Department of Business and Professional Regulation Unveils 2011-2012 Unlicensed Activity Media Campaign
December 13, 2011
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) today unveiled its annual media campaign to educate the public about the dangers of unlicensed activity. The campaign focuses on encouraging Florida consumers to check for professional licensure before hiring someone to do any work that would require a professional license.
"Unlicensed activity can threaten the livelihood of law-abiding, state-licensed professionals and can pose serious personal or financial harm to consumers." said DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson. "The most effective way to stop unlicensed activity is to hire only licensed Florida professionals."
The Department unveiled its campaign today with support from the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association, which assisted the Department by providing donated billboard space from its members throughout the state. The billboards are part of the multi-component campaign that will focus on the professional areas that received the highest number of unlicensed activity complaints last fiscal year, including barbers, cosmetologists and contractors.
"Billboard advertisements catch the attention of prospective consumers like no other type of advertising can," said Charlotte Brand Audie, President and CEO of the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association (FOAA). "Our members have a long history of working with local communities, businesses and governments to promote programs that protect public welfare, FOAA is proud to partner with DBPR in helping to educate consumers on the dangers of unlicensed activity in Florida."
Last fiscal year, the Department received more than 1,700 legally sufficient complaints about unlicensed construction, electrical and contractor activity; 300 legally sufficient complaints about unlicensed cosmetology activity; and 167 legally sufficient complaints about unlicensed barber activity.
The Department is running similar educational campaigns to educate Floridians about the importance of hiring licensed real estate professionals and licensed certified public accountants. Last fiscal year, the Department received 969 legally sufficient complaints about unlicensed real estate or unlicensed appraisal activity and 35 legally sufficient complaints about unlicensed public accounting activity.
Unlicensed activity occurs when an individual offers to perform or performs services that require a state license and the individual does not hold the required license. Florida law sets specific rules and guidelines for obtaining professional licensure, and the people who have met these requirements are held to professional standards. Consumers can verify professional licenses online at www.myfloridalicense.com.
Unlicensed activity is illegal and can result in misdemeanor or felony charges if an individual is convicted. Floridians should report any suspected unlicensed activity by emailing ULA@dbpr.state.fl.us or calling the Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1-866-532-1440.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses and regulates more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from hotels and restaurants, real estate agents and accountants to veterinarians, contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.