Florida contractor requirements: Know before you go

If you’re a contractor thinking about traveling to Florida to help rebuild in the wake of a hurricane, we want you to be aware of contractor requirements to avoid fines or potential criminal charges from the state.

Even if you hold a contractor’s license in your home state, here is some key information:

  • To work in Florida, you must prove you passed an exam that’s substantially similar to the exam Florida resident contractors are required to pass. If your state doesn’t require you to take a written exam, you must successfully complete the Florida exam before you can work there.
  • You can only do work for which you hold a license.
  • You must provide your credit report and proof of financial stability, including net worth requirements, or provide a bond.
  • You must register with the Florida Secretary of State before you conduct business in the state.
  • You must have Florida listed under 3A on the declarations page of your workers’ compensation policy because Florida does not accept “other states” coverage.

Florida selects contractors at random for inspections. If you’re working there without proper coverage under 3A, you could be fined thousands of dollars for not having proper insurance coverage in place. In addition, contractors may not provide claim advice or filing assistance unless they hold a public adjuster license. Out-of-state contractors are responsible for knowing the rules and regulations of the state in which they want to work. So please know before you go, and seek advice from your attorney for specific instructions.

MORE INFORMATION

Each county or municipal jurisdiction in Florida may have additional requirements, so be sure to check with authorities in the location where you plan to work, for example, in Indian River County

Property owners seeking assistance from a contractor during rebuilding should question contractors and ask for a certificate of insurance before engaging work. Please see our blog post “Entrust storm repairs to honest contractors.”

This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact your local, independent insurance agent for coverage advice and loss control services.

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