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Florida Contractors License Frequently Asked Questions

Contractor Licensing

The state of Florida takes its building industry seriously and requires all Florida contractors to have a certified license. To alleviate consumer concern about dishonest contractors and poor craftsmanship, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has designed a rigorous licensing process through which all potential contractors are required to undergo. There are numerous exams and experience requirements, extensive paperwork, background checks, and possible board reviews. Obtaining the proper license is a job in and upon itself. Worse: a simple honest mistake may well delay the processing of your application.

Contractor Licensing Inc. can help. We have an enormous amount of experience in dealing with the DBPR and are continuously researching new requirements and regulations. We know who to call, which forms to send, and when and where to send them. Simply provide us with the information we need and we will cut through the red tape, so that you are able to obtain your license as quickly as possible.


Frequently Asked Questions?

 

 

How do I get a Florida Contractors License?

The following are the basic requirements to obtain your Florida builders license:

  1. Successfully complete the Florida contractor license exam that measures your knowledge of the profession.
  2. Complete a Contractors License application. Applications can be obtained from us or the State of Florida:

    State Of Florida
    Department of Business and Professional Regulation
    1940 North Monroe Street
    Tallahassee, FL 32399–0783
    Customer Contact Center (850) 487-1395
    http://www.myflorida.com/dbpr/index.html

  3. Submit the General Contractors License application, supporting documents, and application fee to the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).

Contractor Licensing Inc. expedites the process while checking, and then double-checking your application materials. Contact us today to get started.

 

Are there different types of Florida Contractor Licenses?

  1. General Contractor means a contractor whose services are unlimited as to the type of work which he or she may perform.
  2. Building Contractors may construct commercial buildings, single-dwelling, or multiple-dwelling residential buildings. These buildings cannot exceed three stories in height. A building contractor may also construct the "accessory use structures" in connection with these buildings. An accessory use structure is a garage, guest house, garden shed, or other outbuilding. A building contractor’s services are limited to remodeling, repair, or improvement of any size building without affecting the structural elements of the building.
  3. Residential Contractors may construct, remodel, repair, or improve one-family, two-family, or three-family residences that are not more than two stories and also the "accessory use structures," such as a garage, guest house, garden shed, or other outbuilding.
How Can I Prepare For the Florida State Contractors License Exam?
Refer to our preparation materials or contact us to speak with an expert.

What is the difference between a registered contractor and a certified contractor?
A "Registered Contractor"- The applicant has taken and passed a local competency examination and can practice only within that locale. A "Certified Contractor"- The applicant has taken and passed an examination and can practice throughout Florida.

 

Will My Application Require a Bond?
In certain instances the state may require that a surety bond be submitted along with your application. Please contact our offices and speak to one of our consultants to be sure if a bond is needed in your particular situation.

Where can I order Credit Reports for my Application?
Contractor Licensing Inc. offers Personal and Business credit reports as a DBPR approved credit reporting agency.

 

Am I Required To Obtain Liability Insurance?
Yes, All ACTIVE State Construction License Applicants are required to obtain Commercial Liability Insurance. A copy of the Certificate of Liability Insurance will be required as proof of insurance to be included with all applications submitted to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). For more information about the State license insurance limit and coverage requirements or the various types of insurances offered through our company please contact our office.

 

Do I need to submit Fingerprints with my Construction Trade Application?
Yes, all applications for the initial license as construction contractors will be required to have a criminal background check performed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This requirement applies to applications for initial licensure, change of status, additional business, and endorsement. Each applicant will be required to submit electronic fingerprints through a department approved vendor. For fingerprinting appointment assistance or for more information regarding the new "Fingerprint Requirement" please contact our office.

How long will it take for my Application to be Approved?
Don't be fooled by those "other" Licensing Service Companies claiming to have a "guaranteed 2 week turn-around time" or claiming to have "special contacts" in the DBPR to expedite your licensing process faster for their companies "preferred clients". Unfortunately, these types of companies are simply promising services they cannot provide in an effort to get your business. While this "bait & hook "sales tactic is all too common it is neither professional nor beneficial to the client. Remember, If it sounds too good to be true ….It probably is! The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation is a State Government Agency therefore it is prohibited by Florida Law for any business or vendor to receive preferential treatment. All applications are processed in the order they are received by the state. Once your application is received the average wait time is generally 30-45 BUSINESS DAYS for DBPR to issue a response, although it can take longer depending on the individual circumstances of the application and workload volume of the DBPR. Technically the individual reviewing the application has up to 45 business days to issue a response. Upon retaining the services of Contractor Licensing Inc. our company acts as an appointed third party representative to ensure your application and supporting documents are expedited properly to reduce your wait time and help avoid deficiencies in the licensing process.

 

Will I be required to register my license locally?
Yes, depending on your particular location. Certain municipalities will require Licensed contractors to obtain a local business tax receipt or (occupational license). Also you may be required to register your license within the county you are doing business and/or obtain a city license or (municipal license) in order to pull permits. Certificate of use/occupancy, DERM Permit, Home Office Permit, City Business License may also be required. If you are unsure what type of registration will be required for your business Contractor Licensing Inc. offers business consulting and application assistance.

 

Do I need Workers' Compensation Insurance as Florida Contractor?
Yes, the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Workers' Compenstation requires that all state licensed contractors carry workers compensation insurance, or file for workers compensation exemption. Exemptions are allowed for company owners and up to three officers, however the officers must own a portion of the business.

Contractor Licensing Inc. provides both Workers Compensation Insurance and Workers Compensation Exemptionservices to make entire process seamless and efficient. For free consultation or a free quote please contact our office.

 

Do contactors need to do a license renewal or continue their education?

Yes, construction industry license holders have a mandatory continuing education requirement as stated by the Florida DBPR. About 14 hours of board-approved continuing education is required prior to the renewal period for both certified and registered contractors.

 

 

Construction Industry Licensing Board General Terms


In general the term "contractor" means the person who is qualified for, and shall only be responsible for, the project contracted for and means, except as exempted in this part, the person who, for compensation, undertakes to, submits a bid to, or does himself or herself or by others construct, repair, alter, remodel, add to, demolish, subtract from, or improve any building or structure, including related improvements to real estate, for others or for resale to others; and whose job scope is substantially similar to the job scope described in one of the subsequent paragraphs of this subsection. For the purposes of regulation under this part, "demolish" applies only to demolition of steel tanks over 50 feet in height; towers over 50 feet in height; other structures over 50 feet in height, other than buildings or residences over three stories tall; and buildings or residences over three stories tall.

A "certified contractor" means any contractor who possesses a certificate of competency issued by the department and who shall be allowed to contract in any jurisdiction in the state without being required to fulfill the competency requirements of that jurisdiction. Certified contractors are designated by an occupation code which begins with the letter "C".

A "registered contractor" means any contractor who has registered with the department pursuant to fulfilling the competency requirements in the jurisdiction for which the registration is issued. Registered contractors may contract only in such jurisdictions. Registered contractors are designated by an occupation code which begins with the letter "R".

A "swimming pool specialty contractor" means a sub-contractor whose scope of work is limited to the scope of work of their particular specialty license. Swimming pool specialty contractor licenses may be issued in the areas of layout, structural, excavation, trim, decking, piping, and finishes. Swimming pool specialty contractors may not contract directly with the public, and must work under contract, under the supervision, and within the scope of work of a contractor licensed pursuant to Sections 489.105(3)(j) - (l), Florida Statutes.

 

 

Construction Industry Licensing Board Definitions & Codes

Definitions including the occupation codes and class codes


CG and RG - A "general contractor" means a contractor whose services are unlimited as to the type of work which he or she may do.

CB and RB - A "building contractor" means a contractor whose services are limited to the construction of commercial buildings and single-dwelling or multiple-dwelling residential buildings. These buildings cannot exceed three stories in height. A building contractor may also construct the "accessory use structures" in connection with these buildings. An accessory use structure would be a garage, guest house, garden shed, or other outbuilding. A building contractor is also a contractor whose services are limited to remodeling, repair, or improvement of any size building - if the services do not affect the structural elements of the building.

CR and RR - A "residential contractor" means a contractor whose services are limited to construction, remodeling, repair, or improvement of one-family, two-family, or three-family residences which are not more than two stories and the "accessory use structures" in connection with these buildings. An accessory use structure would be a garage, guest house, garden shed, or other outbuilding.

CS and RS - A "sheet metal contractor" means a contractor whose services are unlimited in the sheet metal trade and who has the experience and skill necessary for the manufacture, fabrication, assembling, handling, erection, installation, dismantling, conditioning, adjustment, insulation, alteration, repair, servicing, or design of ferrous or nonferrous metal work of U.S. No. 10 gauge or its equivalent or lighter gauge. A sheet metal contractor may also work with other materials, including, but not limited to, fiberglass.

CC and RC A "roofing contractor" means a contractor whose services are unlimited in the roofing trade. Roofing contractors have the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, alter, extend, or design and use materials and items used in the installation, maintenance, extension, and alteration of all kinds of roofing, waterproofing, and coating, except when coating is not represented to protect, repair, waterproof, stop leaks, or extend the life of the roof.

CA and RA - A "class A air-conditioning contractor" means a contractor whose services are unlimited in the execution of contracts requiring the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, fabricate, alter, extend, or design central air-conditioning, refrigeration, heating, and ventilating systems. Class A Contractors may also execute contracts requiring experience in the installation, maintenance, repair, fabrication, alteration, extension or design of duct work in connection with a complete system but only to the extent that such duct work is performed by the contractor as is necessary to complete an air-distribution system, boiler and unfired pressure vessel systems, and all appurtenances, apparatus, or equipment used in connection with them. A "class A air-conditioning contractor" shall not perform any work such as liquefied petroleum or natural gas fuel lines within buildings, potable water lines or connections, sanitary sewer lines, swimming pool piping and filters, or electrical power wiring.

CA and RA - A "class B air-conditioning contractor" means a contractor whose services are limited to 25 tons of cooling and 500,000 BTU of heating in any one system in the execution of contracts requiring the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, fabricate, alter, extend, or design central air-conditioning, refrigeration, heating, and ventilating systems, including duct work in connection with a complete system. A "class B air-conditioning contractor" shall not perform any work such as liquefied petroleum or natural gas fuel lines within buildings, potable water lines or connections, sanitary sewer lines, swimming pool piping and filters, or electrical power wiring.

CA and RA - A "class C air-conditioning contractor" means a contractor whose business is limited to the servicing of air-conditioning, heating, or refrigeration systems, including any duct cleaning and equipment sanitizing which requires at least a partial disassembling of the system, and whose certification or registration, issued pursuant to this part, was valid on October 1, 1988. NOTE: No person not previously registered or certified as a "class C air-conditioning contractor" as of October 1, 1988, shall be so registered or certified after October 1, 1988.

CM and RM- A "mechanical contractor" means a contractor whose services are unlimited in the execution of contracts requiring the experience, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, fabricate, alter, extend, or design central air-conditioning, refrigeration, heating, and ventilating systems, including duct work in connection with a complete system. A "mechanical contractor" shall not perform any work shall not include any work such as liquefied petroleum gas fuel lines within buildings, potable water lines or connections, sanitary sewer lines, swimming pool piping and filters, or electrical power wiring.

CP and RP - A "commercial pool/spa contractor" means a contractor whose scope of work involves, but is not limited to:
  • the construction, repair, and servicing of any swimming pool, or hot tub or spa, including the repair or replacement of existing equipment or the installation of new equipment, as necessary;
  • the layout, excavation, operation of construction pumps for dewatering purposes, steelwork, installation of light niches, construction of floors, guniting, fiberglassing, installation of tile and coping, installation of all perimeter and filter piping, installation of all filter equipment and chemical feeders of any type, plastering of the interior, construction of decks, construction of equipment rooms or housing for pool equipment, and installation of package pool heaters; and
  • includes the scope of work of a swimming pool/spa servicing contractor.
  • A "commercial pool/spa contractor" cannot perform direct connections to a sanitary sewer system or to potable water lines.
  • The installation, construction, modification, or replacement of equipment permanently attached to and associated with the pool or spa for the purpose of water treatment or cleaning of the pool or spa requires licensure; however, the usage of such equipment for the purposes of water treatment or cleaning shall not require licensure unless the usage involves construction, modification, or replacement of such equipment.

CP and RP- A "residential pool/spa contractor" means a contractor whose scope of work involves, but is not limited to:

  • the construction, repair, and servicing of any residential swimming pool or hot tub or spa including the repair or replacement of existing equipment or the installation of new equipment, as necessary;
  • the layout, excavation, operation of construction pumps for dewatering purposes, steelwork, installation of light niches, construction of floors, guniting, fiberglassing, installation of tile and coping, installation of all perimeter and filter piping, installation of all filter equipment and chemical feeders of any type, plastering of the interior, construction of decks, installation of housing for pool equipment, and installation of package pool heaters; and
  • includes the scope of work of a swimming pool/spa servicing contractor.
  • A "residential pool/spa contractor" cannot perform direct connections to a sanitary sewer system or to potable water lines.
  • The installation, construction, modification, or replacement of equipment permanently attached to and associated with the pool or spa for the purpose of water treatment or cleaning of the pool or spa requires licensure; however, the usage of such equipment for the purposes of water treatment or cleaning shall not require licensure unless the usage involves construction, modification, or replacement of such equipment.

CP and RP - A "swimming pool/spa servicing contractor" means a contractor whose scope of work involves the servicing and repair of any swimming pool or hot tub or spa. The scope of such work may include any necessary piping and repairs, replacement and repair of existing equipment, or installation of new additional equipment as necessary. The scope of such work includes:

  • the reinstallation of tile and coping, repair and replacement of all piping, filter equipment, and chemical feeders of any type, replastering, reconstruction of decks, and reinstallation or addition of pool heaters;
  • the installation, construction, modification, substantial or complete disassembly, or replacement of equipment permanently attached to and associated with the pool or spa for the purpose of water treatment or cleaning of the pool or spa requires licensure; and
  • however, the usage of such equipment for the purposes of water treatment or cleaning shall not require licensure unless the usage involves construction, modification, substantial or complete disassembly, or replacement of such equipment.

CF and RF - A "plumbing contractor" means a contractor whose contracting business consists of the execution of contracts requiring the experience, financial means, knowledge, and skill to install, maintain, repair, alter, extend, or, when not prohibited by law, design plumbing. A plumbing contractor may install, maintain, repair, alter, extend, or design the following without obtaining any additional local regulatory license, certificate, or registration:

  • sanitary drainage or storm drainage facilities;
  • venting systems; public or private water supply systems;
  • septic tanks; drainage and supply wells;
  • swimming pool piping;
  • irrigation systems; or
  • solar heating water systems and all appurtenances, apparatus, or equipment used in connection with these, including boilers and pressure process piping and including the installation of water, natural gas (excluding liquid petroleum gases), and storm and sanitary sewer lines; and
    water and sewer plants and substations;
  • the design and installation, maintenance, repair, alteration, or extension of air-piping, vacuum line piping, oxygen line piping, nitrous oxide piping, and all related medical gas systems;
  • fire line standpipes and fire sprinklers to the extent authorized by law; ink and chemical lines;
  • fuel oil and gasoline piping and tank and pump installation, except bulk storage plants; and
  • pneumatic control piping systems.

CU and RU - An "underground utility and excavation contractor" means a contractor whose services are limited to the construction, installation, and repair of:

  • main sanitary sewer collection systems;
  • main water distribution systems;
  • storm sewer collection systems;
  • the continuation of utility lines from the main systems to a point of termination up to and including the meter location for the individual occupancy, sewer collection systems at property line on residential or single-occupancy commercial properties, or on multioccupancy properties at manhole or wye lateral extended to an invert elevation as engineered to accommodate future building sewers, water distribution systems, or storm sewer collection systems at storm sewer structures; and
  • install empty underground conduits in rights-of-way, easements, platted rights-of-way in new site development, and sleeves for parking lot crossings no smaller than 2 inches in diameter, provided that each conduit system installed is designed by a licensed professional engineer or an authorized employee of a municipality, county, or public utility and that the installation of any such conduit does not include installation of any conductor wiring or connection to an energized electrical system.
  • An underground utility and excavation contractor shall not install any piping that is an integral part of a fire protection system as defined in s. 633.021 beginning at the point where the piping is used exclusively for such system.

CV - A "solar contractor" means a contractor whose services consist of the installation, alteration, repair, maintenance, relocation, or replacement of solar panels for potable solar water heating systems, swimming pool solar heating systems, and photovoltaic systems and any appurtenances, apparatus, or equipment used in connection with these systems.

PC - A "pollutant storage systems contractor" means a contractor whose services are limited to the installation, maintenance, repair, alteration, extension, or design and use of materials and items used in the installation, maintenance, extension, and alteration of, pollutant storage tanks.

SCC, RX - A "specialty contractor" means a contractor whose scope of work and responsibility is limited to a particular phase of construction and whose scope is limited to a subset of the activities described in the categories established in s. 489.105, F.S. Specialty contractors include Specialty Structure Contractors, Gypsum Drywall Contractors and Glass and Glazing Contractors.

This information is intended a broad overview of Florida State Licensing Requirements; for detailed information regarding requirements for a specific DBPR application please contact us or the Florida State DBPR Licensing Office.