Contracting Without a License
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is in charge of prosecuting individuals and businesses who are found contracting without a license or licensed contractors whose business practices put the safety, health and welfare of the general public and other businesses at risk. While unlicensed contracting may seem harmless, the chance of faulty craftsmanship and the risk of project abandonment is enough for the regulatory body to come down harsh on those perpetuating these offenses. The DBPR has an internal administrative trial process. If found guilty, individuals will face harsh penalties, including criminal charges and possible jail sentences.
If receiving compensation for construction services provided, you are most likely required by law to hold a contractor’s license. There are a few exceptions, but the best way to avoid penalties is to confirm whether you must be licensed to perform a particular task on residential or commercial property improvements. Based on the DBPR’s regulations, our Sarasota contractor license defense attorneys have provided examples of some construction projects that do and do not require a contractor’s license.
What Activities Require a License?
If receiving compensation, the following activities require a license.
- Building a carport or sunroom.
- Constructing a roof.
- Installing a dishwasher (requires connecting to drinking water) or replace a hot-water heater.
- Installing a central air-conditioning unit.
- Repairing or replacing swimming pool pumps.
- Performing plumbing work or irrigation installation that requires the contractor to connect lines to potable (drinking) water.
- Building a barn, metal building, or detached garage.
- Remodeling a home that requires alteration or replacement of a load-bearing wall.
The following activities do not require a license:
- Installing a driveway or install pavers/tile walkways.
- Installing awnings that do not become a fixed part of the structure.
- Adding a water filter onto a faucet.
- Inserting a plug-in A/C window unit.
- Cleaning swimming pools or install an above-ground pool.
- Installing or repair irrigation systems that have a back flow preventer connected to a potable (drinking) water supply.
- Installing prefabricated tool shed less than 250 square feet in size. The shed may be up to 400 square feet if it bears the insignia of approval from the Department of Community Affairs.
- Painting; installing cabinets, wood or tile flooring, and insulation regardless of compensation.
Do You Need of a Sarasota Contractor License Defense Lawyer?
If an allegation is made against your license or lack thereof, your best opportunity for a favorable outcome is to partner with a construction license defense attorney in Sarasota, who understands the administrative processes of the DBPR and has the appropriate industry knowledge to argue your case in front of the Construction Industry Licensing Board. When it comes to license defense, Cotney Construction Law acts fast to protect you, your business, and your professional reputation.
If you are in need of a professional construction law firm, please submit our contact request form for more information.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.