Pricing

Get Houzz Pro

The #1 revenue and profit-driving tool for construction and design professionals

Try Our Free Tools

How to Become a General Contractor in the State of Florida

Everything you need to know to become a general contractor in Florida

Houzz Pro

If you’ve decided to work as a general contractor in Florida, you’ve chosen a lucrative path. However, first you will have to apply for a license and have it approved by the Florida Construction Licensing Board of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR). There are two classifications of contractor licenses. A certified license is valid throughout the state, allowing contractors to work anywhere in the state. A registered license means contractors can work only within specific local jurisdictions.

To apply for a certified contractor’s license in Florida, you must:

  1. Download and complete the application for the Florida State Construction Examination.
  2. If you pass the exam, download and fill out the application for either an individual or qualified business.
  3. Provide the following:
  • An approved FICO credit score that demonstrates financial stability and responsibility
  • Proof that you have four years of experience or a combination of related college study and experience. 

To apply for a registered contractor’s license in Florida, you must:

  1. Download and complete the application for the Florida State Construction Examination.
  2. If you pass the exam or if you have a certificate of competency, download and complete the application packet for either an individual or a qualifying business.
  3. Provide the following: 
  • An approved FICO credit score that demonstrates financial stability and responsibility
  • A copy of the certificate of competency issued by the local jurisdiction, if you decide to use this instead of a written exam.

For both license classifications, you also must:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Undergo a background check, including fingerprinting
  • Secure general liability and property damage insurance in the amounts determined by the licensing board.
  • Secure worker’s compensation insurance or be granted an exemption within 30 days of receiving your license. See the list of recommended credit reporting agencies provided by the state. 

Application Fees

For a certified general contractor’s license:

  • If all exam parts were passed prior to January 1, 2009: $409
    undefined
  • If any exam part was passed after January 1, 2009: $249
    undefined

For a registered general contractor’s license:

  • If applying between May 1 of an odd year and August 31 of an even year: $309
  • If applying between September 1 of an even year and April 30 of an odd year: $209

Once you’ve completed the application, send it to the following address with the supporting documentation and the required fee:

State of Florida

Department of Business and Professional Regulation

1940 N. Monroe St.

Tallahassee, FL 32399-0783

Taking the Florida General Contractor Exam

For a certified Florida contractor’s license:

Applicants must pass the Florida State Construction Examination administered by Professional Testing before applying for a license. Applicants must pass all three parts, which cover: 

  1. Project management (paper-and-pencil exam taken at test center)
  2. Contract administration (paper-and-pencil exam taken at test center)
  3. Business and finance (computer-based exam taken through Pearson VUE)

Parts 1 and 2 may be taken in Orlando, Miami or Tallahassee, and you must select your first and second choice when applying. These exams take place in February, April, June, August, October and December. Applicants must send the completed application and required fees at least 30 days before the examination date. 

For a registered Fl​​orida contractor’s license:

In lieu of taking an exam, applicants may present a certificate of competency issued by the local building authority in the jurisdiction in which they wish to work. 

Examination Fees

  • Registration fee: $135, which may be paid by credit card
  • Exam site administration fee: $80, which may be paid by credit card
  • Pearson VUE examination fee: $80; call 888-204-6230 for payment options

Payments can also be made by check, money order or cashier’s check. You must send the completed application form and fees to:

Professional Testing, Inc.

State of Florida Construction Program

7680 Universal Blvd. #300

Orlando, FL 32819

State Business Licenses and Registration

If you are a small business, you must register your business through the Florida Department of Revenue. Corporations, nonprofits, LLCs and partnerships are required to register through the Florida Division of Corporations.

Tax Identification Numbers and Registration

Florida requires all businesses to register for one or more tax-specific identification numbers, licenses or permits, and to pay income tax, sales and use tax, and unemployment insurance tax. For information, see this guide or contact the Florida Department of Revenue.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements and Forms

If you plan to hire employees, you will be required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis or through the Florida workers’ compensation insurance system.

Houzz Pro

Get the all-in-one tool that helps you save time, stay organized, and move your business forward.

Learn more or Try for free

Houzz Pro is the all-in-one tool for marketing, project and client management built specifically for remodeling, build, and design professionals.

Comments (0)

Join the conversation by commenting or asking a question below. The Houzz team reads every single comment, and we’ll get back to you by email if you need us!

More From Houzz Pro Learn

Item 1 of 4