Licensing and Regulatory Compliance

What Is a License?

A construction license is a permit that allows a contractor to perform a certain type of work. Each state has different licensing requirements, but most include passing exams, meeting specific criteria, submitting proof of insurance and bond, and of course, paying a fee. Florida legislature requires many construction professions to be licensed, such as architects, land surveyors, engineers, general contractors, and certain subcontractors. Fla. Stat. Ann. §481.213; Fla. Stat. Ann. §472; Fla. Stat. Ann. §471; and Fla. Stat. Ann. §489.111. While this is not a complete list, as there are many different construction jobs, to find out whether you need one, you can go to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation.

The Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation is Florida’s main site for licenses and offers various resources including license applications, verifying licensees, and filing complaints. Individuals may file a complaint against unlicensed individuals who should otherwise be licensed.

How to Figure out Necessary Licenses

As stated previously, there are some subcontractors and other positions that don’t require licenses to do work. There are various ways to figure out whether you need a license for your job. You can go to, you can read Florida statutes, or to take extra precautions, you can contact a construction attorney at RAK Law Firm (407)-437-0319. We can provide guidance with your construction licensing needs and provide excellent legal advice.

Consequences of Performing Unlicensed Construction Work

Acting as an unlicensed contractor in Florida can result in major criminal and civil penalties. An unlicensed person who falsely holds himself or herself or a business organization out as a licensee, certificate holder, or registrant, violates the provision and commits a misdemeanor of the first degree. Fla. Stat. §489.127(1)-(2) Unlicensed contractors may face civil penalties of $2,000 levied by local authorities, and up to $2,500 per day for each violation if levied by the enforcement or licensing board. Fla. Stat. §489.127(5)(c)-(f).

Additionally, the consequences of unlicensed construction work do not cease at the detriment of the contractor. The major consequence of hiring or working with an unlicensed contractor is that contracts entered by unlicensed contractors are unenforceable. Fla. Stat. §489.128(1). This means that if you enter into a contract with an unlicensed contractor, the parties don’t have to perform their obligations or duties, such as performing work or providing compensation. To avoid this issue, it is important to make sure that the individual is licensed, and you can do this by searching at, or have a RAK Law Firm attorney help find the answer.

How to be Regulatory Compliant

The construction industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries. There are regulations for contractual agreements, building codes, insurance and bonding requirements, credit checks, lien requirements, safety requirements, and the list continues. With construction projects, big or small, it can be difficult for contractors to keep track of every regulation along with busy schedules, budgets, deadlines, and change orders.

One way to be regulatory compliance involves learning the basic requirements for each field, like contract agreements, building codes, bond requirements, lien requirements and so forth. A deep dive into the details of every regulation is not needed to get a full grasp of the whole picture. But be sure to check with the relevant authorities in your local area so you know what applies to you.

To ensure effectiveness, contractors and/or managers should actively communicate regulation requirements to everyone participating in the project. They should also collect all relevant documentation and store it in a save space. It is also essential to communicate with parties when documents, such as licenses or permits, are expiring.

Another way to improve compliance with regulations is to create a Manual Compliance Program. This program would be responsible for keeping track of all compliance data, updates, and regulations. It would be a system where any employee can easily access documents and check expirations.

Lastly, the attorneys at RAK Law Firm can aid you in complying with regulations. We cover all regulations that may affect your business or construction project. If you are a busy contractor who is concerned about heavy fines or lawsuits, our attorneys can help avoid those predicaments. If you have any questions or concerns arising from construction regulations or licensing, please do not hesitate to contact us at (407)-437-0319.

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