Getting a Florida general contractor license helps one to be a top-tier professional in the construction industry. However, one must undergo through the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB), which works under the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). These agencies dictate the licensing process and implement the requirements that one must have to get a contractor license in Florida.
General contractor applicants must take a Business and Finance exam and trade exam. That's why Contractor Training Center offers exam prep for the National NASCLA Commercial Builder exam and other courses that will help you get a contractor license. In this article, we will discuss several ways that you can use to obtain a general contractor license in Florida.
Requirements for Florida General Contractor's License
There are numerous types of Florida contractor licenses that may require different parameters and documents for eligibility. Nonetheless, the board requires applicants to have attributes such as:
- Have a minimum age of 18 years.
- Showcase your financial status; this requires submitting proof of FICO credit score, which requires a minimum of 660. Applicants with a score under 660 must purchase an additional bond; applicants can reduce the bond requirement by completing a financial responsibility course.
- Pass a Florida State Construction Examination.
- Submit a certificate of insurance. This entails insurance for general liability and workers' compensation insurance.
- Scan and abide with an electronic fingerprint.
- Fill out the application and pay the relevant fees.
Ways to Get a General Contractors License in Florida
Upgrade a County Registered License to a Statewide Certified License
The state of Florida offers two categories of contractor licensing, which entails a registered license and a certified license. A registered license restricts a contractor to work within certain local jurisdictions such as counties and cities. On the other hand, a certified license is valid throughout the state, and contractors can work in any region within the state.
You can upgrade your registered license to a statewide certified license through a grandfather clause. Nonetheless, you need to have attained the following requirements:
- Be 18 years and older.
- Have an active license in categories such as mechanical, building, residential AC, plumbing, roofing, sheet metal, solar, excavation, pollutant storage, pool/spa, and GC.
- Pass a written examination that is identical to the one required for certification.
- Have at least five years of contractor experience in the category that requires grandfathering.
- Have a clean disciplinary record which has not led to suspensions or fines surpassing $500 in the last five years.
- Present a credit report that supports your financial responsibility.
- Perform a fingerprint test for the background of the licensing process.
- Poses public and property damage insurance.
- Pay the application fee and submit the application.
Transfer an Accepted State License
In July 2020, Florida contractor licensing took a major turnaround where out-of-the-state contractors can work within Florida. However, they are required to have worked for over ten years in their respective state to qualify without undertaking a licensing exam. This law is applicable under Chapter 489, Florida Statutes, which entails building contractors, pool contractors, HVAC contractors, and electrical contractors, among others.
The Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) has reciprocal licensing agreements in Louisiana and North Carolina for general, building, and residential licenses. In addition, California general contractor, California building contractor, California solar contractor, and Georgia pollutant storage contractor have exams that are similar to Florida's exam.
Apply for a License Traditionally
If you do not meet the above requirements, you can apply for a license through the Florida CILB for a General Contractor's license. However, this will require completing all the steps of the application and completing the examination process, including taking both the Business and Finance exam and a trade exam.
All license applicant requirements discussed above still apply. Are you thinking about applying for a General Contractor's license in Florida but don't know if you can meet these stringent requirements? Talk to a license specialist on a Contractor Licensing Start-Up Consultation call linked here!
There are strict repercussions for people who engage in contractor activities without obtaining the right license. Moreover, getting a license will elevate your demand in the construction industry. You can undertake an examination to get a registered license. This allows you to work in various local jurisdictions such as counties and cities. On the other hand, you can also upgrade your registered license to a statewide license or transfer an accepted state license.
You can take advantage of the Contractor Training Center business, finance prep courses, and reference materials when applying for a license. We also have application assistance, live classes, and self-study programs for our clients. Sign up for Contractor Training Center's license exam prep and application assistance services to get your Florida General Contractor's License with ease!