An individual who performs services such as building or remodeling of residential or commercial property is considered a building contractor. Contractors may specialize in electrical contracting, framing or roofing. Contractors in the state of Florida are required to obtain a contractor's license, which is a certification issued by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The certification allows a contractor to legally perform construction services in any Florida jurisdiction.
In order to become a licensed contractor in the state of Florida, an individual must first pass the contractor examination. Exams are issued for Division I, which deals with General Contracting, Building Contracting and Residential Contracting. Division II applies to all other contracting specialties including mechanical contractors, HVAC, roofing, sheet metal, pool and spa, plumbing, utilities and drywall. Division I exams comprise three parts that includes business and finance, contract administration and project management. Division II exams encompass business and finance and trade knowledge. A contractor applicant must pay an examination fee as assessed by the examination department, and he must pass all sections for the required exam.
A contractor applicant must also meet certain eligibility requirements to take any portion of the Florida contractor exam. To sit for the contractor examination, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid form of identification. In addition, you must be able to fulfill a combination of experience and education requirements. You may hold a four-year degree in a construction related degree program along with verifiable experience on the job site, or you may have one year of experience working as a foreman coupled with three years of training at an accredited college. Depending on the contractor license you are pursuing, one year of experience as a workman along with two years of college credits may also suffice as will two years as a workman paired with one year of college credits.
Insurance and Finances
The state of Florida also requires contractors to obtain workers' compensation and general liability insurance coverage. Building contractors are required to maintain a minimum of $300,000 bodily injury insurance coverage and $50,000 of property damage coverage. All other contractors are asked to maintain an insurance policy that supports at least $100,000 in bodily injury coverage and $25,000 in property damage coverage. Contractors may also have to demonstrate financial responsibility. In some cases, a copy of an individual credit report and financial statements may be required by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation before a certification will be issued to new contractors.