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Florida Contractor License: How to Become a Licensed Contractor

Learn How to Get Your Contractor's License


Foreman discussing plan on laptop with tradesmen at construction site
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Being a licensed contractor in Florida requires documentation and being certified by the Construction Industry Licensing Board. The Board is responsible for regulating contractors and their performance in the construction industry. The Construction Industry Licensing Board meets regularly to review future member’s applications, analyze and recommend disciplinary sanctions. It also participates in rulemaking processes and is also on the look to enforce regulations and standards among contractors.

Florida Contractor License: Types of License

There two major contractor’s license in the state: Registration and Certification. When the contractor has obtained a local or city license, then he/she must apply for the initial registration license. When a contractor has been registered by the Board, then it may only practice in the city or local area where it permission has been granted. Once the contractor completes and applies the Florida contractor’s license examination, then the Board might allow you to work through the state. Both applications can be accessed at www.myfloridalicense.com.

Contractors practicing general, residential, sheet metal, AC, mechanical, swimming pools, plumbing, solar, building, underground utility, glass and glazing and pollutant storage activities require a registration or certification permission from the Board.

Florida Contractor License: Swimming Pools Contractors

The state has one of the most per building ratio of swimming pools in the nation, and for that reason the Board has created new licenses for contractors engaged in that business. For example, the Board now includes specialties such as: pool layout, structural pool design, excavation, trim, pool decking, pool piping and finishes. For these contractor licenses the state requires a practical test and be at least 18 years old. The board is now finishing technical paperwork required for this processes.

Florida Contractor License: Being a Certified Contractor

In order to be a Florida Certified Contractor, you must be able to pass the contractor’s test, provide proven record of financial stability, and present evidence of your experience for the category in which you wish to be licensed. A contractor must have at least four years of field experience in the category being considered, and one of those years has to be acting under a supervisory role. This last requirement could be substituted by at least three years of undergraduate credit hours. When the contractor wishes to be certified as a building or general contractor, he/she must present evidence of experience in four of these categories:

In addition to these requirements, contractors must present their past criminal history information, insurance minimum bonding active at all times ($300K liability, $5k property damage) or any other amount the contractor boards deemed necessary. Finally, the contractor must also present active workers’ compensation coverage or an exemption.

Florida Contractor License: Uncategorized Trades

The complexity and variety of construction business is changing day to day. If you want to be considered a certified contractor, but the trade you perform is not listed by the Board, you must verify with your local county to see if they offer the type of license you are requesting. In case the trade being performed is not listed and the work you perform modifies or created a structure, then a residential, building or general contractor’s license will be issued. However, the following do not require a state contractor’s license:

  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Flooring
  • Paint
  • Wallpaper
  • Window treatments

Florida Contractor License: Reciprocity

The Florida Contractor’s licensing board offers reciprocity. However, you must first demonstrate that the exam you passed in your local state is similar or equivalent to Florida’s or that the requirements on which the contractor license was granted are equivalent to Florida standards.
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