In Florida, general contractors must be licensed to perform work in the state. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation issues general contractor's licenses. If you are interested in becoming a contractor in Florida, you will need to first see if you qualify and then perform a number of tasks to obtain your license. You need to be at least 18 years old to apply.
Make sure that you have all required experience or education. Florida allows applicants to have four years of education from an accredited college, four years of on-the-job experience (including one year as a foreman) or a combination of the two. As long as you have a combined four years of education and the right experience, with at least one year of experience as a foreman, you should meet the experience and education requirements.
Prepare your application. You can get an application through the state of Florida website (see Resources).
Request a credit report from any of the three major credit reporting agencies. This must be submitted with your application, so order it in advance.
Provide prior employers with the experience portion of your application paperwork if you are qualifying for the exam based on experience. They will need to fill out your experience and then have the document signed and notarized.
Obtain any special documentation that you may need. For example, if you have ever filed bankruptcy or had a judgment filed against you, you will need to produce paperwork showing those judgments have been released.
Fill out the financial portion of the application accurately and completely. If you are stating that you have cash on your application, you will need to provide a bank verification network.
Contact Pearson VUE to be fingerprinted. The state of Florida performs a background check on all those who wish to be licensed as a general contractor. Make sure you do this within six months of taking your test and applying for your license.
Prepare for your test and set up a time to take it. Professional Testing administers tests for the state of Florida. Consider buying study material or signing up for an online general contractor test preparation course to prepare for the test.
Go to the testing location at the designated time and place. You will have to pay a testing fee of $135. Make sure that you bring your application packet and all supporting documentation with you. Bring identification and your admittance pass. Read all instructions that were provided to you when you applied to test and make sure you have everything you need.
Pass the test. After you pass the test, you will have to wait for your application to be approved.
Show proof of workers compensation and general liability insurance.
Pay the licensing fee, which varies depending on the year in which you receive your license.
The testing includes sections on business and finance, construction administration and project management. Even if you have experience, it's well worth your time and money to take a refresher course or to purchase and read some exam preparation material.