When it comes to construction law and unlicensed contracting, the old saying, “the devil is in the details” could not be more appropriately applied. According to Chapter 489 of the Florida Statutes, any person who participates in the business of contracting for a construction project is required to hold a license to perform such work. If not, they could be held legally responsible by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). While most contractors understand that contracting without proper licensure, license renting, or impersonating a licensed contractor among many other acts fall under the umbrella of unlicensed contracting, many honest contractors may unknowingly fall under this category because of certain technicalities. Below, we will outline a few of these technicalities that often cause would-be licensed contractors to succumb to the technical nature of construction law.
To ensure that you are properly protected, we highly recommend seeking the legal counsel of an experienced contractor license defense attorney in St. Petersburg, FL.
Formation or Merger of Legal Entities
If you have recently restructured your business to begin operating as a newly formed corporation or limited liability company, any contract, lien or bond rights may be unenforceable until an application for the new entity has been approved by the DBPR.
Similar to the formation of a new legal entity, a transition period also occurs when merging two firms into one. During this time, it is important to understand that your company may not be covered by Florida Statutes related to bond, lien, or contractual claims. However, the operation of your company shouldn’t have to come to a halt during this period. It is a good idea to work with your St. Petersburg construction license defense lawyer to prepare your firm for any interruptions that may occur as a result of the merger.
Lien Claims and Litigation
Unlicensed contractors do not have rights when it comes to filing construction liens, bid protests, or entering into litigation for a breach of contract. Whether it’s from an internal error that allows your company’s business name to become “inactive” or while waiting for approval from the DBPR during the formation of a new legal entity, your firm will technically be considered an unlicensed contractor, and may forfeit the opportunity to recover losses.
Mistakenly forgetting to renew your license requires better internal procedures, but when it comes to forming a new legal entity, preparation is key. License approval by the DBPR can take up to 30-45 days. A lot can happen during this time, so don’t take chances and put your firm at risk. Speak with a contractor license defense attorney in St. Pete, who can work with you during this time.
Expert Construction Lawyers from Cotney Construction Law
Trent Cotney and our team of St. Petersburg, FL contractor license defense lawyers are experienced in all facets of construction law and diligently fight to protect the best interests of our clients. Before creating a new legal entity or during a merger, enlist the help of our legal experts who you can trust to guide you through the process without causing harm to your business.
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.