Consumer Information

Protect Your Investment - Hire a Licensed Contractor

Tips on Hiring a Contractor:

Before you hire a contractor, ask to see their state-issued license. Also, verify the license number with DBPR and check for any complaints.

An occupational license does not qualify an individual to act as a contractor.

Being registered with the Division of Corporations as an Inc. or LLC  does not qualify an individual or company to act as a contractor.

Get a written estimate from several licensed contractors. Make sure the estimate includes the work the contractor will do, the materials involved, the completion date and total cost.

Beware of contractors who claim to be the fastest or the cheapest. Hiring them could result in poor workmanship, inferior materials or unfinished jobs.

Check with your local building department for any local license requirements.

When a License is Required….It Pays to Know

Before you hire a contractor, ask to see their license or license number and verify it at or on the free DBPR mobile app available on iTunes and Google Play and check for any complaints.  It is also a smart idea to ask friends and family for recommendations.  

Requires a License
(for compensation)

Does Not Require a License
(regardless of compensation)

Build a carport or sunroom

Install a driveway or install pavers/tile walkways

Construct a roof

Install awnings that do not become a fixed part of the structure

Install a dishwasher (requires connecting to drinking water) or replace a hot-water heater

Add a water filter onto a faucet

Install a central air-conditioning unit (requires structural work and wiring)

Insert a plug-in AC window unit

Repair or replace swimming pool pumps

Clean swimming pool

Clean central air and heat ducts
(requires partial disassembly of the system, such as removal of air grills)

Change an AC filter or cleaning ducts that do not require removal of the air grills.

Perform plumbing work or irrigation installation that requires the contractor to connect lines to potable (drinking) water.

Install an above-ground pool
Install or repair irrigation systems that have a backflow preventer connected to a potable (drinking) water supply.

Build a barn, metal building, or detached garage

Install prefabricated tool shed less than 250 sq.ft. in size.  The shed may be up to 400 sq.ft. if it bears the insignia of approval from the Department of Community  Affairs.

Remodel a home that requires alteration or replacement of a load-bearing wall

Paint, install cabinets, wood or tile flooring, and insulation

Installation or replacement of drywall if the contract also includes work on the load bearing part of the way, plumbing, electrical, or air conditioning work.

Installation or replacement of drywall if the contract does not include other work on the load bearing part of the wall or any plumbing, electrical, or air conditioning work.

Construction Industry Services that Require a State License

Air conditioning contractor
Building contractor
General contractor
Pool contractor
Residential contractor
Sheet metal contractor
Solar contractor 

Warning Signs a Contractor May Not Be Licensed

Unlicensed contractors often target the uninformed and inexperienced, as well as the elderly.

No license number in advertisement or posting. By law, contractors licensed by DBPR must include their license number in all advertising.

They want all or most of the money up front and will only accept cash. They may also want you to write the check to them individually or to “cash”.

They give a post office box address instead of a street address.

They show up in unmarked vehicles offering to do work and often have out-of-state tags.

They try to convince you a permit is not necessary or that it’s cheaper if you obtain it yourself.

How to Report Unlicensed Activity

Unlicensed activity occurs when an individual who is not licensed provides or offers to provide services that require a license in the State of Florida  Unlicensed activity is against the law and is referred to the State Attorney’s Office.

If you encounter unlicensed activity, you are encouraged to report it by calling the DBPR Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1 (866) 532-1440, using the DPPR  mobile app available on iTunes and Google Play, or filing a complaint at

Other Helpful Resources For Consumers

Homeowner Resources
New Home Benefits
Remodeling your Home

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