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The license requirements for pros that want to do contractor work are pretty extensive in the state of Florida. In the article below, we’ll try to explain the rules as accurately and easily for homeowners and aspiring contractors alike. Given the changing nature of contractor licenses, we encourage you to reach out should you discover any inaccuracies.
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Florida Contractor’s License Board
The state of Florida has mandated that certain types of contractors must be registered or licensed first before being allowed to work anywhere in the state. In fact, it has also established the Construction Industry Licensing Board in order to regulate the issuing of such licenses, as well as the registration of contractors.
This Licensing Board is under the Division of Regulation, which is part of Florida’s Department of Business & Professional Regulation. It handles all construction-related contractor licenses and registrations, and this is who you should contact in order to apply for your license or register with the state.
You may reach the Board for all your contractor licensing and registration inquiries through their Customer Contact Center by calling them at (850) 487-1395 or sending them a fax at (850) 488-8040. You can also contact them at the following address:
Division of Professions
Construction Industry Licensing Board
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0791
They also came up with a set of laws regarding the construction industry and the people involved in it, including contractors, which you can check out at http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0400-0499/0489/0489.html.
Electrical contractors, on the other hand, are governed by the state’s Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board which is also under the Department of Business & Professional Regulation. If you are an electrical contractor applying for a license in Florida, you may get in touch with the board to obtain copies of their publications, as well as the necessary application forms and other queries, by sending a fax at (850) 488-8040, calling them at (850) 487-1395, or directly contacting them at:
Division of Professions
Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0791
Out-of-state corporations, including foreign corporations as well as those with limited partnerships, may also conduct business in Florida, provided that they lodge an application first with the Registration Section of the Division of Corporations, which is under the Office of the Secretary of State’s. You can reach them through mail at P.O. Box 6327, Tallahassee, FL 32314 or by calling them at (850) 245-6051. Other information involving corporations and filing in the state to conduct business may be found at https://dos.myflorida.com/sunbiz/.
Contractor License Classifications
Construction contractor licenses issued by the state of Florida fall under two major categories, which are the certified contractor license and the registered contractor license.
Being issued a registered contractor license means that your license is only valid at the local level. That is, only in the city or county you acquired it. You cannot use that same license to do contracting work in another city or county in Florida.
On the other hand, a certified contractor license allows you to do contracting work at the state level. This means that if you have a valid certified contractor license issued by the state of Florida, you may be able to work as a contractor in any city or county of the state, regardless of where in Florida you obtained your license.
These licenses are further divided into two more categories, which are applicable for both certified and registered contractors. These contractors are classified as Division I and Division II contractors.
Three types of contractors belong to the Division I classification:
- Residential contractor – permitted to work on residences that accommodate up to three families, but the houses should not be more than two stories high. It includes the repair, remodel, and even construction of such homes.
- Building contractor – can work on both residential and commercial buildings, including their construction, repairs, remodeling, and improvement, as long as they are not more than three stories high
- General contractor – allowed to work on any kind of building or structure, regardless of height.
The Division II classifications are the following:
- Air Conditioning Contractor – can install, repair, design, alter, maintain, and extend heating, refrigeration, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. However, he or she cannot work on natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas lines in buildings, sanitary sewer lines, electrical power wiring, swimming pool piping and filters, and potable water connections and lines
Air conditioning contractors are classified into three categories, which are Class A contractors allowed to work in any of those systems, including duct work as long as it is connected to a heating or cooling system, Class B contractors limited to working on cooling and heating systems of up to 25 tons in terms of cooling and 500,000 BTU in terms of heating, and Class C contractors that are only permitted to do servicing work on such systems and have obtained their license as such on or before October 1, 1988 only. This means that only Class A and Class B licenses are issued at present for new applicants.
- Mechanical Contractor – has the same scope of work as an air conditioning contractor but in an unlimited capacity in terms of the scope of work. However, he or she is not allowed to work on sanitary sewer lines, swimming pool filters and piping, electrical power wirings, and lines and connections of potable water.
- Plumbing Contractor – permitted to work on plumbing, specifically in terms of installation, repair and maintenance, extension, design, and alteration, as long as it is allowed by local laws
Plumbing contractors can work on the following in Florida: irrigation systems, storm or sanitary drainage systems, swimming pool piping, public and private water supply stems, venting systems, drainage and supply wells, septic tanks, solar heating water systems and all related equipment, pneumatic control piping systems, medical gas systems, gasoline and fuel oil piping and the installation of tanks and pumps (except for bulk storage plants), ink and chemical lines, and fire sprinklers and fire line standpipes as mandated by law.
- Pollutant Storage System Contractor – can design, install, repair, extend, alter, and maintain the materials and other items that are needed in the installation, repair and maintenance, alteration, and extension of pollutant storage tanks
- Residential Pool/Spa Contractor – can work swimming pools, spas, or hot tubs on residential properties only. It includes the construction, replacement, modification, and repairs of new and existing systems, as well as their flooring, filter equipment, pool heaters, and other related equipment, but not including potable water lines and sanitary sewer systems
- Commercial Pool/Spa Contractor – only difference with the residential pool/spa contractor is that the contractor under this classification may only work on pools, spas, or hot tubs on commercial properties
- Roofing Contractor – can install, repair, design, alter, and extend roofing, as well as related coatings and waterproofing. This license also covers the attachments required in roof decks and the repairs or replacement of fascia and wood roof sheathing when replacing or repairing a roof
- Sheet Metal Contractor – may manufacture, assemble, fabricate, install, erect, condition, install, handle, adjust, alter, insulate, and design ferrous or nonferrous metal work involving U.S. No. 10 gauges, its counterpart, or a lighter gauge, as well as fiberglass
- Solar Contractor – permitted to install solar panels and equipment related to it, as well as repair, maintain, alter, replace, or relocate them. These solar panels can be connected to potable and swimming pool solar water heating systems, as well as photovoltaic systems
- Specialty Contractor – is limited to working on specific phases on a construction project, as well as the subsets of activities listed in the categories defined in the statutes of the state, specifically 489.105, F.S. You can check this out in detail here: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0400-0499/0489/Sections/0489.105.html. Contractors who are classified as such include those who work on building demolition, marine, drywall, irrigation, gas line, residential pool/spa servicing, glass and glazing, structure, industrial facilities, tower, and swimming pools in terms of layout, structural, excavation, trim, decking, piping, and finishes.
- Underground Utility and Excavation Contractor – able to install, construct, and repair main water distribution systems, main sanitary sewer collection systems, and storm sewer collection systems. The contractor can also do the installation of empty underground conduits in easements, rights-of-way, sleeves for parking lot crossings with a diameter of at least 2 inches, and platted rights-of-way, as well as do the continuation of utility lines from its main systems to the termination points
- Swimming Pool Specialty Contractor – permitted to work on swimming pools in terms of its excavation, layout, trim, structural, finishes, piping, and decking. However, the contractor is required to be employed under contract and be supervised by a licensed contractor and cannot directly contract with a client.
Electrical contractors, on the other hand, are governed by a separate board, so they do not fall under any of the above license divisions. These contractors have the following classifications:
- Electrical Contractor – allowed to work on the electrical field, including the installation, alteration, repair, design, and addition of electrical wirings, conduits, fixtures, appliances, raceways, and apparatus. They can work on the different specialty categories and all alarm systems, as well as electrical systems and installations in plants and substations
- Registered Electrical Contractor – has the same role as an electrical contractor but is limited to working in the county or city he or she is registered in and is also not allowed to work on contracts involving alarm systems
- Alarm System Contractor I – permitted to install, lay out, fabricate, alter, repair, maintain, inspect, monitor, service, or replace all types of alarm systems and other similar signaling devices
- Registered Alarm System Contractor I – same in work scope with an alarm system contractor I but is limited to working only in the county or state where he or she is registered
- Alarm System Contractor II – can work on all alarm systems, except for fire alarms
- Registered Alarm System Contractor II – also allowed to install all kinds of alarm systems, excluding fire alarms, but is also limited to working on contracts in the city or county he or she obtained the registered license
- Registered Residential Alarm System Contractor – may only install burglar alarm systems in residences, specifically mobile homes, single-family residences, and quadruplex housing, in the city or county that granted the license
- Specialty Contractor – can work on specific segments of alarm and electrical systems only. These include the utility line specialist, elevator specialist, residential electrical contractor, low voltage system specialist, those who maintain electrical fixtures, and those who fabricate, maintain, erect, and install electrical advertising signs
- Registered Specialty Contractor – can work in the same scope as a specialty contractor but is limited to doing so in the county or city where he or she is registered.
Asbestos contractors also do not fall under any of the two Divisions available, although their licenses are also issued by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. These contractors may enclose, encapsulate, remove, or dispose materials or waste that contain asbestos, like asbestos siding, or hire employees to do it, when doing construction, demolition, renovation, or maintenance works.
How to Get a Contractor’s License and the Advantages of Getting One
The requirements in order to get a contractor’s license depend on the type of license you are applying for. In general, contractors must pass the examinations at either the local level or at state level.
It is required for all applicants to prove that they are financially capable and should have no judgments against the contractor, as well as active liens. They must also get a FICO score of 660 or above when they apply. For those with a score less than 660, they can provide an Irrevocable Letter of Credit to the state or a Florida Industries Financially Responsible Officer Bond.
The Florida Construction Industries License Bonds required by the state for contractors under the Division I licenses must be in the amount of $20,000, while the Division II contractors are required to get a Florida Industries Financially Responsible Officer Bond amounting to $10,000. If you aim to be financially responsible officer of a business entity qualified to do construction work, you must provide a Florida Financially Responsible Officer for Construction Bond of $100,000.
Military personnel and veterans who were honorably discharged, as well as their spouses and surviving spouses of a former active duty member, may acquire their contractor licenses aided by the state’s Licensing Fee Waiver Program. However, they must first be part of any branch of the United States Armed Forces or the Florida National Guard. This program allows those qualified to apply for contractor licenses without having the need to pay for the necessary fees. Applications must be filed within 60 months after an applicant has been honorably discharged. The spouses who will apply for contractor licenses are required to be married to the military personnel during the time he or she was discharged. Information about this program can be found at this website: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/military-services/veterans-services/.
Applicants with low income may also have their fees waived under the state’s Low Income Fee Waiver Program. For an applicant to qualify for this program, he or she must prove to the Board that his or her yearly household income is either at 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines or below. You can check if you qualify through the calculator or matrix available at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/low-income-fee-waiver-program/, which also contains other important information regarding the program.
Only some applications may be filed online but you can find the appropriate forms on the Department’s website, which you can download and print out to fill out. Full information regarding these licenses and the application process can be found here: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/DBPR/construction-industry/#1489159936159-f5999a2f-2160. For the electrical contractor licenses, you may refer to http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/electrical-contractors/#certliceleccontractorapply1.
Upon receiving your registered contractor’s license, you must either get a workers’ compensation insurance or an exemption from acquiring that insurance within 30 days.
Registered Contractor’s License Application
In order to get a registered contractor license, regardless of its division or your scope of work, you only need to register with the local licensing authority of the county or city you will do contracting work in. Once your application has been accepted, you will then be issued a Certificate of Competency and will be registered with the Department. This certificate will only be issued if the licensing authority believes that you have fulfilled its competency requirements.
Fees will depend on the date you filed your application. If you will submit your application between May 1 during an odd year to August 31 during an even year, you must pay $309. But if you will be applying from September 1 in an even year to April 30 in an odd year, will pay a lower fee of $209. These fees apply to all categories of registered contractor license applications unless otherwise stated. Payment for the application fee must be in the form of a check payable to
Only the following classifications, as well as certain cases, can be issued a registered contractor’s license: the ‘Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.’
- Air conditioning
- Precision Tank Tester
- Tank Lining Applicator
- Underground Utility and Excavation
Specific requirements to obtain a registered contractor license for the classifications listed above are:
- Submitting to a background check that includes fingerprinting
- Evidence of financial capacity
- Proof that you have insurance on property damage and public liability
- Proof that you have a Certificate of Competency (instead of taking a certification exam at the state-level) that shows your name and matches the category that you are applying the license for
- Must be more than 18 years old.
The application form for individual applicants can be downloaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB2_Registered_Contractor_Individual.pdf. For those applying as a contractor qualifying a business form, the appropriate forms can be found here: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB3_Registered_Contractor_Qualifying_Business.pdf.
The state also offers the registration license for Registered Swimming Pool Specialty Practical Examiners. For this license, you must first be either a registered or licensed swimming pool contractor in Florida. You must also have completed a swimming pool specialty contractor practical examiner course that is approved by the CILB. You can find the application form for this license at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB21_Registration_Swimming_Pool_Specialty_Contractor_Practical_Examiner.pdf. The application fee costs $50 and payments should be in the form of checks payable to the ‘Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.’
Florida also allows additional registration of another business for contractors that already hold a valid license in the state. Its application form can be found at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/forms/feepops/06xx_1032_registered.html. The requirements for it are:
- Proof of your financial capacity that includes your credit reports, as well as that of the business entity, whenever applicable
- Fingerprinting and submitting to a background investigation
- Proof that you have the necessary property damage insurance, as well as public liability insurance.
- Competency card issued by a local licensing that also indicates the name of the applicant
- Personal appearance if do not own more than half of the business, as well as the proposed business.
If you qualify, you can also get a Limited Non-Renewable Registration if you will work on a single project in Florida and have already been issued a license by another state. To do this, you must completely fill out the application form uploaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB20_Limited_Non-Renewable_Registration.pdf and fulfill the following requirements:
- A copy of your license that was issued in another state, as well as proof that you took a competency exam for that license in the state where it was issued. If no exam was required in order for you to obtain your license, you must state it through a letter
- Completing a background check that includes fingerprinting
- Proof of your financial standing
It costs $309 for this application but you also need to pay an additional $200 if you are also applying with a Financially Responsible Officer.
These licenses, no matter the classification, are valid for two years and you must renew it during odd years, specifically every August 31.
Certified Contractor’s License Application
For the certified contractor’s license, the state requires that you fulfill the requirements of the type of license you are applying for, including taking the necessary state-level trade examinations required by the license classification. The application form for the examination can be downloaded from http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/servop/testing/documents/exam_applic_pack.pdf. This form applies to all licenses covered by the certified contractor’s license classification, regardless of division.
However, passing the exams does not guarantee that you will be granted a certified contractor license, since your submitted requirements still need to be evaluated by the Board to determine if you will be issued a license or not. The board places emphasis on the financial capacity of an applicant and is a big factor whether they will be granted licenses or not. Like registered contractors, the Board requires applicants to have a credit score not lower than 660.
Upgrade methods are available for certain types if you are applying for a certified license.
The state issues certified contractor licenses for the following types:
- Pollutant Storage System
- Air Conditioning
- Sheet Metal
- Residential Pool/Spa
- Commercial Pool/Spa
- Underground Utility and Excavation
The license fees for a certified contractor’s license generally cost $249 when the application was filed sometime from May 1 in an even year to August 31 in an odd year, and it costs $149 when submitting the application anytime from September 1 of an odd year to April 30 of an even year. Payments should be in check form and made payable to the ‘Department of Business and Professional Regulation.’ This applies when all of the parts of the exam were passed after January 1, 2009.
However, you need to pay different fees when you passed any part of the exam before January 1, 2009. You are required to pay $409 if applying between May 1 of an even year to August 31 of an odd year, or $309 when you apply from September 1 in an odd year up to April 30 in an even year.
Certified contractor licenses are also valid for two years. The renewal is during August 31 of every even year.
Division I Contractor Licenses
The requirements for a Division I contractor’s license, for both individuals and qualifying businesses, are as follows:
- Work experience (as a foreman and worker) equivalent to or completion of a construction degree of at least 4 years, or a combination of both
- Passing a background check that includes fingerprinting
- Proof of your current financial status by submitting your or the company’s credit reports, which must indicate the credit score that is FICO derived
- Evidence that you have property damage insurance and public liability insurance
- At least 18 years of age at the time of application
The above requirements apply to residential, business, and general contractors.
Residential Contractor’s License Application
- Registered license – individual contractor applicants must use the form found here: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB2_Registered_Contractor_Individual.pdf, while the applicable form for those applying as qualifying businesses is http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB3_Registered_Contractor_Qualifying_Business.pdf.
- Certified license – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6C_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Residential.pdf is the form for individual contractors and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB7C_Certified_Contractor_Qualify_Additional_Business_Residential.pdf is for those qualifying a business
You can go here to lookup residential contractor licenses in Florida the easy way.
Building Contractor’s License Application
- Registered license – you must use this form http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB2_Registered_Contractor_Individual.pdf if you are an individual contractor and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB3_Registered_Contractor_Qualifying_Business.pdf if qualifying a business
- Certified license – the form that must be used by individual contractor applicants is uploaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5C_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Residential.pdf. Contractor applicants who are qualifying a business must use this form: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6B_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Building.pdf.
Building contractor applicants may also use the upgrade method to obtain a certified license. If you are a certified residential contractor that has a valid current license of at least 3 years in the classification you are certified in, you do not need to provide your employment history as long as you indicate your license number on the form.
General Contractor’s License Application
- Residential contractor – individual contractors should use the form http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB2_Registered_Contractor_Individual.pdf, while those qualifying a business must use the one at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB3_Registered_Contractor_Qualifying_Business.pdf
- Certified license – applicants for this license may get their application form from http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5A_Certified_Contractor_Individual_General.pdf, while those contractors qualifying a business may obtain their application form at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6A_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_General.pdf.
You can also use the upgrade method when applying for a certified general contractor’s license. To do so, you must be a certified residential or building contractor holding a valid license of 4 years or more in the classification that you are certified in. You also need to provide your license number to qualify.
Division II Contractor Licenses
Licenses under the Division II classification also have general requirements applicable to all applicants of the license types under this division, unless otherwise stated. These requirements are:
- For you to be more than 18 years old and submit to a background check. Note that the background check includes fingerprinting,
- Have a total of at least 4 years in terms of your college degree or coursework and work experience (as a foreman and as a worker),
- Show that you are financially capable of being a contractor either as an individual contractor or as a qualifying business, and
- Acquired insurances, specifically property damage and public liability insurances.
The above requirements apply to both individual and qualifying business applicants.
Air Conditioning Contractors
- Registered license – use the form at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB2_Registered_Contractor_Individual.pdf if you are an individual contractor and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB3_Registered_Contractor_Qualifying_Business.pdf if you are qualifying a business
- Certified license – individual applicants for the Class A license may download their application form from http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5G_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Class-A-Air.pdf. Contractors who are qualifying a business should use this application form: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6G_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Class-A-Air.pdf. For Class B license applications, the forms that must be used are http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5H_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Class-B-Air.pdf for individuals and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6H_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Class-B-Air.pdf if qualifying a business.
The upgrade method in lieu of providing your employment history for a certified license application also applies here, specifically for those applying for a Class A license. To qualify, you must meet one of these requirements: an air-conditioning Class B contractor that has had a valid current license for at least a year in the classification that you obtained your certification from, or an air-conditioning Class C contractor that has been issued a certified license that has been valid for more than 4 years in any classification
- Registered license – use the form at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB2_Registered_Contractor_Individual.pdf if applying as an individual contractor and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB3_Registered_Contractor_Qualifying_Business.pdf if you want to qualify a business
- Certified license – individual contractors applying for this license should download the form located at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5F_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Mechanical.pdf. On the other hand, use this form http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6F_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Mechanical.pdf if you are an applicant qualifying a business.
- Registered license – fill out this form http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB2_Registered_Contractor_Individual.pdf if you are an individual contractor and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB3_Registered_Contractor_Qualifying_Business.pdf when you are qualifying a business
- Certified license – individual applicants must completely fill out the form that can be downloaded at this website: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5M_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Plumbing.pdf. For those applying as a contractor qualifying a business, the form you should use is uploaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6M_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Plumbing.pdf.
Pollutant Storage System Contractors
You must fill out the application forms found on their website if you want to apply for this certified license. Use the form found at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5P_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Pollutant-Storage.pdf if you are applying as an individual applicant or http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6P_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Pollutant-Storage.pdf if you will be qualifying a business.
Registered Pool/Spa Contractors
Individual applicants should use the form uploaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB2_Registered_Contractor_Individual.pdf and those qualifying a business should use this form: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB3_Registered_Contractor_Qualifying_Business.pdf.
Certified Residential Pool/Spa Contractors
Applicants for the residential pool/spa contractor’s license must fill out the following forms: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5K_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Residential-Pool.pdf for individual applicants and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/forms/feepops/0607_8030.html if the applicant is a contractor qualifying a business.
The upgrade method is available for this type of license. To be eligible, you must be a certified swimming pool servicing contractor who possesses a valid license in the classification you are certified in for a minimum of 3 years.
Certified Commercial Pool/Spa Contractors
To get the application form for this license, you need to go to http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5J_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Commercial-Pool.pdf for individual applicants. But if you are a contractor who will be qualifying a business, the form you need to use is located at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6J_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Commercial-Pool.pdf.
You can also use the upgrade method for this license, instead of providing your work history. However, you can only do so if you meet one of the requirements listed below:
- A residential swimming pool contractor in possession of a current license that has been valid for at least a year in the classification that he or she is certified in
- A certified swimming pool servicing contractor also in possession of a valid current license for at least 4 years in the classification where he or she is certified in.
- Registered license – for individual contractors, the form that must be used is http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB2_Registered_Contractor_Individual.pdf, while it is http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB3_Registered_Contractor_Qualifying_Business.pdf for those qualifying business
- Certified license – roofing contractors who want to be licensed need to fill out the form found at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5I_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Roofing.pdf when applying as an individual contractor or http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6I_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Roofing.pdf for contractors who are applying in order to qualify a business.
Sheet Metal Contractors
- Registered license – application forms can be found at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB2_Registered_Contractor_Individual.pdf for individual contractors and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB3_Registered_Contractor_Qualifying_Business.pdf for contractors who are qualifying a business
- Certified license – individuals applying for this license should download and fill out the form from http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5D_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Sheet-Metal.pdf, while those qualifying their businesses should use this form: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6D_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Sheet-Metal.pdf.
For solar contractors, the application form for individuals applying for a certified license can be downloaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5O_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Solar.pdf, while contractors aiming to qualify their businesses may get their forms at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6O_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Solar.pdf.
Application forms for the certified specialty contractor’s license application will depend on the specialty you are applying for. Found below are the links for the application forms per specialty. Regular application fees for certified licenses apply unless stated otherwise. These fees also depend on the date of application:
- Building demolition – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5AD_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Demolition.pdf for individual applicants (application fee of either $109 or $209) and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6AD_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Demolition.pdf for those qualifying a business (application fee of either $149 or $249)
- Marine – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5T_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Marine.pdf for individual applicants and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6T_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Marine.pdf for contractors who are qualifying a business
- Drywall – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5Q_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Drywall.pdf for individual applicants and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6Q_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Drywall.pdf for those qualifying a business
- Irrigation – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5AC_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Irrigation.pdf for individual applicants (application fee of either $109 or $209) and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6AC_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Irrigation.pdf for those qualifying a business (application fee of either $149 or $249)
- Gas line – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5R_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Gas-Line.pdf for individual contractors and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6R_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Gas-Line.pdf for contractors qualifying businesses
- Residential pool/spa servicing – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5AE_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Residential-Pool-Servicing.pdf for individual applicants (application fee of either $149 or $249) and https://www.myfloridalicense.com/CheckListDetail.asp?SID=&xactCode=8002&clientCode=0627&XACT_DEFN_ID=2989 for contractors qualifying businesses (application fee of either $149 or $249)
- Glass and glazing – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5S_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Glass-Glazing.pdf for individual contractors and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6S_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Glass-Glazing.pdf for those qualifying businesses
- Structure – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5E_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Specialty-Structure.pdf for individual contractors and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6E_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Specialty-Structure.pdf for those qualifying a business
- Industrial facilities – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5AF_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Industrial.pdf for individual contractors and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6AF_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Industrial.pdf if qualifying a business
- Tower – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5AB_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Tower.pdf if applying as an individual contractor or http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6AB_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Tower.pdf if qualifying a business
- Swimming pool layout – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5U_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Swimming-Pool-Layout.pdf for individual contractors (application fee of either $109 or $209) and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6U_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Swimming-Pool-Layout.pdf for those qualifying a business (application fee of either $109 or $209), and with at least 4 years of experience in terms of swimming pool layouts
- Swimming pool structural – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5V_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Swimming-Pool-Structural.pdf if you are an individual contractor (application fee of either $109 or $209) and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6V_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Swimming-Pool-Structural.pdf if qualifying a business (application fee of either $109 or $209). You are also required to have experience of a minimum of 4 years in the swimming pool structural specialty trade
- Swimming pool excavation – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5W_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Swimming-Pool-Excavation.pdf if applying as an individual contractor (application fee of either $109 or $209) and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6W_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Swimming-Pool-Excavation.pdf if qualifying a business (application fee of either $109 or $209), but both must have 4 years or more worth of experience in terms of swimming pool excavation
- Swimming pool trim – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5X_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Swimming-Pool-Trim.pdf if you are an individual contractor (application fee of either $109 or $209) and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6X_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Swimming-Pool-Trim.pdf if you are qualifying a business (application fee of either $109 or $209). Make sure that you have an experience in the swimming pool trim trade of a minimum of 4 years before applying
- Swimming pool decking – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5Y_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Swimming-Pool-Decking.pdf if you are an individual contractor (application fee of either $109 or $209) and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6Y_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Swimming-Pool-Decking.pdf if qualifying a business (application fee of either $109 or $209). You are also required to have a minimum of 4 years’ experience in terms of swimming pool decking
- Swimming pool piping – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6Z_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Swimming-Pool-Piping.pdf for an individual contractor (application fee of either $109 or $209) and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6Z_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Swimming-Pool-Piping.pdf if qualifying a business (application fee of either $109 or $209). It is important that you have 4 years or more worth of experience in terms of swimming pool piping
- Swimming pool finishes – http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5AA_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Swimming-Pool-Finishes.pdf for individual contractors (application fee of either $109 or $209) and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6AA_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Swimming-Pool-Finishes.pdf if qualifying a business (application fee of either $109 or $209)
Make sure to check the forms for the amount you need to pay for the application fee, as these fees vary.
Underground Utility and Excavation Contractors
- Registered license – individual applicants should fill out the forms at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB2_Registered_Contractor_Individual.pdf, while those who are qualifying a business should use http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB3_Registered_Contractor_Qualifying_Business.pdf
- Certified license – complete the form found at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB5N_Certified_Contractor_Individual_Underground-Utility.pdf if you are applying as an individual contractor and http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB6N_Certified_Contractor_Qualifying_Business_Underground-Utility.pdf if you aim to qualify a business.
Swimming Pool Specialty Practical Examiner Application
All applicants for this license are only required to present evidence that they have finished a swimming pool specialty contractor practical examiner course, which has been CILB-approved. Aside from that, you only need to pay for the application fee, which is $50. This applies to both registered and certified licenses applicants.
You can find the application form here: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB21_Registration_Swimming_Pool_Specialty_Contractor_Practical_Examiner.pdf.
Qualifying Additional Business Entity with an Existing License
If you already have a contractor license issued by the state of Florida, either as an individual or as a contractor who qualifies a business entity, you are allowed to apply to qualify an additional business entity. You will need to fill out the forms uploaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/documents/CILB9_Qualifying_Additional_Business_Existing_License.pdf. The application form is valid for both registered and certified licenses. Fees, however, will depend on the type of license you are applying for. It will cost either $109 or $209 for a certified license or $209 or $309 for a registered license, depending on the date of your application.
Aside from the usual requirements for certified contractors, you also need to provide the FICO-derived credit score of both the currently qualified business entity and the business entity you are proposing to be also qualified. And if you are also applying with a Financially Responsible Officer, you also need to submit the credit score of this officer from the business entity you are qualifying, as well as pay an additional fee of $200 for the application.
- Registered license – applicants must provide proof that they have passed a local licensing examination, as well as their copy of a local competency card, since Florida does not have an electrical exam for the registered electrical contractor licenses. The forms and other requirements that you can pass can be found at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/elboard/documents/ECLB3_Registered_Contractor.pdf. You must pay $155 for the initial license.
- Certified license – the state requires that those who will be this license must be at least 18 years old and have passed the state examination. The form for the examination, which costs $316.25, can be found at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/elboard/documents/ECLB8_Exam.pdf and the application form for the license may be downloaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/elboard/documents/ECLB1_Certification_by_Exam.pdf. It costs $300 if you are applying for the Active status and $55 for the Inactive status. You must also submit your W-2 forms for every year of your work experience, credit report, transcript of your school records, and other supporting documents
Alarm System I Contractor
- Registered license – aside from filling out the application form, which you must download at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/elboard/documents/ECLB3_Registered_Contractor.pdf, you also need to provide a copy of your local competency card and evidence that you have passed a local licensing examination, as well as pay the application fee of $155.
- Certified license – you need to take the exam for this license by filling out the application form found at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/electrical-contractors/#certliceleccontractorapply1 and pay the license fee of $316.25. The application form can be found at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/elboard/documents/ECLB1_Certification_by_Exam.pdf. You also need to submit other documents, such as your credit report, school records, W-2 forms for each year of the work experience you indicated in the form, and pay $300 for the Active status and $55 for the Inactive status.
Alarm System II Contractor
- Registered license – you also need to include a copy of your local competency card, as well as evidence that you passed a licensing examination at the local level, when you submit your application with this form http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/elboard/documents/ECLB3_Registered_Contractor.pdf. The application fee costs $155.
- Certified license – you must first pass the examination first, which has a $316.25 required examination fee, and the form for it may be downloaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/elboard/documents/ECLB8_Exam.pdf. The application form can be downloaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/elboard/documents/ECLB1_Certification_by_Exam.pdf. Requirements for this license include work experience wherein 40% of the work you did in alarm systems does not involve fire alarms, passing the Electrical Contractors exam of Florida not earlier than 2 years before you filed your application, personal credit report with a personal financial statement that shows a positive net worth, business credit report with your business financial statement showing more than $10,000 net worth (if applicable), W-2 forms for every year of work experience that you indicated on your application form, and other documents that can support your application. The Active status also costs $300 and the Inactive status costs $55.
Specialty Contractor (Electrical)
- Registered license – you are required to show evidence that you have taken and passed a local licensing examination and a copy of your local competency card, and pay the required fee of $155. You also need to fill out this form: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/elboard/documents/ECLB3_Registered_Contractor.pdf.
- Certified license – you need to fill out the examination form at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/elboard/documents/ECLB8_Exam.pdf and pay the $316.25 examination fee, as well as the application form uploaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/elboard/documents/ECLB1_Certification_by_Exam.pdf. The application fee costs $300 if you want an Active status and $55 if you want an Inactive status. You must also include proof that you passed both parts of the state’s Electrical Contractors exam taken 2 years ago at maximum before you applied for this license, W-2 forms from every year of your indicated work experience, business credit report and financial statement showing at least $5,000 net worth, and personal credit report and financial statement that proves you have a positive net worth, among others.
Asbestos Contractor’s License Application
Asbestos contractors must also pass the examinations before they can be issued their licenses. The form for the examination, which costs $340, can be found at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/asbest/documents/ALU6_Exam.pdf and an information booklet that serves as a guide for this exam is uploaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/servop/testing/documents/asbe_cib.pdf. The application fee for this licenses can be downloaded at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/asbest/documents/ALU1_Licensure_as_Individual.pdf and the application fee is $555.
The Advantages of Having a Registered or Certified License
Contractors might think that getting registered or certified licenses in the state of Florida are time-consuming and costly, that’s why there are contractors that do not get themselves registered or certified. However, what they do not realize is that the benefits for doing so far outweigh the cost.
First of all, Florida heavily penalizes those who do contracting work without any license, as mentioned in their Statutes, which you can read here: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0400-0499/0489/Sections/0489.127.html. Not only will they pay hefty fines worth $1,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the gravity and frequency of the violation, but they will also possibly face jail time.
Aside from that, there may also be a court-ordered restitution wherein the contractor might have to compensate the victim, in this case his or her client, for the work committed. Compensation in this kind of case normally reaches up to tens of thousands of dollars.
Licensed contractors also give assurances to clients that they really know the trade, because the evidence of it is the fact that they were issued their licenses by the state after fulfilling the requirements and passing required examinations. This is why clients are much more confident in hiring licensed contractors and they are willing to pay top dollar if they know that the contractor can do the job well.
The Importance of Hiring a Contractor with a License
Construction projects, no matter how big or small they may be, will cost money. This is why it is important to get your money’s worth when it comes to these projects. And getting licensed contractors is something that you should never scrimp on.
Getting licensed contractors to do the job will give you the peace of mind that they will do the job successfully. This is because there is a huge risk of facing unfinished projects when you hire unlicensed contractors; most of the unlicensed contractors leave projects unfinished.
Unlicensed contractors also cannot give you the guarantee that they can finish the job and meet your expectations, since they do not have any proof that they know what they are doing. This is the opposite of licensed contractors, since the fact that they were issued licenses means that they met the requirements of the state in terms of knowledge and skills of the trade.
Florida Contractor License Search and Lookup
The state of Florida keeps an online database where anyone can check whether a contractor is really licensed or not. To check whether a contractor has a state-issued license, go to this website: https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp. This database applies to licenses that were issued by the state’s Department of Business & Professional Regulation, including those issued by the Electrical Contractors’ Licensing Board.
The cities and counties of Florida, including the biggest cities like Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Bradenton, Cape Coral, Palm Bay, Port St. Lucie, Palm Coast, and Pensacola, observe the state’s rules and regulations when it comes to the issuance of the contractor licenses, regardless of classification.
City of Miami
The City of Miami follows the state’s regulations when it comes to issuing certified and registered licenses. However, those contractors who want to work in the city are required to register here. This is the city’s way of verifying whether the contractor is truly licensed to practice his or her craft in the state or not.
City of Tampa
Florida’s regulations involving the issuance of certified and registered licenses are also followed by the City of Tampa. However, the city does not require contractors to obtain licenses if they are:
- The owner of the house where one or two families live
- The owner of a commercial building wherein the cost of the construction work is worth less than $75,000 and will not be put up for sale or lease.
City of Bradenton
Contractors with registered and certified licenses are required by the City of Bradenton to register with their Building Department before they can do any kind of contracting work in the city. Certified contractors register for free, while registered and city contractors must pay a $75 registration fee.
City of Cape Coral
The City of Cape Coral also requires contractors that have been issued registered or certified licenses to register with their Department of Community Development. The form for registration can be downloaded at https://www.capecoral.net/Code_Compliance/Contractor%20registration%20application2%207%2026%202017.pdf.
City of Palm Coast
For contractors who will be working in the City of Palm Coast, they must register first with the city’s Building Division before doing so. The registration form is at http://docs.palmcoastgov.com/departments/building/contractor%20registration%20form.pdf. This applies to both certified and registered contractors’ licenses holders.
Contractor’s License Reciprocity
Contractor’s license reciprocity agreements make it easier to obtain the same license classification that you were issued in another state, which has a reciprocity agreement where you are applying for another license. Most of the time, you get to skip some of the requirements needed to be issued a license, particularly passing the required examinations, because of this agreement.
The states that have license reciprocity agreements with Florida, specifically for electrical contractor licenses, are Georgia, North Carolina, and California. The state of Georgia also has reciprocity agreements with Florida for contractors who hold alarm and specialty electrical contractor licenses.