In Florida, contractor licensing is done both at the state and local level. If you want to perform work anywhere within the state of Florida, you will need a Certified License, and if you want to perform work in a specific city/county, you will need a Registered License.
The licensing process is handled by the Construction Industry Licensing Board under the guidance of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Determine the Type of Contractor License You Need
Florida has two major categories of licenses: Certified (state-level) and Registered (local-level). The licenses are further subdivided into two main categories: Division I Contractors and Division II Contractors.
Division I Contractors:
- General Contractor – allows unlimited construction work such as, but not limited to: constructing, repairing, altering, remodeling and improving any type of building or structure.
- Building Contractor – permits construction, remodeling, repairing, or improving commercial or residential buildings that do not exceed three stories in height.
- Residential Contractor – allows construction, remodeling, repairing, or making improvements of one, two or three-family residences that do not exceed two (habitable) stories.
Division II Contractors are field-specific and include the following:
Air-Conditioning (class A and B) Contractor, Mechanical Contractor, Plumbing Contractor, Pollutant Storage System Contractor, Pool/Spa Contractor, Roofing Contractor, Sheet Metal Contractor, Solar Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Tank Lining Applicator, and Underground Utility Contractor. Further information can be found on the Board’s Definition of Occupation page.
Access Florida License Application Forms
The application forms can be accessed via the Construction Industry Licensing Board.
Pass Your Examination
To obtain a certified contractor license you need to pass the relevant Division I or II examination (excluding Pool Contractors). The exams are administered by Professional Testing. You can register and apply online via their website or contact them at 407-264-0562 or at [email protected] Further information can be found in the Examination Registration Instructions and Application.
You can find a list of specialized contractor license schools in Florida that offer exam preparation here.
Fulfill Requirements and Obtain Required Documents
- Provide proof of financial responsibility: All applicants are required to submit a credit report with a minimum 660 FICO-derived credit score. It is your responsibility to ensure the credit reporting agency includes that score on the credit report.
- Submit electronic fingerprints: You must scan and submit electronically your fingerprints using one of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Livescan Device Vendors.
- Show proof of liability insurance: The minimum amount required for General Liability Insurance is as follows:
- $300,000 public liability and $50,000 property damage for General and Building Contractors.
- $100,000 public liability and $25,000 property damage for all other contractor categories.
- Provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance: If you have – or plan on hiring – employees, you need to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. Further information is provided within each application.
- Provide proof of qualification: All certified license applicants must have four years’ relevant work experience or a combination or work experience and college. Further information can be found within each application (section VI – Qualifications for Certified License).
- Provide proof of competency: To obtain your registered license, you will either need to submit a current competency card from a local licensing office or a letter from a building official, stating that you are competent in the category for which you wish to be licensed.
Note: If your credit score is below 660, you must furnish a surety bond or a letter or credit.
Note: Ensure that there is enough time for the FDLE to process your results by submitting your fingerprints at least five (5) days before sending your license application. Further information regarding electronic fingerprinting can be found here.
If applying for a Certified License you will also need the following:
If applying for a Registered License you will also need the following:
Obtain Your Contractor License Bond
If you don’t have the prerequisite FICO credit score of at least 660, you may furnish a bond instead. The amount of the bond depends on the contractor category and is as follows:
- $20,000 for Division I Contractors
- $10,000 for Division II Contractors
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Submit Your Florida Contractor License Application
How to fill out your application:
Please complete your application plainly in ink.
Payments must be made in the form of personal or cashier’s checks, and payable to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Certified Contractor application fees:
- $249 if applying in the period between May 1st of an even year and August 31st of an odd year.
- $149 if applying in the period between September 1st of an odd year and April 30th of an even year.
Registered Contractor application fees:
- $309 if applying in the period between May 1st of an odd year and August 31st of an even year.
- $209 if applying in the period between September 1st of an even year and April 30th of an odd year.
Mail your application along with all supporting documentation and fees to:
Department of Business and Professional Regulation 2601 Blair Stone Road Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783