489.119 Business organizations; qualifying agents.—
(1) If an individual proposes to engage in contracting in the individual’s own name, or a fictitious name where the individual is doing business as a sole proprietorship, registration or certification may be issued only to that individual.
(2) If the applicant proposes to engage in contracting as a business organization, including any partnership, corporation, business trust, or other legal entity, or in any name other than the applicant’s legal name or a fictitious name where the applicant is doing business as a sole proprietorship, the applicant must apply for registration or certification as the qualifying agent of the business organization.
(a) An application for registration or certification to qualify a business organization must state the name of the partnership and of its partners; the name of the corporation and of its officers and directors and the name of each of its stockholders who is also an officer or director; the name of the business trust and its trustees; or the name of such other legal entity and its members; and must state the fictitious name, if any, under which the business organization is doing business.
(b)1. An application for registration or certification to qualify a business organization must include an affidavit on a form provided by the board attesting that the applicant has final approval authority for all construction work performed by the business organization and that the applicant has final approval authority on all business matters, including contracts, specifications, checks, drafts, or payments, regardless of the form of payment, made by the business organization, except where a financially responsible officer is approved.
2. The application for financially responsible officer must include an affidavit on a form provided by the board attesting that the applicant’s approval is required for all checks, drafts, or payments, regardless of the form of payment, made by the business organization and that the applicant has authority to act for the business organization in all financial matters.
3. The application for secondary qualifying agent must include an affidavit on a form provided by the board attesting that the applicant has authority to supervise all construction work performed by the business organization as provided in s. 489.1195(2).
(c) The board may deny an application for registration or certification to qualify a business organization if the applicant, or any person listed in paragraph (a), has been involved in past disciplinary actions or on any grounds for which an individual registration or certification may be denied.
(d) The applicant must furnish evidence of statutory compliance if a fictitious name is used, the provisions of s. 865.09(7) notwithstanding.
(e) A joint venture, including a joint venture composed of qualified business organizations, is itself a separate and distinct organization that must be qualified in accordance with board rules.
(3)(a) A qualifying agent must be certified or registered under this part in order for the business organization to operate in the category of contracting in which the qualifying agent is certified or registered. If any qualifying agent ceases to be affiliated with a business organization, he or she shall inform the department. In addition, if the qualifying agent is the only certified or registered contractor affiliated with the business organization, the business organization shall notify the department of the termination of the qualifying agent and shall have 60 days from the termination of the qualifying agent’s affiliation with the business organization in which to employ another qualifying agent. The business organization may not engage in contracting until a qualifying agent is employed, unless the executive director or chair of the board has granted a temporary nonrenewable certificate or registration to the financially responsible officer, the president, a partner, or, in the case of a limited partnership, the general partner, who assumes all responsibilities of a primary qualifying agent for the business organization. This temporary certificate or registration shall only allow the business organization to proceed with incomplete contracts. For the purposes of this paragraph, an incomplete contract is one which has been awarded to, or entered into by, the business organization prior to the cessation of affiliation of the qualifying agent with the business organization or one on which the business organization was the low bidder and the contract is subsequently awarded, regardless of whether any actual work has commenced under the contract prior to the qualifying agent ceasing to be affiliated with the business organization.
(b) The qualifying agent shall inform the department in writing when he or she proposes to engage in contracting in his or her own name or in affiliation with another business organization, and he or she or such new business organization shall supply the same information to the department as required of applicants under this part.
(4) When a certified qualifying agent, on behalf of a business organization, makes application for a business tax receipt in any municipality or county of this state, the application shall be made with the tax collector in the name of the business organization and the qualifying agent; and the license, when issued, shall be issued to the business organization, upon payment of the appropriate licensing fee and exhibition to the tax collector of a valid certificate for the qualifying agent issued by the department, and the state license numbers shall be noted thereon.
(5)(a) Each registered or certified contractor shall affix the number of his or her registration or certification to each application for a building permit and on each building permit issued and recorded. Each city or county building department shall require, as a precondition for the issuance of the building permit, that the contractor taking out the permit must provide verification giving his or her Construction Industry Licensing Board registration or certification number.
(b) The registration or certification number of each contractor shall appear in each offer of services, business proposal, bid, contract, or advertisement, regardless of medium, as defined by board rule, used by that contractor or business organization in the practice of contracting.
(c) If a vehicle bears the name of a contractor or business organization, or any text or artwork which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the vehicle is used for contracting, the registration or certification number of the contractor must be conspicuously and legibly displayed with the name, text, or artwork. Local governments may also require that locally licensed contractors must also display their certificate of competency or license numbers. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to create a mandatory vehicle signage requirement.
(d) For the purposes of this part, the term “advertisement” does not include business stationery or any promotional novelties such as balloons, pencils, trinkets, or articles of clothing.
(e) The board shall issue a notice of noncompliance for the first offense, and may assess a fine or issue a citation for failure to correct the offense within 30 days or for any subsequent offense, to any contractor or business organization that fails to include the certification or registration number as required by this part when submitting an advertisement for publication, broadcast, or printing or fails to display the certification or registration number as required by this part.
(f) In addition to any other penalty prescribed by law, a local government may impose a civil fine pursuant to s. 489.127(5) against a person who is not certified or registered under this part if the person:
1. Claims to be licensed in any offer of services, business proposal, bid, contract, or advertisement, but does not possess a valid competency-based license issued by a local government in this state to perform the specified construction services; or
2. Claims to be insured in any offer of services, business proposal, bid, contract, or advertisement, but whose performance of the subject work is not covered by a general liability or workers’ compensation insurance policy.
(6) Each qualifying agent shall pay the department an amount equal to the original fee for registration or certification to qualify a new business organization. If the qualifying agent for a business organization desires to qualify additional business organizations, the board shall require the qualifying agent to present evidence of his or her ability to supervise the construction activities of each such organization. Approval of each business organization is discretionary with the board.
(7)(a) A business organization proposing to engage in contracting is not required to apply for or obtain authorization under this part to engage in contracting if:
1. The business organization employs one or more registered or certified contractors licensed in accordance with this part who are responsible for obtaining permits and supervising all of the business organization’s contracting activities;
2. The business organization engages only in contracting on property owned by the business organization or by its parent, subsidiary, or affiliated entities; and
3. The business organization, or its parent entity if the business organization is a wholly owned subsidiary, maintains a minimum net worth of $20 million.
(b) Any business organization engaging in contracting under this subsection shall provide the board with the name and license number of each registered or certified contractor employed by the business organization to supervise its contracting activities. The business organization is not required to post a bond or otherwise evidence any financial or credit information except as necessary to demonstrate compliance with paragraph (a).
(c) A registered or certified contractor employed by a business organization to supervise its contracting activities under this subsection shall not be required to post a bond or otherwise evidence any personal financial or credit information so long as the individual performs contracting activities exclusively on behalf of a business organization meeting all of the requirements of paragraph (a).
History.—ss. 9, 17, ch. 79-200; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 29, 49, ch. 82-179; s. 6, ch. 83-160; s. 86, ch. 83-329; s. 2, ch. 84-322; ss. 10, 20, 21, ch. 88-156; s. 23, ch. 90-109; s. 37, ch. 91-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 92-55; s. 67, ch. 92-149; s. 13, ch. 93-166; s. 1, ch. 93-239; s. 263, ch. 94-119; s. 5, ch. 96-298; s. 73, ch. 96-388; s. 1127, ch. 97-103; s. 9, ch. 97-228; s. 30, ch. 98-419; s. 6, ch. 2003-257; s. 31, ch. 2009-195; s. 108, ch. 2010-5.