General Contractor License Florida | Florida Contractors License (2022)

In Florida, you can either become a licensed contractor to perform general contracting work throughout the whole state, or only in your local jurisdiction. Either way, the licensing process will be conducted through the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board— which operates under the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation(DBPR). Requirements to get your general contractors license are established by these agencies, and you will have to adhere to these regulations to obtain any contractors license in Florida, including electricaland plumbinglicenses.

Contracting companies will also need to determine their business structure and register with the appropriate agency to become licensed for tax numbers. Finally, all contractors must obtain liability insurancebefore they can be licensed or begin work. There is much to deliberate, but the information below will walk you through the process of how to become a general contractor in the state of Florida.

General Contractor License Florida | Florida Contractors License (1)

Florida Contractors License Application Requirements

The Florida Construction Industry Licensing Boardoffers many different contractor license types. As different license types allow for varying work parameters, requirements and supporting documents may change slightly for your individual application process. However, the board will require most applicants to:

  • Be 18 years of age.
  • Show proof of financial solvency — Including submitting proof of a FICO credit scoreof a minimum of 660. You may purchase a surety bondif your credit score is lower.
  • Scan and comply with an electronic fingerprint. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement offers a list of approved Livescan Device Vendors.
  • Provide a certificate of insurancefor general liabilityand workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Pass a Florida State Construction Examination.
  • Fill out your application.
  • Pay all application and licensing fees.

While proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensationinsurance is mandatory, you do not need to get bondeduntil you are preparing to work on a specific project. You can research your local construction bond companiesafter getting licensed to guarantee you get the best bond rates.

Several licenses, including the general contractor licenses below, will have additional requirements to be met.

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Florida Contractor License Types

To get a Florida contractors license the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board, operating under the Department of Business and Professional Regulation,requires you to be approved at the state level. The state offers two broad classifications for licensing:

  • Certified license– which is valid throughout the state, permitting the contractor to work anywhere in Florida.
  • Registered license– which limits the contractor to work within specific local jurisdictions. It also requires him/her to have been issued a certificate of competency by those jurisdictions.

Applicants can then apply for more specific contractors licenses under these classifications. A general contractor may be most concerned with applying for the following:

  • Building Contractor– For the construction, repair, remodeling, or improvement of commercial and residential buildings that do surpass three stories in height.
  • Residential Contractor– For the construction, repair, remodeling, or improvement of one-family to three-family dwellings that do not surpass two stories in height.
  • General Contractor– Not limited in the construction, repair, alteration, remodeling, or improvement of any structure or building type.

Florida General Contractor License Applications

As you can see above, The Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board offers two general contractor licenses. A certified general contractors license, in where you can perform general contracting work throughout the state, and a registered general contractors license where you can only perform work in a particular jurisdiction. Below is a breakdown of how to obtain both general contractors licenses in Florida.

Certified General Contractor License

The general contractor certified license is applied for as one of two applicant types: as an individual contractoror as a qualified business. Applicants for a certified Florida contractors license are required first to pass a state certification examination. Only after passing the exam may the application for licensure as a certified contractor process begin.

To apply for a certified general contractors licensein Florida, the following tasks should also be completed:

  1. Download and complete the application for the Florida State Construction Examination.
  2. If a passing score is earned on the exam, download and complete the application packet for either an individual or for a qualified business.
  3. Gather the following additional required documents:
    • A credit score report that includes a FICO approved credit score as proof of financial stability and responsibility.
    • Proof of education/experience
      • Applicants for the certified license are required to have four years of experience or a combination of college and experience.

Additional Application Requirements:

  • Applicants for a certified Florida contractors license must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Applicants must undergo a background check as part of the licensing process, which includes fingerprinting. The state offers a Fingerprint FAQpage with more information on getting fingerprinted.
  • Applicants must be able to attest that they have secured general liability and property damage insurance in the amounts determined by Board rule.
  • Applicants must secure workers’ compensation insurance or be granted an exemption within 30 days of receiving their license. The state maintains a list of recommended credit reporting agenciesfor applicants to consult.

The completed application, required additional documentation, and appropriate fee should be sent to:

State of Florida
Department of Business and Professional Regulation
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783

Registered General Contractor License

Like the certified license, the registered license is also further divided into two applicant options: applicants may register as an individual contractoror as a qualified business. Individual contractors must first either take and pass the Florida State Construction Examination, or possess a certificate of competency from a local licensing office bearing the applicant’s name and the business entity.

To apply for a registered general contractors licensein Florida, the following tasks should be completed:

  1. Download and complete the Florida State Construction Examinationapplication (unless a Certificate of Competency has been issued to the applicant).
  2. If a passing score is earned on the exam, or if the applicant already possesses a Certificate of Competency, download and complete the full application packet for an individual general contractor or a qualifying business.
  3. Gather the following additional required documents:
    • A credit score report that includes a FICO approved credit score as proof of financial stability and responsibility.
    • A copy of the Certificate of Competency issued by the local jurisdiction if taking this option over the written exam.

Additional Application Requirements:

  • Applicants for a general contractor registered license must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Applicants must have a background check as part of the licensing process, which includes fingerprinting. The state offers a Fingerprint FAQpage with more information on getting fingerprinted.
  • Applicants must be able to attest that they have secured general liability and property damage insurance in the amounts determined by Board rule.
  • Applicants must secure workers’ compensation insurance or be granted an exemption within 30 days of receiving their license. The state maintains a list of recommended credit reporting agenciesfor applicants to consult.

The completed application and required additional documentation should be sent to:

State of Florida
Department of Business and Professional Regulation
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783

Licensing and Registration Fee Summary

The application fee for a certified general contractors license, separate from the exam fees, is as follows:

  • If all exam parts were passed prior to January 1, 2009: $409.
    • Applications sent after August 31, 2019: $309.
  • If any exam part was passed after January 1, 2009: $249.
    • Applications sent after August 31, 2019: $149.

The application fees for a registered general contractors licenseare as follows:

  • If applying between May 1 of an odd year through August 31st of an even year: $309.
  • If applying between September 1 of an even year through April 30 of an odd year: $209.

Checks should be made payable to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.

Florida General Contractor Exam

All applicants for a certifiedFlorida contractors license are required to pass the Florida State Construction Examination. Your Florida general contractor exam will be administered through Professional Testing, Inc. Before beginning the application process for actual licensure, you will need to take and pass your exam. The exam has three parts, and the applicant must pass all three:

  1. Project Management (Paper-and-pencil exam taken at test center);
  2. Contract Administration (Paper-and-pencil exam taken at test center);
  3. Business and Finance (Computer-based exam taken at Pearson VUE);

For parts 1 and 2, the paper-and-pencil test may be taken in Tallahassee, Orlando, or Miami. The applicant must select first and second choices on the exam application. The exams are administered every other month, in February, April, June, August, October, and December. Completed applications and indicated fees must be received by the testing office no later than 30 days prior to the examination date.

Applicants for a registeredFlorida contractors license may, in lieu of taking the Florida State Construction Examination, present a Certificate of Competency issued by the local building authority in the jurisdiction(s) in which they wish to work. Applicants not in possession of a current certificate must take the construction exam before beginning the examination process. All procedures and fees outlined above for the exam for a certified license also apply to the exam for the registered license.

Contractors Exam Fees

Payments can be made by credit card. Professional Testing will charge your credit card $215 for the $135 registration fee and the $80 exam site administration fee.

Pearson VUE will charge an additional $80 for the Business and Finance part of the exam. Applicants needing to schedule and pay the fee should call Pearson VUE directly at 888-204-6230.

Payments can also be made by check, money order, or cashier’s check. Send completed application form and fees to:

Professional Testing, Inc.
State of Florida Construction Program
7680 Universal Blvd., #300
Orlando, FL 32819

Florida State Business Licenses and Registration

Depending on your business structure, you will register and become licensed to do business in Florida through separate agencies. Small businesses will register through the Florida Department of Revenue.

Corporations, non-profits, LLCs, and partnerships will register through the Florida Division of Corporations.

Florida Tax Identification Numbers and Registration

Businesses that operate within Florida are required to register for one or more tax-specific identification numbers, licenses or permits, including income tax withholding, sales and use tax (seller’s permit), and unemployment insurance tax. Contact the Florida Department of Revenuefor more information about business registration and your tax obligations.

Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements and Forms

Businesses with employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis, or through the Florida Workers’ Compensation Insurancesystem.

Florida DBPR License Search

To look up and verify licensed individuals and businesses by name, license number, license type, or by location, visit the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulationdatabase.

See General Contractor Licensing Information in Nearby States

  • General contractor license GA
  • Alabamacontractors license
  • Mississippi contractors license
  • South Carolina contractors license
  • General contractors license information for all states

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