In Florida, the Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) is the agency responsible for regulating and licensing businesses and professionals throughout the state, such as contractors, veterinarians, and real estate agents. With very few exceptions, all roofing contractors must obtain a certified license or registered license in order to perform work. A certified license allows you to contract in any jurisdiction regardless of the competency requirements of that jurisdiction, while a registered contractor’s license allows you to perform work solely in the jurisdiction that issued that license.
An unlicensed roofer who performs work in the State of Florida is guilty of committing a first-degree misdemeanor publishable by up to one year prison and a fine of $1,000. Repeat offenders and those who operate without a license during a state of emergency, on the other hand, are committing a third-degree felony and run the risk of receiving a $15,000 fine and a five-year prison sentence. In this brief article, we’ll review the definition of unlicensed contracting, a few of the most common reasons behind license suspension in Florida, and how you can have your license reinstated. If your license has been suspended or is at risk of suspension, consult a roofing attorney in Florida to see how you may be able to protect your right to work.
Definition of Unlicensed Contracting
In Florida, the offense of “Contracting Without a License” actually encompasses a broad range of conduct related to the construction and home improvement industries. Below, we’ve outlined just a few of the most common ways you may be found guilty of unlicensed contracting:
- You present the registration or certificate of another contractor as your own.
- You commence or perform work for which a building permit is required without the appropriate permit in effect.
- You falsely hold yourself or your business organization as a licensee, certificate holder, or registrant.
- You knowingly provide false or forged evidence to the board or a member of the board.
- You use or attempt to use a certificate or registration that has been suspended or revoked.
Proof of any one of these violations, along with several more not listed, is sufficient to sustain a conviction. This is significant because, as previously stated, unlicensed contracting can result in serious penalties, such as jail time, probation, and hefty fines. If that alone wasn’t enough, a person who is convicted to or pleads guilty to Contracting Without a License may also be subject to court-ordered restitution. Such restitution can range up to tens of thousands of dollars in fees for sub-standard work or materials.
Possible Reasons For the Suspension of Your License
There are countless reasons why a roofing contractor may become stranded without the proper license to perform work ranging from failing to meet bond requirements to violating workers’ compensation laws. Below, we go into a few of these top violations in closer detail. If you suspect that your license is at risk of suspension or your license has already been suspended, it’s critical to get in touch with a roofing lawyer as soon as possible.
Failure to Comply With Bond Requirements
Violating bond requirements is easily one of the most common reasons behind the suspension of a contractor’s license. Some of the most common bond-related license suspensions include the following:
- The voting stock of the resource management office (RMO) supporting your corporate license is less than 10 percent of the total voting stock.
- The disciplinary bond or cashier’s check isn’t maintained in full force and in full effect for the required time frame.
- The surety company you’re working with cancels one or more of your required bonds.
- The amount of the required bond is reduced as a result of a judgment or payment of a claim.
Failure to Abide By Workers’ Compensation Regulations
Another common source of license suspensions is roofing contractors failing to abide by the rules and regulations governing worker’s compensation insurance. Some of the most frequent instances for suspension include:
- You employ workers who aren’t subject to Florida’s workers’ compensation laws.
- Your provider cancels your workers’ compensation insurance policy.
- Your workers’ compensation insurance policy expires.
Failure to Report or Resolve Judgment
Finally, in addition to a host of other reasons like outstanding liabilities or changes in personnel, you may run the risk of having your contractor’s license suspended if you fail to report or resolve a civil court judgment within the required time frame. If your contractor’s license has been suspended for any of the reasons previously mentioned, it’s time to get in contact with a roofing lawyer in Florida.
Reinstating Your Suspended License
The procedure to reinstate your contractor’s license following its suspension will greatly differ depending on the reason for suspension. For example, if your contractor’s license was placed in a suspended status because you failed to submit your renewal within the required timeframe, you will need to provide a reinstatement application and a reinstatement fee, along with renewal and late fees. If your license was suspended because your surety company canceled one or more of your required bonds, on the other hand, then the surety company must send a “rescission of cancellation” notice to the appropriate board. A similar procedure will apply with the insurance company if your workers’ compensation insurance was canceled.
Regardless of the reason behind your suspension, if your license has been suspended, may become suspended, or you have been accused of contracting with a suspended license, there’s no time to waste in getting in touch with a roofing attorney.
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.