Operating a business in a skilled or trade industry, whether you are an owner or a laborer, requires on the job experience and General Contractors License. Few people would argue that fact; however, some still question the need for a professional license. The process can be tedious and drawn out so it is understandable to want more information before embarking on your journey to becoming a licensed General Contractor in Florida. At Contractors Reporting Services, we can help to answer your questions and walk you through the entire licensing process so that you can keep doing the work you enjoy, while complying with the necessary state regulations.
The best way to answer the question of “Why you need a license” is to explain what would happen if you attempted to operate a contracting business without the appropriate licensure and/or certificates. According to husseinandwebber.com,
In Florida, it is a criminal offense to engage in contracting work or to act in the capacity of a contractor without a valid contractor’s license. Unlicensed contracting is a serious crime carrying misdemeanor or felony penalties, depending on the number of prior convictions.
DEFINITION OF UNLICENSED CONTRACTING:
(1) No person shall:
(a) Falsely hold himself or herself or a business organization out as a licensee, certificate–holder, or registrant;
(b) Falsely impersonate a certificate–holder or registrant;
(c) Present as his or her own the certificate or registration of another;
(d) Knowingly give false or forged evidence to the board or a member thereof;
(e) Use or attempt to use a certificate or registration that has been suspended or revoked;
(f) Engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor or advertise himself or herself or a business organization as available to engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor without being duly registered or certified;
(g) Operate a business organization engaged in contracting after 60 days following the termination of its only qualifying agent without designating another primary qualifying agent, except as provided in ss. 489.119 and 489.1195;
(h) Commence or perform work for which a building permit is required pursuant to part IV of chapter 553 without such building permit being in effect; or
(i) Willfully or deliberately disregard or violate any municipal or county ordinance relating to uncertified or unregistered contractors.
PENALTIES FOR UNLICENSED CONTRACTING:
In Florida, unlicensed contracting is generally charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to 1 year in jail or 12 months of probation, and a $1,000.00 fine. However, if the accused has been previously convicted of contracting without a license, the offense may be charged as a third-degree felony, with penalties of up to 5 years in prison or 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine…
Aside from potential fines and jail sentences, a person convicted of or who pleads to a charge of Contracting Without a License will often be subject to court-ordered restitution. This occurs where the alleged victim claims that the defendant performed sub-standard work or used sub-standard materials and caused a loss.
As it’s been said, any job worth doing is worth doing right. Contractors Reporting Services is here to help you lay a strong and solid foundation for your contracting business and that begins with becoming a FL licensed contractor. We have the experience and expertise to answer all of your questions and keep you in compliance with Florida state regulations and requirements. Call us to find out how to get started.