How to get a Florida Contractors License

What are the requirements to get a Florida contractors license?

In order to get a Florida contractors license you must:

  • Demonstrate financial responsibility;
  • Pass all parts of the required Florida State Construction Exam;
  • Must be 18 years old;
  • Exceed or meet the required education/experience factors;
  • Be of good moral character;
  • Ensure all applicable fees and costs are paid; and
  • Purchase workers compensation insurance.

Only after you have satisfied these requirements will you be able to obtain your construction license.

Need help with getting your construction license?

Most contractors find that getting their license can be frustrating and time consuming.  The License Company LLC makes it easy for you to keep working and get licensed.  They handle the application, provide a handy licensing checklist, and keep you informed along the way.  It’s a great solution for a busy contractor who wants to get their license fast without going back and forth with the state.  You can find more information about how they help get your Florida contractor license here.

Need a contractor license bond?

View our contractor license bond listing to find your bond type.  These bonds vary by state, county, and town in some cases.  You can learn more about surety bonds and what they do by visiting our What is a Surety Bond page.

How do I demonstrate financial responsibility?

A Florida contractor can demonstrate financial responsibility by submitting a credit report along with his or her state contractor application.  If the credit score is less than 660, the applicant must submit a financial stability bond in an amount ranging from $5,000 – $20,000.  The required surety bond amounts are listed below and can be reduced by taking a state approved 14 hour financial responsibility course:

  • With proof of completed 14 hour financial responsibility course
    • Division One Applicant – $10,000
    • Division Two Applicant – $5,000
  • Without proof of completed 14 hour financial responsibility course
    • Division One Applicant – $20,000
    • Division Two Applicant – $10,000

The surety bond must be kept in place until the contractor’s credit score exceeds 660.  Your Florida contractors license can’t be renewed if your bond expires.

What are Financial Stability Surety Bonds?

Often referred to as the Florida Sub 660 Credit Score Bond, Financial Stability Bonds are required by the State of Florida’s Construction Industry Licensing Board for division one and two contractors who want to be licensed with the state.  However, these bonds are only required when a contractor has a FICO-derived credit score of less than 660.  These bonds must be kept in place each year the contractor’s credit score remains below 660.  The Financial Stability Surety Bond cost begins at $200 annually for those licensees with credit scores closest to 660.  You can apply online and receive a firm quote in minutes.

How do I schedule my Florida State Construction Exam?

You can apply for your exam by visiting the following link http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/servop/testing/documents/exam_applic_pack.pdf which may print, complete, and schedule your division one or division two contractor’s license exam.  You may also apply for your exam online by visiting http://www.floridaexam.com. You must complete and pass your state exam prior to applying for your actual Florida contractor’s license with the state.  The cost of the exam is as follows:

  • Business/Finance Only
    • $135 registration fee payable to Professional Testing, Inc.
    • $80 business/finance computer based test fee
  • Business/Finance combined with any other computer based test (trade knowledge)
    • $135 registration fee payable to Professional Testing, Inc.
    • $80 business/finance computer based test fee
    • $80 trade knowledge computer based test fee
  • Business/Finance combined with any other paper/pencil based test (trade knowledge – Class B Air, Class A Air, Mechanical, and plumbing. Project Management and Contract Administration)
    • $135 registration fee payable to Professional Testing, Inc.
    • $80 business/finance computer based test fee
    • $80 exam fee payable to the Florida Division of Business and Professional Regulation

Computer based exams are administered year round by Pearson VUE testing centers while pen and paper examinations are administered six times per year.  Applications for pen and paper tests must be received 30 days prior to the examination date.

What are the Florida contractors license education and experience requirements?

  • Four year construction related degree and one year proven work experience in your given field
  • One year of experience as a Foreman and not less than three years of credits from an accredited college
  • One year of experience as a Worker, two years of experience as a Foreman, and no less than two years of credits from an accredited college
  • Two years of experience as a Worker, one year of experience as a Foreman, and no less than one year of credits from an accredited college
  • Four years of experience as a Foreman or Worker of which one year must have been as a Foreman

A history of your employment is required on the state application to verify your experience.

Where do I find the Florida contractors license application?

The Florida contractors license application can be found at the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation website http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/pro/cilb/apply/main.html.  This will take you to a Florida contractor license type listing.  You must then choose your type of contractor license from the list and “Apply for a New License” on the following screen.

How much does my Florida contractor license cost and how do I ensure all of my fees and costs are paid?

You should expect to pay $215-$295 for the Florida contractors license examination alone.  The contractor license application cost will be:

  • $249 if you passed your exam after 12/1/2009 and are applying for your license between May 1st of an even year up to August 31st of an odd year (For example, if you applied for your license on June 15th of 2014, your fee would be $249.
  • $149 if you passed your exam after 12/1/2009 and are applying for your license between September 1st of an odd year up to April 30th of an even year (For example, if you applied for your license on January 15th of 2015, your fee would be $149.

You must also be fingerprinted by a Livescan provider (http://www.floridahealth.gov/licensing-and-regulation/background-screening/livescan-service-providers.html) Fingerprinting should cost about $25 or less.  All-in-all, you should expect to pay about $400 – $575 before the cost of workers compensation insurance and the required bonds if you choose/need to purchase either.  Additionally, this cost does not include exam preparation books.

Should I use a contractors license service to do all of this for me?

The decision to use an outside service to assist you with your Florida contractors license is entirely up to you.  While these services can be helpful, they can also be expensive.  The fees charged by some companies can range from $200-500 on top of your exam and application fees.  Additionally, ensure they give you a full list of fees charged for their services such as the cost of bonding, application submission, etc.   These services can be valuable but it’s important to understand these costs up front.  Make sure you ask about these fees prior to using any licensing company to ensure there are no additional costs outside of their standard services.

Why do I need an FRO or Financially Responsible Officer Bond?

A company will need a Financially Responsible Officer Bond or FRO Surety Bond if you, as the licensee, do not want to be financially responsible for the company in which you’re qualifying with your construction license.  This is most common when a licensed contractor decides to use his/her license to qualify another company which does not have a licensed contractor.  For example:  Let’s say you’re a licensed GC and you own/operate XYZ Contracting, Inc.  A friend approaches you and says, “I’d like to open a company specializing in commercial construction but do not have my license.  The state said I could use your license to qualify my business.”  Let’s also assume that you won’t be involved in the day-to-day operations of the business.  In this example, why would you want to be financially responsible for your friend’s business of which you have no control over?

The solution to the example above is to have your friend be the financially responsible officer of his business.  He can do so by posting a $100,000 FRO Surety Bond payable to the Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board.  The Financially Responsible Officer Surety Bond covers the payment of fines and fees pursuant to Rule 61G4-15.01 of the FL Administrative Code.  Additionally, these fees and fines are passed on to your friend as opposed to you the licensee.  You may also visit our How to become a financially responsible officer page for more information.

Pricing for these bonds begins a $1,000 annually and can reach $2,000 annually depending on the FRO’s credit score.  You can apply online and receive a firm quote in minutes by visiting http://dblsuretybonds.com/apply-online/.

What other types of Florida Contractor License Bonds may I need?

The contractor license bonds mentioned above are often required by the state of Florida.  However, a registered contractor may also be required to provide other bonds to cities and municipalities around the state.  These bonds are often referred to as code compliance bonds and can be found by visiting our Florida Construction License Bond page.

How do I apply for a Florida Contractor License Bond?

  1. Complete our online Florida Contractor License Bond application, or
  2. Download and complete our printable Florida Contractor License Bond application, and
  3. Receive your surety bond quote in minutes!

Apply now