If you’re interested in becoming a general contractor in Florida, you need to be licensed to perform construction work legally. There are two primary licenses to choose from which will allow you to perform general contracting work either throughout the whole state of Florida, or only in a specific local jurisdiction. In both cases, the licensing is done through the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board (which operates under the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.) These agencies have established the requirements for getting a general contractors license in Florida.
A contracting company will also need to register with the appropriate agency (after determining their business structure), in order to become licensed for tax numbers.
It seems like there is a lot that needs to be done, but these are the most important steps:
1. Understand the Application Requirements for a Florida Contractors License
There are different license types and your choice will depend on which contractor license you are looking for but, in general, you will need to:
- Be eighteen years or older
- Have proof of your financial solvency, including a FICO credit score of over 660 (if it is lower, you can purchase a surety bond).
- Scan and comply with electronic fingerprinting (there are a number of approved Livescan Device Vendors)
- Pass your Florida State Construction Exam
- Fill out your application
- Pay all applicable fees (including application and licensing)
- Provide proof of general liability insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance
2. Choose the Type of General Contractor License and Meet Additional Requirements
There are two types of general contractors’ licenses available in Florida:
A Certified License
This is valid throughout the state, so you are permitted to work anywhere in Florida.
A Registered License
This limits you to working within a local jurisdiction and you will also need to have been issued a certificate of competency by the jurisdiction.
From there, you can then apply for a more specific contractor’s license. As a general contractor, the most important ones to consider are:
- Building contractor – for commercial or residential buildings over three stories high, this license allows you to work on construction, repair, remodeling or improvements.
- Residential contractor – for dwellings of between one and three families that are no more than two stories high, you can work on construction, repair, remodeling or improvements.
- General contractor – there is no limit on the improvement of any structure or building type and you can carry out construction, repairs, alterations, remodeling, and improvements.
3. Applying for a Certified General Contractor License
It is possible to apply for a general contractor certified license either as an individual contractor or as a qualified business. Applicants are first required to pass the state certification examination, and once that has been passed, the application for licensure can begin.
- Downloading and completing the Florida State Construction Examination application.
- If the exam is passed, downloading and completing the application packet (for either an individual or business).
- Provide additional documentation including a FICO approved credit score, and proof of education and experience (applicants must have four years of experience or a combination of college and experience).
- Undergoing a background check including fingerprinting.
- Securing general liability and property damage insurance.
- Securing workers compensation insurance (or being granted an exemption within 30 days of receiving a license).
Getting a general contractors license in Florida doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult. Partnering with Contractors Reporting Services in Tampa, FL, makes the process simple and smooth-sailing. With many years of experience in the industry, they’ll take care of the applications and paperwork so that your general contracting business gets up and running quickly.