State Agency Unveils Unlicensed Activity Media Campaign
January 9, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) today unveiled its annual unlicensed activity media campaign to educate consumers on the dangers of doing business with an unlicensed individual. Throughout the multi-component educational campaign, DBPR will be encouraging consumers in Florida to check for professional licensure and to hire only licensed professionals.
“Unlicensed individuals take away jobs from qualified individuals who have demonstrated competency in their respective field,” said DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson. “Doing business with those who are unlicensed can also cause serious personal and financial harm to consumers, so it is crucial that they hire only licensed professionals.”
This year, the Department is also partnering with the Florida American Institute of Architects (AIA Florida) to conduct a student video contest for architecture students throughout the state. The contest, which offers cash prizes to the teams who produce the best videos about the unlicensed practice of architecture, seeks to engage the student community in an issue that impacts their profession. More information is available online at http://www.myfloridalicense.com/studentPSAcontest.
Last fiscal year, the Department received more than 1,100 legally sufficient complaints about unlicensed construction, electrical and contractor activity; 174 legally sufficient complaints about unlicensed cosmetology; 106 legally sufficient complaints about unlicensed architecture activity; and 72 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 1,376 legally sufficient complaints about unlicensed real estate or unlicensed appraisal activity and 68 legally sufficient complaints about unlicensed certified public accounting activity. These industries have the highest number of unlicensed activity complaints out of the professions regulated by the Department.
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.
Floridians can also help protect the jobs of licensed professionals and the safety of consumers by notifying the Department of Business and Professional Regulation of any suspected unlicensed activity. Complaints can be emailed to ULA@dbpr.state.fl.us or reported by phone to 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.
More information about DBPR is available online at www.myfloridalicense.com. Also, follow @FloridaDBPR on Twitter or Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation on Facebook for updates about license cycles, events and other important news.