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 firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available in the application form.
If you think you need further preparation prior to testing, there are contractor license schools in the state, even specialized ones.
Gather and Submit the Requirements
First, you have to show proof of financial responsibility. You have to submit a credit report that has, at minimum, a 660 FICO-derived score. You have to make sure that the credit reporting agency puts in your score in the said report. Please note that if your credit score falls below 660, you must show a surety letter or bond or credit.
Second, you should scan and submit your electronic fingerprints by making use of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Livescan Device Vendors. Remember that before you submit your license application, there should be sufficient time for FDLE to process the results of your fingerprints. This is because it takes five days for processing.
Third, you have to show evidence of liability insurance. For General and Building Contractors, the General Liability Insurance is $300,000 for public liability and $50,000 for property damage. For all other contractors, it’s $100,000 for public liability and $25,000 for property damage.
Fourth, you have to give evidence of compensation insurance for your workers. If you plan on hiring or already have employees, you need to get them compensation insurance.
Note that if you are applying for a Certified License, you need proof of qualification and if you are applying for a Registered License, you need proof of competency.
Get a Contractor License Bond
If you did not reach the FICO credit score of 660 and above, you should give a bond. The bond amount differs, according to the contractor category. The bond for Division I Contractors is $20,000 while the bond for Division II Contractors is $10,000.
Notably, the bond amount can be decreased to half if the applicants finish a fourteen-hour financial responsibility course. The board should approve the course provider.
Submit Your Application
Fill out your application form by completing it in ink. Afterwards, pay the necessary licensing fees issuing a check to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
As you can see, applying for a Florida contractor’s license can get tedious. The specialists at in Tampa, FL helps you to go through the necessary processes so you can get a contractor’s license in Florida in no time.