Needs for a Florida Contractor License

There are more and more people living in Florida. In April 2024, over 21.73 million people will call the state home. Tradespeople with a lot of ambition might be in high demand as renters and homeowners who need help fixing up and keeping their homes. With the right skills and drive, you could make your business grow in the Sunshine State!

“Do you need a contractor license in Florida?” is a question that contractors who want to start their own small business may ask. Yes, there are times when that is the case. This article talks about the requirements for getting a contractor license in Florida. It talks about things like insurance coverage standards and options.

Who in Florida needs a license to work as a contractor?


In Florida, you need a general construction license if the work you do will be used in a finished building and costs $500 or more. You will probably need a general construction license if you want to do things like re-floor a whole room or build a new deck. In Florida, licenses for general contractors are given out by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).

General contractors should have licenses to work as plumbers, electricians, painters, and HVAC specialists. It’s likely that the work you do meets the requirements for this kind of license.

In Florida, carpenters might not need a license to work as a general builder. If you only want to do small repairs or expertise in non-construction carpentry (like making furniture), you might not need a license. But if you have a license as a builder, you might be able to offer more services and grow your business.

There is no handyman license in Florida, and if you only do small fixes, you might not even need a general contractor license. That being said, we already said that getting a license might let you take on bigger and more expensive jobs.

You can become a builder in Florida if you…

People who work in trades must meet certain requirements in order to apply for a general builder license. You need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) or a Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Have at least four years of work experience or a mix of schooling and job experience
  • Keep your money in order.
  • The training and experience you get in the military might count toward your schooling and work experience requirements. Veterans may also be able to get their application fees waived, refunded, or lowered. The DBPR website has up-to-date information on what Florida workers need to do to get work and school.

Helpful Website:

How do I get a Florida license to work as a contractor?

In Florida, there are two kinds of licenses for general contractors: those that are approved and those that are registered. You can work anywhere in the state if you have a valid license. You can only work in certain areas of the city if you have an approved license.

The process for getting a certified or registered card is the same. Most of the time, you’ll need to:

  • Either pass a certification test and get a certificate of competency from your local licensing authority or register and pay a fee.
  • Show a copy of your FICO credit report to show that you can handle your money.
  • Pass a background check that includes having your fingerprints taken.
  • If you need to, get General Liability insurance and Workers’ Compensation insurance, or get a release from workers’ comp.
  • Pay an application fee (unless you can get out of paying it).
  • Along with your application, you may need to send other things, like a copy of your work experience or your financial records. On the DBPR page, you can find out more.

Renewal of Licenses

A license to work as a general contractor needs to be updated every two years. In order to renew, you have to complete 14 hours of ongoing education. At least one hour of this training must cover the following topics:

  • How businesses work
  • Building codes in Florida
  • Rules and laws
  • Insurance for workers
  • Safety at work

Do Florida builders need insurance for their business?

In Florida, workers must have General Liability insurance, which is also known as public liability and property damage insurance. When you apply for your general construction license, you have to show proof that you have insurance.

If you have staff, you also need Workers’ Compensation insurance. That being said, you might need a strategy if you work with other companies as a subcontractor. You can find out more about who needs this coverage and how to apply for an exemption on the Division of Workers’ Compensation page.

Getting Work Done by Florida Contractors

In Florida, getting a general construction license can help your small business grow. Contractors who want to work in the building, renovation, or home repair business need to get a license. It can also help handymen who are already in business grow their business by giving their clients new services.

Are you ready to keep your skilled trades business safe? Builders and handymen can use to protect the things they are making. Take a look at the prices and get coverage right away!

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