Florida Contractor’s Licensing Made Easy

Outdoor Swimming Pool at The Inn at Key West Florida

Florida is famous for its abundance of swimming pools. theinnatkeywest / Flickr / CC BY-SA


Do you know what Florida has in abundance? Swimming pools. This means it also has a great demand for swimming pool specialists.

If you are planning to join the contracting business in the Sunshine State, you will need to get a Florida contractor’s license in order to operate legally. There are numerous tricky details to the licensing process, so it’s a good idea to get well acquainted with them before you apply. Read on for some useful tips on getting your Florida contractor’s license.


Licensed in Florida

So, how can you become a licensed contractor in Florida? To operate as a contractor you have to get a Florida contractor’s license from the Construction Industry Licensing Board. The Board has 18 members who meet on a regular basis to decide on contractors’ licensure.

There are a variety of classification fields in which you can get certification. Swimming pool installation involves many specialized tasks, including decking, excavation, finishes, layout, piping, structural and trim. This is specific to Florida due to the abundance of swimming pools. Of course, you can also get licensed in more common contract work fields, such as general building, air conditioning, residential, plumbing, roofing, solar, underground utility and more. These are classified as Division I contractors (general, building and residential) and Division II contractors (all specialties).

Hanson Carey Fitness Center being Renovated

A contractor at work. usagrc / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND


You have two options for getting licensed by the Board. The first one is to become a registered contractor. You’ll have to pass a local competency exam and you’ll only be able to practice your specialty in your city or local area.

The second option is to become a certified contractor. In this case, you’ll have to pass a full Florida contractor’s license exam, but you’ll be allowed to operate everywhere in the state. For both options, the biennial license renewal fee is $209.

Besides the exam, the requirements for fully certified contractors include proof of financial stability, four years of experience in the specialty field, criminal history check, liability and workers’ compensation insurance and a surety bond.


Bonded in Florida

In order to fulfill the surety bond requirement for the licensing, you will need to get a Florida contractor’s license bond. The bond is set at $20,000 for Division I and $10,000 for Division II contractors. The cost of bonding, however, is only a percentage of the total bond amount; this is based on your personal credit situation as the business owner.

The purpose of the license bond is to protect the public, not your business. It guarantees that you will abide by state regulations in performing your work.

Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant Air Handling Unit Pad

Contractors in Florida need to get a license bond. acwa / Flickr / CC BY


There are various contractor’s license bonds that you might need in Florida, depending on the license you would like to obtain. Some of these include bonds for Certified Contractor as an Individual, Certified Contractor Qualifying Business, and Florida Financially Responsible Officer License Bond. You can learn more about these construction license bonds by visiting the Florida constriction license bond page.

In case you want to work on public projects, you will need other contract bonds such as bid, performance and payment bonds. If you are looking for protection for your company or your clients from employee dishonesty such as theft, you will have to obtain  a fidelity bond.


Ready to get licensed and bonded?

After you have acquainted yourself with the bonding and licensing in detail, becoming a Florida contractor will surely be a smoother process. If you still have any questions regarding the needed bonding, we are here to help, so contact us with your queries.

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