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Examining the requirements for securing a contractor's license

A few weeks ago, our blog discussed how Florida law mandates that all contractors hired to build or even remodel homes must be in possession of the proper licensure, and how this requirement can be satisfied if the contractor holds one of two types of contractor licenses.

The first type of license is a certified contractor license, which is granted by the state, and authorizes a contractor to work anywhere in the Sunshine State. The second type of license is a registered contractor license, which is granted by a county or local municipality, and authorizes the contractor to work anywhere within that specified area.

It's important to understand, however, that these contractor licenses are not just handed out to anyone. Rather, applicants must satisfy a set of rather stringent criteria establishing that they have both the skill set and wherewithal to perform construction-related work.   

The requirements for a certified contractor license are as follows:

  • The applicant must have a minimum of 4 years of experience (one of which is supervisory) in the category in which they are seeking to be licensed; Here, the experience must be sworn to by the holder of a Florida certified contractor license, licensed engineer, architect or building official in the U.S.
  • The applicant must submit proof of the requisite level of liability, property damage and work comp insurance coverage.
  • The applicant must submit credit reports, proof that any outstanding liens/judgments have been satisfied, and documents demonstrating financial stability.
  • The applicant must submit proof of successful completion of the Florida Certified Contractor's Examination.

The requirements for a registered contractor license are as follows:

  • The applicant must submit proof of the requisite level of liability, property damage and work comp insurance coverage.
  • The applicant must submit credit reports, proof that any outstanding liens/judgments have been satisfied, and documents demonstrating financial stability.
  • The applicant must satisfy the requirements of the county/municipality, and secure both a local competency card and occupational license, registering the former with the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

In light of the importance attached to this matter by the state, it should go without saying that anyone planning to build or remodel should take steps to ensure that they have necessary licensure. To learn more about these requirements and the consequences for failing to abide by them, please read our article entitled, "Licensed or unlicensed? That is the question."

Source: Indian River County, Florida, "How to obtain A Florida contractor's license FAQ," Sept. 2014

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