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I am Relocating to Florida from Boston and hold an unrestricted MA builders license. will this help me get a Florida builders license?
 

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Good morning JohnDMiami,

Florida does not reciprocate any construction licenses if that is what you are referring to by help, but you CAN use your building experience from MA to apply for a FL license.

To help you better understand what type of license you qualify for based on your experience I’ve provided requirements on all three Division I License types:

For all three license categories you must:

• Show 48 months on jobs with at least 12 months as a foreman.
–or-
• A combination of college and experience totaling at least 48 months with at least 12 of those months as a foreman.

“General contractor” means a contractor whose services are unlimited as to the type of work which he or she may do, who may contract for any activity requiring licensure under this part, and who may perform any work requiring licensure under this part, except as otherwise expressly provided in s. 489.113.

For the GC License only, we must show at least 1 year (12 full months) or more on habitable structures 4+ stories. Show substantial responsibility in at least 4 of the following areas of commercial construction including active and proven experience with:
o Foundation/Slabs greater than 20,000 sqft
o Masonry Walls
o Steel Erection
o Elevated Slabs
o Precast Concrete Structures
o Column Erection
o Formwork for structural reinforced concrete

“Building contractor” means a contractor whose services are limited to construction of commercial buildings and single-dwelling or multiple-dwelling residential buildings, which do not exceed three stories in height, and accessory use structures in connection therewith or a contractor whose services are limited to remodeling, repair, or improvement of any size building if the services do not affect the structural members of the building.

Show substantial responsibility in at least 4 of the following areas of commercial construction including active and proven experience with:
o Foundation/Slabs greater than 20,000 sqft
o Masonry Walls
o Steel Erection
o Elevated Slabs
o Precast Concrete Structures
o Column Erection
o Formwork for structural reinforced concrete

“Residential contractor” means a contractor whose services are limited to construction, remodeling, repair, or improvement of one-family, two-family, or three-family residences not exceeding two habitable stories above no more than one uninhabitable story and accessory use structures in connection therewith.

Show substantial responsibility in at least 4 of the following areas of residential construction including active and proven experience with:
o Foundation/Slabs
o Masonry walls
o Trusses
o Structural wood framing
o Column erection
o Formwork for structural reinforced concrete

There are upgrade statutes too, so if you only qualify for the CRC, you can upgrade to CBC in 3 years or CGC in 4 with no additional work experience to show. If you qualify for the CBC, you can upgrade to CGC in 4 with no additional work experience to show. The CRC to CBC is the only one you can upgrade to without having to take any additional tests. Test scores are good for 4 years so there is a year window that you can upgrade while they are still valid if you play your cards right.

There are three exams for all Division I Licenses. The Business and Finance Exam can be done at any time at a computer center in your area. The two Trade portions are given six times per year in three locations in Florida. You must register for the Trade portions at least 30 days in advance. You will find all of the details and how to register within these links:
• Here is a link to the DBPR site with general information on testing: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/servop/testing/ConstructionExamInformation.html
• Here is a link to the application package: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/servop/testing/documents/exam_applic_pack.pdf
• Here is a link to register for your exams: http://www.floridaexam.com/

You will need to be fingerprinted and they do run an FBI background check. Disclose anything ever in your past that is worse than a speeding ticket. Also, Credit Reports must be submitted. If an applicant does not have a 660 credit score at the time of application, the applicant must establish financial stability by obtaining a licensing bond or letter of credit. The amount of the bond or letter of credit is $20,000 for Division I contractors. This amount may be reduced to $10,000 by completing a board-approved financial responsibility course.

Of course when you submit, you will be telling them what company you want to qualify with your license. Either you will file with the Secretary of State registering your business from MA with FL or you will start a new business here in Florida.

I never recommend individual licensing for a couple of reasons. Some are that you will use your social security number to run all the money and there is no protection of an FEIN. Even bigger reason that that is that here in Florida, if you license is in an active status, then you have to have general liability and worker’s comp. If you want to be WC Exempt, you have to show 10% ownership in a company. Obviously if there is no company than you are not able to show ownership and have to get a policy. An individual policy can get really pricy.

I hope this helps a bit!

Good luck and welcome to Florida!
Lisa
 

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I am extremely interested in becoming a residential contractor in Florida. I currently reside in New Jersey as a home performance company and am looking to relocate within the next year and a half. It is actually pretty difficult to find the regulations, just like it was starting out here in NJ 8 years ago. Any information, or care to point me in the right direction? I do insulation, air sealing, energy audits on both existing and new residential and commercial projects.
 

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Good afternoon,

All of that information above is a step by step to get a State Level Division 1 License.

Obviously you have to show that you have built structures to get a license that allows you to build structures. If that is not the case, you will be looking into individual county licenses to cover the types of work you perform in the areas in which you work.

Each county has its own requirements. I would recommend going for the county in which you will perform the most work and then finding out if you can reciprocate with any other counties. Some counties may not have licenses for certain kinds of work.

Good luck!
 

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Yes, replying to an old post, but just wanted to say "EXCELLENT" post by Lisa. Perfect for listing CILB rules. I (as a licensed CGC here in FL) think it's also helpful for those seeking licensure - to understand that the testing portion...is a two day event, 8 hours per day of testing. Yes, you will sit for 8 hours per day, strictly monitored and watched, for two days, testing to attempt passing. As I read in another posting, the failure rate is around 90%. I don't know if that is true or not, but I can tell you from personal experience, it's a very tough test. Something to be proud of when you pass. At the time I had over 25 years experience in the industry, so passed first time out. :clap: So when you see all these guys getting away with contracting without a license - makes you sick. Hey, like it or not - the laws have been set - you may be great at your trade, but without a license, probably also without the proper insurances, then you don't have the same expenses as I do. Therefore you are able to quote/bid jobs at a lower price than I can. We have all lost many jobs to the illegal contractors. Some guys say - "Hey I'm good at my trade, I do great work, I know what I'm doing, I just can't pass a test so it's not fair" like I said - like it or not - the laws have been set. For each guy that thinks he's good, I've run 20 or more that are incompetent, that actually do lousy work thinking it's great. Nuff said. :mad:
 
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