• A licensed professional has the required education, experience, insurance and qualifications to obtain a license.  They must pass a competency examination before practicing.
  • Many licensed individuals are screened for prior criminal history.
  • The department can discipline and even revoke a license if the person does not live up to professional standards.  This is a not a total safeguard, but is a strong incentive for the licensee to do good work.
  • You may be able to sue the licensee in civil court for problems related to the work done.


  • Get bids from a minimum of three different qualified and licensed contractors.
  • Clearly define the parameters of the project and your expectations to each bidding contractor so that they know how to bid. Beware of any bid that is substantially lower than the other bids—this may be an indication that the contractor takes short cuts at the expense of safety.
  • Ask each contractor for references that you can contact to learn about the quality of the contractors’ previous work.
  • Request a work plan that details procedures and project schedules. This helps determine whether the contractor you are considering fully understands and can handle the project. Obtain a written commitment for full-time, on-site project supervision and make sure the project supervisor’s training certification document is included in bid documents.
  • Select a contractor who has a comprehensive employee training program.
  • Make sure the contractor you are considering has a valid, current contractor’s license and certificate for asbestos abatement work.
  • Make sure the contractor has current registration (or an approved exemption) as an asbestos abatement contractor.

What Asbestos Services Require a DBPR License?

  • Planning an estate auction? Find a licensed Auctioneer.
  • Find out the auctioneer’s specialty. Many auctioneers specialize in only a few types of auctions.
  • They will know the market best. They can determine the value of the items you want to sell, and they will know how to attract the buyers most interested in your property.
  • Verify the person and the business is licensed with the DBPR.
  • The auctioneer’s license number begins with “AU,” followed by a set of numbers. The auction business license number begins with “AB,” followed by a set of numbers.
  • Auctioneers must display their licenses at the auction site, and include the numbers in all advertising such as yellow page advertisements and newspapers.
  • Ask for a resume and references. Reputable auctioneers will be happy to provide information on their background and experience, along with the names and phone numbers of satisfied customers for you to contact.
  • Talk with your friends, neighbors, and relatives about their experiences with auctioneers.
  • Interview several auctioneers before you decide.
  • Make a checklist. Before the auction, you should get an inventory of your goods, and a copy of the written contract.
  • After the auction, the auctioneer should pay you for any items sold within 30 days of the sale.
  • The auctioneer should also account for, pay, or return any unsold property to you within 30 days after the sale.

What Auction Services require a State of Florida Licensed Auctioneer?

  • All barbers must have their license posted at their workstation with photo attached.
  • Look for shop license and the license of the person providing the service.
  • Observe the overall condition of the shop: Floors, walls, ceilings, furniture, fixtures and other apparatus, and all other exposed surfaces in every barber shop should be clean and sanitary, free from dust and in good repair at all times.
  • Brooms, mops, and any other articles used to wash floors, brush or wash the walls, should not be left exposed. All residue, cut hair, dirt, etc., swept off the floor should be placed in a covered container or containers until properly disposed of outside the barbershop. It should appear clean and neat. Towels should be stored in closed cabinets, hair should be swept from the floor, and combs and brushes should be properly sanitized.
  • Did the barber wash his/her hands before providing his service?
  • Does the headrest of the barber chair have a clean covering of cloth or paper?
  • Are clean towels kept exclusively in a closed, clean cabinet drawer or closet?
  • Are used towels in a covered container or containers? Your barber should not leave any used towels on a workstation, barber chair, sink or otherwise exposed at any place in a barbershop or school.
  • Make sure your barber uses soap in liquid form only.
  • Are hair tonics, lotions and cosmetics clearly labeled with the name of the manufacturer?
  • Are the combs and brushes immersed in an EPA approved sanitizer?

What Barber Services require a DBPR license?

Choosing a Contractor

  • Before you hire a contractor, ask to see a state-issued license.
  • Be sure the license looks like the example below. Ask to see multiple forms of identification.
  • An occupational license does not qualify an individual to act as a contractor, it’s really just a “tax revenue receipt.”
  • Ask for references. A legitimate contractor will be happy to provide you with the names and contact information of recent customers.
  • Get a written estimate from several licensed contractors. Make sure the estimate includes the work the contractor will do, the materials involved, the completion date, and total cost.
  • Beware of contractors who claim to be the fastest or the cheapest. Hiring them could result in poor workmanship, inferior materials or unfinished jobs.
  • Contact your insurance agent first to verify your insurance covers the repairs before you sign a contract. Know the steps to file a claim. You do not have to tell the contractor how much your insurance company will pay for repairs, but if you do, get the contractor’s estimate first.
  • A contractor must have a license from DBPR to perform roofing repairs or replacements, structural additions, air conditioning repair or replacement, plumbing work, electrical and/or alarm work. These jobs typically require a permit. Be sure to check with your local building department regarding permit requirements for all of your projects.
  • DBPR does not license or have jurisdiction over concrete contractors, painters, drywall contractors, cabinetmakers, tile installers, or anyone doing minor repairs. Check with your local building department regarding licensure requirements for these trades. Remember to ask for references.


construction contractor's license

Red flags your “Contractor” may not be licensed or insured

  • No license number in advertisement or posting. Licensed contractors are required to list their license number in all advertisements. Rule of thumb: If they don’t have a license listed in their advertisement, which can be verified; move on to the next one.
  • They list only their name and a cell phone number in their advertisement or posting. Do you really want to invite some stranger into your home that you contacted from an anonymous internet site or classified advertisement?
  • They claim to be “licensed and insured” but can only produce an “occupational license,” or corporate filing. An “Occupational License” is not a license. It just means that the person has paid a tax receipt to the local municipality. Most local and county governments have stopped using this term as it is misleading and is often used to dupe unsuspecting home owners. Also, just because a company is listed a corporation does not mean they have the professional license to do your job. Professionals properly licensed by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation are proud to show you both their department issued license and proof of insurance. Be sure to note the license number and verify that the license is current and issued to the company or person you want to hire. You can also contact us at 850.487.1395.
  • They want all or most of the money up front or will only accept cash. Run, don’t walk. Never pay cash for your home repairs or improvements.
  • They want you to write the check to them individually or to “cash.” Be cautious of writing checks made payable to individuals, especially when dealing with a company.
  • They show up in unmarked vehicles offering to do work, and often have out-of-state tags. Known as “trunk slammers” these are often the “hit and run” of the unlicensed contractors. Once they have your money, they slam the trunk shut and hit the road.
  • They don’t want to put the work agreement in writing. Licensed contractors know it’s good business to put everything in writing, including a detailed description of the work to be completed, a completion date and the total cost.
  • They try to convince you a permit is not necessary or that it’s cheaper if you obtain it yourself. Licensed contractors know that most improvements to the home require a permit and welcome the permit and inspection process to verify the work was done to code. Contact your local building department if you are not sure the work you are having done requires permitting and inspections. This is for your own safety and may be required as part of future insurance claims.
  • Protect yourselves from unlicensed activity. We can’t say it enough. Always verify the license on line or call the Customer Contact Center at 850.487.1395.

Signing a Contract

Be certain your contract includes:

  • The contractor’s name, street address, telephone number and state license number.
  • A precise description of work to be completed, including a work completion time line (draw schedule) and list of materials.
  • Completion date, including cleanup after the work is finished.
  • Warranty agreements, including length, terms and recourse.
  • A notice of consumers’ rights under the Florida Homeowners’ Construction Recovery Fund for contracts involving general, residential and building contractors.
  • Read your contract carefully and personally fill in any blank spaces. Consider having an attorney review the contract. If you do not have an attorney, the Florida Bar offers a lawyer referral service.
  • Review your contract before you sign it.
  • Contact your insurance company to make sure work performed is covered under insurance policy.
  • Avoid paying cash.
  • Avoid any contractor who requires full payment in advance. Arrange to pay after the contractor completes the work or in agreed-upon installments.
  • Don’t sign off that work is completed until all work is finished according to your contract, and the contractor has cleared all permits with final inspection approval from the building department.
  • If your contract exceeds $2,500, become familiar with the Florida Construction Lien Law.
  • Most jobs require permits. Always check with your local building department regarding permits needed for your project.
  • Looking to get your hair done? Be an informed consumer. Check out the salon first. Make sure:
  • The establishment license is posted prominently in the reception area.
  • Each operator’s license is posted in plain view at his or her work station.
  • The Board’s Consumer Protection Notice is posted at each footbath.
  • There is adequate ventilation for release of fumes created by artificial nail products, nail polish, or other chemicals.
  • Use your senses.
  • The salon must have clean working equipment and a clean work area.
  • Licensees must wash and disinfect all tools and instruments before they can be used on customers.
  • Make sure the operator never uses the same tools on you that were just used on someone else without first cleaning and disinfecting them. If an item cannot be disinfected, such as a nail buffer, block or an emery board, it must be thrown away immediately after use.
  • Don’t allow an operator to perform a service on you if they don’t use a clean set of tools. The improper  cleaning and disinfecting of tools and equipment can spread disease and bacteria from one person to another. A prime example would be the spread of nail fungus during a manicure or pedicure.
  • You have every right to ask the operator to explain the disinfection procedures before a service begins. Various communicable diseases can be transmitted through the use of dirty instruments, including HIV and Hepatitis B.
  • In addition to cleaning and disinfecting tools and instruments, operators are required to wash their hands before their next client. Before an operator begins nail care services, they should also ask their clients to wash their hands.
  • Don’t risk your health. If the cleaning and disinfection procedures do not appear adequate, you should refuse the service.
  • Licensed salons are inspected by the department to make sure they maintain sanitation standards for the safety of the public. Salons operating without a license may have no standards in place for your safety.
  • Board of Cosmetology licensees receive continuing education so they can stay informed on the most recent information in the profession, including sanitation procedures. If the unlicensed person does not know enough or care enough to obtain a license, do you really want that person using their instruments on your hair, skin or nails?


What Cosmetology Services require a DBPR license?

  • Ask all potential contractors to see their state-issued licenses. Make sure a contractor’s license is current and active.
  • Be sure the license looks like the example above. Ask to see multiple forms of identification.
  • An occupational license does NOT qualify an individual to act as a contractor.
  • Ask for references. A legitimate contractor will be happy to provide you with the names and contact information of recent customers.
  • Get a written estimate from several licensed contractors. Make sure the estimate includes the work the contractor will do, the materials involved, the completion date and the total cost.
  • Read your contract carefully and personally fill in any blank spaces. Consider having an attorney review the contract. If you do not have an attorney, the Florida Bar offers an attorney referral service.
  • Don’t sign off that the work is completed until all work is finished according to your contract and the contractor has cleared all permits with final inspection approval from the building department.


What Electrical Services require a DBPR license?

  • An Employee Leasing company is not the same as a temporary agency.
  • Be suspicious of any employment-service firm that promises to get you a job.
  • Even if employment service firm guarantees refunds to dissatisfied customers, check on their reliability with outside sources like the BBB or local consumer protection offices.
  • Do not give out your credit card or bank account information over the phone unless you are familiar with the company and agree to pay for something. Anyone who has your account information can use it to take money from your accounts improperly.
  • Get a copy of the firm’s contract and review it carefully before you pay any money. Understand the terms and conditions of the firm’s refund policy. If oral promises are made that do not also appear in the contract, think twice about doing business with the firm.
  • Follow-up with the corporate offices of any company listed in an ad by an employment service, to find out if that company is really hiring.
  • Be wary of firms promoting “previously undisclosed” federal government jobs. All federal positions are announced to the public.
  • Check with the BBB and DBPR to see if any complaints have been filed about a company with which you intend to do business.


What Employee Leasing Services require a DBPR Employee Leasing License?

  • No one may represent themselves to the public as a certified geologist unless licensed as a Geologist.
  • Check for past disciplinary action against the individual.
  • Check the individual’s references.
  • Inquire about professional memberships, which would indicate the individual is active within the geology profession.

What Geologist Services require a DBPR Geologist license?

  • Get referrals from friends and neighbors who have landscaping you admire, or from the landscape architect who developed your plans.
  • Ask for the contractor’s state license number and verify that it is issued for landscaping, is current, and is in good standing.
  • Request a list of similar jobs the landscape architect has recently completed in your area. Look at the work and talk to the owners, if possible.
  • Ask if the landscape architect has liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Request certificates in writing.


What Landscape Architect Services require a DBPR Landscape Architect license?

  • Verify the veterinarian you are considering is licensed and that his or her license is in good standing.
  • All veterinarians who practice in the United States must be graduates of an accredited school of veterinary medicine and must have a current license on display.
  • All Veterinary Establishments must be licensed with a premise permit from the DBPR. The license should be displayed for public viewing.
  • Tour the facility. It is important that the facility is clean and tidy.
  • Those Vet in the Park or at the local pet store events are Limited Services Clinics which are required to be registered with the department.
  • A licensed veterinarian must remain on site throughout the duration of the limited service clinic.
  • Only a licensed veterinarian may administer rabies vaccinations.
  • Pet micro chipping is NOT allowed at these limited service clinics.
  • Limited service clinics cannot be held more than once every two weeks and no more than four hours in any one day for a single location.


What Veterinary Services require a DBPR license?