October 28, 2020
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The Florida Statutes

The 2009 Florida Statutes

Chapter 471
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Section 471.023, Florida Statutes 2009

471.023  Certification of business organizations.--

(1)  The practice of, or the offer to practice, engineering by licensees or offering engineering services to the public through a business organization, including a partnership, corporation, business trust, or other legal entity or by a business organization, including a corporation, partnership, business trust, or other legal entity offering such services to the public through licensees under this chapter as agents, employees, officers, or partners is permitted only if the business organization possesses a certification issued by the management corporation pursuant to qualification by the board, subject to the provisions of this chapter. One or more of the principal officers of the business organization or one or more partners of the partnership and all personnel of the business organization who act in its behalf as engineers in this state shall be licensed as provided by this chapter. All final drawings, specifications, plans, reports, or documents involving practices licensed under this chapter which are prepared or approved for the use of the business organization or for public record within the state shall be dated and shall bear the signature and seal of the licensee who prepared or approved them. Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean that a license to practice engineering shall be held by a business organization. Nothing herein prohibits business organizations from joining together to offer engineering services to the public, if each business organization otherwise meets the requirements of this section. No business organization shall be relieved of responsibility for the conduct or acts of its agents, employees, or officers by reason of its compliance with this section, nor shall any individual practicing engineering be relieved of responsibility for professional services performed by reason of his or her employment or relationship with a business organization.

(2)  For the purposes of this section, a certificate of authorization shall be required for any business organization or other person practicing under a fictitious name, offering engineering services to the public. However, when an individual is practicing engineering in his or her own given name, he or she shall not be required to be licensed under this section.

(3)  The fact that a licensed engineer practices through a business organization does not relieve the licensee from personal liability for negligence, misconduct, or wrongful acts committed by him or her. Partnerships and all partners shall be jointly and severally liable for the negligence, misconduct, or wrongful acts committed by their agents, employees, or partners while acting in a professional capacity. Any officer, agent, or employee of a business organization other than a partnership shall be personally liable and accountable only for negligent acts, wrongful acts, or misconduct committed by him or her or committed by any person under his or her direct supervision and control, while rendering professional services on behalf of the business organization. The personal liability of a shareholder or owner of a business organization, in his or her capacity as shareholder or owner, shall be no greater than that of a shareholder-employee of a corporation incorporated under chapter 607. The business organization shall be liable up to the full value of its property for any negligent acts, wrongful acts, or misconduct committed by any of its officers, agents, or employees while they are engaged on its behalf in the rendering of professional services.

(4)  Each certification of authorization shall be renewed every 2 years. Each business organization certified under this section must notify the board within 1 month after any change in the information contained in the application upon which the certification is based.

(5)  Disciplinary action against a business organization shall be administered in the same manner and on the same grounds as disciplinary action against a licensed engineer.

History.--ss. 11, 42, ch. 79-243; s. 1, ch. 80-223; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 8, 14, 15, ch. 89-30; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 143, ch. 92-149; s. 333, ch. 97-103; s. 39, ch. 2000-356; s. 9, ch. 2000-372; s. 25, ch. 2002-299; s. 3, ch. 2003-293.

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