The Department of Business and Professional Regulation Partners with Local Government to Protect Consumers Against Unlicensed Activity
June 2, 2009
TALLAHASSEE—The Department of Business and Professional Regulation is committed to protecting consumers against unlicensed activity, which could result in personal or financial harm. Yesterday, the department partnered with the City of Tallahassee Building Inspection Division, the Leon County Building Inspection, the State Attorney’s Office for the Second Judicial Circuit, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, and a workers’ compensation investigator to sweep through Leon County and ensure compliance with state and local laws. Government officials were pleased to discover a high compliance rate among local businesses.
“These regularly occurring sweeps are used as a tool in combating unlicensed activity and demonstrate our commitment to keeping Floridians safe. I am glad to see that the majority of individuals whose licenses we checked are in compliance with state laws. I thank our partnering agencies for making this operation a success,” said Secretary Charles W. Drago.
During the sweep, 22 sites were visited, and 19 licenses were checked. One person was issued a cease and desist for building a new deck without a license. A cease and desist notice is a warning from the department that conduct in which the person is engaged in appears to be unlicensed activity. If the person engages in unlicensed activity in the future, they may be subject to administrative penalties.
"In these very tight economic times, it is more important than ever for our citizens to ensure that any building work they are having done is by a licensed professional," said Ronnie Spooner, the City of Tallahassee's Building Official. "We want our citizens to receive quality work and want to help ensure they get what they pay for in terms of construction services."
“The safety standards of our residents and the security of our buildings are jeopardized when essential standards are not adhered to,” said Leon County Administrator Parwez Alam.
A sweep involves checking licenses to ensure compliance with state licensing laws. During sweeps, investigators perform compliance checks and bring charges against individuals working without a license. The ultimate goal is to bring unlicensed individuals into compliance with state licensing laws.
DBPR executes a three-tiered approach to combat unlicensed activity through education, prevention and enforcement. Here are some tips to help consumers protect themselves against unlicensed activity:
- Always ask to see the State of Florida license.
- Note the license number and verify that the license is current and in good standing. To check a license, call 850-487-1395 or visit MyFloridaLicense.com.
- Ask for references and check each one.
- Do not pay cash and be cautious of writing checks made payable to individuals, especially when dealing with a company.
- Get everything in writing, including a detailed description of the work to be completed, a completion date and the total cost.
The department’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit MyFloridaLicense.com.