Contractor Licenses in South Florida

How to get a contractor license in South Florida?

First, contractors need to determine the type of license they need. Florida offers two types of contractor licenses: certified and registered. Certified licenses allow contractors to work anywhere in the state, while registered licenses are limited to a specific jurisdiction. Contractors must meet eligibility requirements including that they must be at least 18 years old, possess a social security number, have at least four years of experience in construction, and pass a background check. Then, a contractor must pass a state exam covering business and finance, contracts, project management, and construction law. Contractors must present both liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Contractors apply for licenses through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. 

What do I need to complete a contractor license application with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation? 

The application requires the contractor to provide their name, address, phone number, email address, social security number, date of birth, and complete a background check. Additionally, the contractor must supply information about their education, work experience, and financial information, including credit history, net worth and bonding capacity. Then, the contractor must supply the information for their business including business name, address, phone number, and email. Contractors must specify the type of license they would like for their business. Prior to applying for the license, contractors must pass a state exam and provide their exam results to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Finally, applicants must pay fees depending on the license for which they are applying. 

What is the difference between a certified and a registered license in the Department of Business and Professional Regulation? 

Registered licenses are easier for contractors to obtain because they are issued by local jurisdictions, such as counties or municipalities. These licenses only allow contractors to work in that specific jurisdiction, so the requirements vary by jurisdiction. Certified licenses are obtained through the state, so they have more stringent requirements. In order to obtain a certified license, contractors must pass a more difficult exam, demonstrate financial responsibility, and provide proof of more work experience. This kind of license allows a contractor to work anywhere in the state, providing the contractor with more flexibility. 

Who issues registered licenses in Miami Dade county? 

In Miami-Dade, registered licenses are issued by the Miami-Dade County Construction Trades Qualifying Board. The Board oversees the certification and registration of contractors working in this jurisdiction, and sets the requirements for obtaining the license. 

What is the liability for unlicensed contracting in Florida? 

In Florida, contractors can face serious legal consequences for working without a license. This can range from fines and penalties to criminal charges, civil penalties, and court injunctions to stop work. If an unlicensed contractor is found to have committed fraud or deception then they are subject to felony charges. Contractors also increase their liability by working without a license because they can be subject to civil suits and penalties for unsatisfactory performance on unlicensed work. In these situations, contractors will be subject to statutory damages in addition to any actual damages awarded in a civil lawsuit.

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Silvino Diaz

Silvino E. Diaz’s practice ranges from Civil and Commercial Litigation to Entertainment and Intellectual Property Law. Silvino has earned a reputation as one of Puerto Rico’s foremost advocates for independent musicians and artists. As a result of his sustained commitment to creative industries, he was named Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Atlantic University College (Guaynabo, PR) – the Caribbean’s leading digital arts institution – where he spearheaded the “Introduction to IP” course for both the graduate and undergraduate programs, and was appointed by the Office of the President to develop an Intellectual Property graduate curriculum, where he served until moving to Miami in 2017. He is the founder of the service known as Starving Artists, where he offers innovative business and legal counsel for artists and creatives.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.

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