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Florida Contractor License Courses, Classes & Exam Prep
Obtaining a Contractor’s License in the State of Florida
Obtaining a contractor’s license in Florida can be difficult. The process is long and intense, but for a good reason.
If getting your license was easy, then just anyone could work on houses and commercial buildings. The elaborate process ensures that only qualified professionals can legally work in Florida.
Every state has specific laws when it comes to the construction industry.
In Florida, you need a contractor’s license to perform construction work legally. The license will allow you to take on building new construction as well as working on existing structures.
Contractor Training Center provides you with all the resources you need to obtain your license! Read on to learn more about getting your Florida license and how we can help.
Registered vs. Certified Contractor’s License
In Florida, you can earn a registered license at the local level. This registration only allows you to work in the county in which you operate.
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, however, issues certified contractor’s licenses. These licenses allow you to work anywhere in the state.
(Note: Some counties require you to have a certified license even if you have a registered license.)
Earning Your Certified Contractor’s License
If you want to perform work anywhere in Florida, a certified contractor’s license is your best bet.
To earn a certified contractor’s licenses, you must pass a trade exam. (In Florida, the NASCLA license can supplement a trade exam.) Passing the exam is only part of the process. Later on, we discuss additional requirements you must meet.
What You Can Expect From Us
When you use our services, you will have everything you need to earn your contractor’s license.
NASCLA Exam Prep
We offer prep for your NASCLA license. As mentioned above, Florida accepts the NASCLA license as passing the trade exam. Fifteen other U.S. states also accept this license. We provide books, tabs, and prep classes for the NASCLA exam. These resources break down the material and cover key concepts, setting you up for success. We also offer a NASCLA Exam Prep Tabbed and Highlighted Book Bundle. This bundle is one of our most popular products. It points you to the most relevant information, and you can use it to help you pass the open-book NASCLA exam.
Those who use our services have a high first-time pass rate. If you don’t pass the first time, we’re here for you. We’ll review your test and provide study tips based on the questions you missed. You can repeat our class for free until you pass!
Application Consulting and Submission
Aside from the NASCLA exam prep, we also provide application consulting and submission.
Our experts help you navigate the confusing process. We start with a consulting session to determine the license for which you should apply if you have not yet decided. Then, we help you with the actual application. We ensure you use the appropriate forms and fill them out accurately. Before you submit your application to the state licensing agency, we’ll give it a final review.
Contractors across the state have found our consulting and submission services helpful. We help you get it right the first time, so you don’t have to go through the process more than once.
If the licensing agency does reject your application, we’re here for you! We will consult you with the reapplication process and make the appropriate adjustments.
The Benefits of Having a Contractor’s License in Florida
Why should you go through this rigorous process? Some benefits of having a contractor’s license in Florida include:
You’ll Be Complying with the Law
Florida law requires contractors to be licensed and insured. You cannot legally work on residential or commercial construction if you aren’t certified.
If you perform work without a license, the state may impose hefty fines.
You Can Get Insurance
Insurance is essential to have as a contractor. It protects you if there’s a problem with the work you complete.
Without a license, you won’t be able to get contractor insurance.
Gives You Credibility
Having a license increases your credibility, allowing you to build trust with your clients. There are other ways you can gain their trust, but this is a big part of establishing yourself and your business, especially if you're working with new customers.
Getting a contractor's license isn't done overnight, and the process of obtaining a license can be considered a significant investment. Customers often feel at ease knowing a contractor has invested their own time and money working to back up their skills with a license to prove it.
Gives You A Higher Earning Potential
Consequently, there are larger projects that you can't perform without a contractor's license. With one, you can take on big assignments, get more jobs, and increase your profit. More times than not, clients will pay a higher price to a licensed contractor as opposed to unlicensed handymen.
With a license, your clients can trust that you have the knowledge and skills to do what they need. It’s an assurance that you’ll follow all applicable laws and regulations. You can build a relationship with your customers and establish trust in other ways, of course. However, a licensed contractor will stand out far more and attract customers easier.
Additionally, many states legally require businesses to hold a contractor's license to work on projects over a certain financial threshold. If you take the initiative and earn your license now, you can get more business, increase profits, and take on more significant assignments right away. Clients will typically pay a higher fee for licensed contractors because they can trust that the contractor knows what to do and how to do it well.
How Much Work Can You Do Without a Contractor's License in Florida?
In most states, any job over $1,000 requires a contractor’s license, but that is not the case in Florida. Small service jobs that a handyperson can perform do not require licensure. However, only a licensed contractor can perform construction work, including roof work, demolitions, and structural work like additions.
So while you can offer handyman services in Florida without any license, your job scope will be limited without a contractor’s license. With that in mind, you may want to consider earning a contractor’s license in Florida so that you can begin to take on larger jobs and increase your earning potential.
How to Get a Contractor’s License in Florida
Follow these guidelines when applying for a contractor’s license in Florida.
1. Register Your Business
Before starting, you have to register a business. This rule is because the state certifies businesses, not individuals.
As you probably know, you can register your business as a sole proprietorship, corporation, LLC, etc. You might want to talk to an attorney to determine which business entity is right for you.
For more information about registering your business in Florida, click here.
2. Enlist Consulting Services
As we've mentioned, the process of obtaining a license can be confusing. Our consulting services can help you to determine what route to take.
3. Decide What Type of License Your Business Needs
You need to determine what type of license your business needs. This step will ensure that you fill out the right paperwork to earn the appropriate certification.
The first division is for structural licenses. There are three classifications within the first division. You will need to choose the right one depending on your business and what kind of projects you want to complete. The three major classifications are as follows:
- General Contractor (CG and RG)
The General Contractor is the broadest type of first division license you can get. It gives you the most freedom in terms of what kind of projects you can complete. You can perform any kind of work with a General Contractor license.
To get this license, you need at least one year of experience constructing buildings four stories or higher. You also need experience in four of seven specific categories.
- Building Contractor (CB and RB)
A Building Contractor license permits the construction of residential and commercial buildings as long as they don’t exceed three stories.
This license also permits repair, remodeling, and improvement of any sized building.
- Residential Contractor (CR and RR)
As a residential contractor, you can work on residential buildings that do not exceed two stories.
The second division is for non-structural licenses. It includes trades such as roofing, plumbing, spa/pool, etc.
4. Take the Exam
Now that you know which exams to take, you must prepare for them. The exams are intense and require you to be knowledgeable in the industry.
First division licenses require you to pass the following exams:
- Contract Administration
- Project Management
- Business and Finance
Second division licenses require you to pass these exams:
- Trade Knowledge
- Business and Finance
We recommend you study using resources such as the books and tabs from Contractor Training Center. These materials are also helpful in that you can reference them during the test.
Contact us today to start your exam prep and gain access to numerous resources that have helped contractors just like you to pass the exam successfully.
5. Apply for Your License
You can’t start the application process until you pass your exams.
Once you pass, you can apply for your license through the Florida DBPR/Bureau of Education and Testing.
Again, the application process can be daunting. Consider using our application fulfillment services for professional help.
6. Meet Additional Requirements
Passing the exam is only half of the battle. Additional requirements that you must meet include:
- Obtain 4+ years of experience (or a combination of college and experience)
- Submit a credit report to provide proof of financial stability (reports must have a FICO derived credit score and must consist of local, state, and federal records)
- Obtain property damage and public liability insurance in the required amounts
- Obtain worker’s compensation insurance
- Submit a certificate showing you completed an hour CEU course on Florida Code
- Go through a background check and get your fingerprints done
- Pay all fees associated with the application process
Once you meet all of the requirements, you can submit your application!
It may take up to a couple of weeks to hear back. If the Florida DBPR denies your application, you have the opportunity to reapply.
Keep in mind that those who use our services have a high first-time pass rate. This passing rate allows them to get to work as soon as possible.
If you use our services and your application gets denied, then you may retake our course for free until you pass!
Preparing for the Contractor’s Exam
Licensing exams cover a lot of information.
Studying, of course, is crucial to your success. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the material and grasp critical concepts.
Knowing what topics and questions to focus on will also help you pass. Our prep courses review questions that are similar to real exam questions and familiarizes you with the testing process. Our courses are backed by our No-Pass No-Pay Guarantee: if you don't pass the exam, we'll keep working with you until you do!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you wondering if you need to bother with a contractor’s license at all? The definition of a contractor is someone who does the following:
Subtracts, demolishes, builds, or repairs structures
Develops residential or commercial property
If you perform this kind of work, you’ll need to get a license.
Some contractors opt to get a registered license. The exams are usually much easier, and you don’t need to meet as many additional requirements. A registered license only permits you to work in the local county that granted it.
A certified license, however, means that the holder has passed the state exam. They can work anywhere in Florida.
The latter may be the better option as it doesn’t limit your business’s service area. Additionally, customers may find your services more trustworthy.
Last of all - the National NASCLA Exam is not just accepted as a trade exam for Florida contractors - NASCLA is accepted by 15+ other states, too! Learn more about the National NASCLA Exam here.
You must renew your contractor’s license every two years. You’ll get a notice 31 days before the renewal date.
To renew, you must complete at least 14 hours of continuing education. You must complete at least one hour in each of the following:
- Business Practices
- Worker’s Compensation
- Workplace Safety
- Advanced or Specialized Module, which is approved by the Florida Building Commission
- Rules and Laws that regulate the construction industry
- Wind Mitigation Methodologies, if the license is of the following categories: General, Building, Glazing & Glass, Roofing, Specialty Structure, or Residential.
Before test day, you should review the test policies for your exam and ensure you have the correct forms of ID ready to take with you to the exam.
Calculators are permitted if they are silent, hand-held, battery-operated, nonprinting, and without an alphabetic keypad. Solar calculators are not recommended.
The exam is open-book, so you should also have your approved reference manuals with you to take the exam. You may bring only the materials and books on the approved reference list into the test center. We offer the approved reference material for your exams here. The references may be tabbed and highlighted, but removable tabs, such as post-its, are not allowed in the examination center.
The more prepared you are for your exam, the less difficult it will be. Our exam prep seminars are tailored to each exam, ensuring that you only study information that you will need to know for the test. We have an EXTREMELY HIGH first-time pass rate, and we will give you the class again for free if you don’t pass. We have helped over 30,000 contractors get licensed, and we look forward to helping you too!