The Department of Business and Professional Regulation Conducts Statewide Operation to Protect Floridians Against Unlicensed Activity
June 5, 2009
TALLAHASSEE—Yesterday, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation concluded its statewide unlicensed activity operation with a focus in the construction industry. Sweep and sting operations were held throughout Florida to protect consumers from the personal and financial harm that can result from hiring unlicensed individuals. DBPR partnered with local law enforcement agencies, building departments, State Attorney’s Offices, and workers’ compensation representatives to visit 210 work sites and check a total of 478 working individuals for state-required licensure. DBPR and partners issued 38 notices of non-compliance, 64 citations, and 15 cease and desists.
A sweep involves checking licenses to ensure compliance with state laws; a sting involves undercover operations where known or suspected unlicensed individuals are targeted. Twenty-seven sweeps and two stings were conducted.
“I commend the efforts of our investigators and partners for this consumer protection effort. This operation sends a strong message to unlicensed individuals that they must abide by state law, and it educates consumers about the importance of checking credentials,” said Secretary Charles W. Drago.
Hiring an unlicensed individual can threaten the financial and personal safety of consumers, as well as the livelihood of state-licensed professionals. Unlicensed individuals may not carry workers’ compensation or liability insurance, and consumers may end up paying for injuries on the job. Additionally, unlicensed individuals often underbid licensed professionals, which results in law-abiding professionals losing work to those who do not meet state licensure requirements.
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.
- Report suspected unlicensed activity at MyFloridaLicense.com or toll-free at 1-866-532-1440.
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.