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The importance of being a licensed contractor in construction law

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2021 | Construction Law

Whether it is on a commercial or residential project and hiring a contractor, clients and even the contractors might not think about the importance of contractors being licensed. In Florida, this can cause challenges if there is a problem at any point with the project. That could lead to danger, a failure to use adequate materials, the project not being completed as specified and issues with getting the errors corrected. From the perspective of the client and the contractor, it is important to understand the law regarding contracts if the contractor is unlicensed.

When a contract with an unlicensed contractor will be unenforceable

Since Oct. 1, 1990, any contract that was forged with an unlicensed contractor is unenforceable. The contractor will be considered unlicensed if the work that is being requested in the contract is not allowed based on their qualifications. There are some instances when the work does not require licensing. That can be completed by the contractor and there will not be a legal issue about it. The contractor will not be categorized as unlicensed even if there is not business tax receipt.

The date of the contract is also key. If the contractor was unlicensed on the effective date of the contract but later became licensed, the contractor is unlicensed for that project. If there is no date, the contractor is unlicensed if the work began while unlicensed. There can be no lien or bond for the unlicensed contractor. This is important as there is no recourse for the contractor if they have trouble getting paid. Other parties, however, can enforce liens or bonds.

Construction law related to contractors should not be ignored

In construction law, the foundation of a successful project is not necessarily the work itself, but the contract to make sure it is completed under the correct specifications. Not having a contract might seem to be a cheaper alternative for all parties, but it carries with it extensive risk in myriad ways. Still, many make the mistake of moving forward with a construction project and either do not have a proper contract or are dealing with a contractor who might have misled the customer and did not have the proper licensing. To legally address these challenge, it is imperative to have professional assistance to try and reach a satisfactory resolution.