DBPR Bottom Line: Fast Facts for Florida Business Leaders

June 25, 2010

Dear Friends:

Regulation is central to our agency's mission to "License Efficiently; Regulate Fairly." Our regulatory efforts include ensuring that individuals are not holding themselves out to the public as being licensed or advertising for work that requires a license—a practice referred to as unlicensed activity.

Unlicensed activity's harm is twofold. As our licensees can attest, unlicensed individuals often underbid state-licensed professionals, stealing valuable work. They can underbid our licensed professionals because they don't meet state requirements, such as having workers' compensation or applicable criminal background checks. That brings us to a threat they pose to consumers—they can cause personal and financial harm.

If an individual is harmed on a job and the "contractor" doesn’t have workers' compensation, the homeowner can end up paying dearly for that injury. Also, if proper education and experience requirements aren't met, the services they perform, whether veterinary, structural, or cosmetic, could end in personal harm.

This week, our Division of Regulation "swept" the state to make sure professionals are properly licensed. A sweep consists of visiting job sites and checking licenses. We typically partner with local building departments on these efforts. Each of our district offices, using various methods such as searching Craigslist.org for leads or visiting active job sites, checked individuals for state-required licenses.

The sweeps are still continuing throughout today, and so far, we have been pleased with the result—most individuals are properly licensed. This compliance with state law is exactly what we hope to find. We will continue to enforce state laws to protect Florida's consumers and professionals. You can help us by reporting all suspected unlicensed activity to our hotline at 1-866-532-1440 or by e-mailing ula@dbpr.state.fl.us.

Sincerely,

Maureen C. Olson
Deputy Secretary

Department of Business and
Professional Regulation
1940 North Monroe Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Customer Contact Center:
850.487.1395

www.MyFloridaLicense.com

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