In the state of Florida, it is illegal and a criminal offense to engage in contracting work without a contractor’s license. If a person is caught working without a license, he or she can face misdemeanor or felony charges.
In Florida, there are nine different ways to commit the crime of practicing unlicensed contracting. All a person needs is to do one of these nine things (and get caught with proof) to get a conviction. The nine ways are:
- Falsely saying he or he or their organization is licensed, when they are not.
- Pretending to be a certificate holder or registrant.
- Presenting someone else’s certificate or registrations.
- Giving false or forged evidence to the board.
- Use a certificate or registration that is suspended or revoked.
- Operating a contracting business after 60 days of termination
- Performing work that requires a building permit without the build permit being in effect.
- Disregarding or violating municipal or county ordinances related to uncertified/unregistered licenses.
- Advertising oneself or business as an available registered contractor.
In Florida, a certificate is a certificate of competency that is earned by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, while registration means registrations with the department in accordance with Florida statues.
For the most part, an unlicensed contracting charge is a first-degree misdemeanor, which has penalties of up to one year of probation or jail and a $1,000 fine. If this person has been convicted before or working without a license, they could be charged with a third-degree felony. This felony has penalties of up to five years in prison or probation and a $5,000 fine. There is also court-ordered restitution when the victim claims the work performed was sub-par and caused a loss of some sort.
If a person pleads guilty, they will have a permanent criminal record that can ruin their chance of obtaining a license in the future.
As you can see, obtaining a contractor’s license is important and necessary. If you’re looking to get your Florida contractor’s license, we can help. We specialize in getting our clients their licenses fast and easy. Click here to contact us.