and veteran contractors alike. Contact us today or leave a comment here with any inquiries you may have.