489.521 Business organizations; qualifying agents.—
(1) If an individual proposes to engage in contracting as a sole proprietorship, certification shall be issued in the name of that individual. If a fictitious name is used, the applicant shall furnish evidence of statutory compliance.
(2)(a)1. If the applicant proposing to engage in contracting is a partnership, corporation, business trust, or other legal entity, other than a sole proprietorship, the application shall state the name of the partnership and its partners; the name of the corporation and 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. In addition, the applicant shall furnish evidence of statutory compliance if a fictitious name is used. A joint venture, including a joint venture composed of qualified business organizations, is itself a separate and distinct organization that shall be qualified in accordance with board rules. The registration or certification, when issued upon application of a business organization, shall be in the name of the qualifying agent, and the name of the business organization shall be noted thereon. If there is a change in any information that is required to be stated on the application, the business organization shall, within 45 days after such change occurs, mail the correct information to the department.
2. Any person certified or registered pursuant to this part who has had his or her license revoked shall not be eligible for a 5-year period to be a partner, officer, director, or trustee of a business organization as defined by this section. Such person shall also be ineligible to reapply for certification or registration under this part for a period of 5 years.
(b) The applicant shall also show that the proposed qualifying agent is legally qualified to act for the business organization in all matters connected with its electrical or alarm system contracting business and concerning regulations by the board and that he or she has authority to supervise electrical or alarm system contracting undertaken by the business organization.
(c) The proposed qualifying agent shall demonstrate that he or she possesses the required skill, knowledge, and experience to qualify the business organization in the following manner:
1. Having met the qualifications provided in s. 489.511 and been issued a certificate of competency pursuant to the provisions of s. 489.511; or
2. Having demonstrated that he or she possesses the required experience and education requirements provided in s. 489.511 which would qualify him or her as eligible to take the certification examination.
(3)(a) The applicant shall furnish evidence of financial responsibility, credit, and business reputation of the business organization, as well as the name of the qualifying agent. The board shall adopt rules defining financial responsibility based upon the business organization’s credit history, ability to be bonded, and any history of bankruptcy or assignment of receivers. Such rules shall specify the financial responsibility grounds on which the board may determine that a business organization is not qualified to engage in contracting.
(b) In the event a qualifying agent must take the certification examination, the board shall, within 60 days from the date of the examination, inform the business organization in writing whether or not its qualifying agent has qualified.
(c) If the qualifying agent of a business organization applying to engage in contracting, after having been notified to do so, does not appear for examination within 1 year from the date of filing of the application, the examination fee paid by it shall be credited as an earned fee to the department. A new application to engage in contracting shall be accompanied by another application fee fixed pursuant to this act. Forfeiture of a fee may be waived by the board for good cause.
(d) Once the board has determined that the business organization’s proposed qualifying agent has qualified, the business organization shall be authorized to engage in the contracting business. The certificate, when issued, shall be in the name of the qualifying agent, and the name of the business organization shall be noted thereon.
(4) As a prerequisite to the initial issuance of a certificate, the applicant or the business organization he or she qualifies shall submit evidence that he or she or the business organization has obtained public liability and property damage insurance for the safety and welfare of the public in an amount to be determined by board rule.
(5) At least one officer or supervising employee of the business organization must be qualified under this act in order for the business organization to be qualified to engage in contracting in the category of the business conducted. If any individual so qualified on behalf of the business organization ceases to qualify the business organization, he or she shall notify the board and the department thereof within 30 days after such occurrence. In addition, if the individual is the only individual who qualifies the business organization, the business organization shall notify the board and the department of the individual’s termination, and it shall have a period of 60 days from the termination of the individual to qualify another person under the provision of this act, failing which, the board shall determine that the business organization is no longer qualified to engage in contracting. The individual shall also inform the board 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 the individual, or such new business organization, shall supply the same information to the board as required for applicants under this act. After an investigation of the financial responsibility, credit, and business reputation of the individual or the new business organization and upon a favorable determination, the board shall certify the business organization as qualified, and the department shall issue, without examination, a new certificate in the individual’s name, which shall include the name of the new business organization, as provided in this section.
(6) When a business organization qualified to engage in contracting 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 business tax receipt, 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 issued by the department.
(7)(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 to each building permit issued and recorded. Each city or county building department shall require, as a precondition for the issuance of a building permit, that the contractor applying for the permit provide verification giving the number of his or her registration or certification under this part.
(b) The registration or certification number of a contractor shall be stated in each offer of services, business proposal, or advertisement, regardless of medium, used by that contractor. 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. The board shall assess a fine of not less than $100 or issue a citation to any contractor who fails to include that contractor’s certification or registration number when submitting an advertisement for publication, broadcast, or printing. In addition, any person who claims in any advertisement to be a certified or registered contractor, but who does not hold a valid state certification or registration, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(8) Each qualifying agent shall pay the department an amount equal to the original fee for certification or registration to qualify any additional business organizations. If the qualifying agent for a business organization desires to qualify additional business organizations, the board shall require him or her to present evidence of supervisory ability and financial responsibility of each such organization. Allowing a licensee to qualify more than one business organization shall be conditioned upon the licensee showing that the licensee has both the capacity and intent to adequately supervise each business organization in accordance with s. 489.522(1). The board shall not limit the number of business organizations which the licensee may qualify except upon the licensee’s failing to provide such information as is required under this subsection or upon a finding that such information or evidence as is supplied is incomplete or unpersuasive in showing the licensee’s capacity and intent to comply with the requirements of this subsection. A qualification for an additional business organization may be revoked or suspended upon a finding by the board that the licensee has failed in the licensee’s responsibility to adequately supervise the operations of that business organization in accordance with s. 489.522(1). Failure of the responsibility to adequately supervise the operations of a business organization in accordance with s. 489.522(1) shall be grounds for denial to qualify additional business organizations.
(9) If a business organization or any of its partners, officers, directors, trustees, or members is disciplined for violating s. 489.533(1), the board may, on that basis alone, deny issuance of a certificate or registration to a qualifying agent on behalf of that business organization.
(10)(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. 10, 17, ch. 79-272; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 11, 21, 23, ch. 88-149; s. 14, ch. 89-162; s. 39, ch. 89-374; s. 45, ch. 91-137; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 2, ch. 93-239; s. 280, ch. 94-119; s. 22, ch. 97-98; s. 495, ch. 97-103; s. 43, ch. 98-419; s. 7, ch. 2003-257; s. 42, ch. 2009-195.