The State of Florida mandates certification requirements for many categories of contractors. These contractors are required to be licensed either at the State level or the local level. Certification is based on experience, education requirements, and passing a written examination. Examinations are given for the local level and at the state level. State-certified contractors can work anywhere in the state. Locally-certified contractors can only work in the local jurisdiction or another jurisdiction that has a reciprocity agreement with them.
All construction work must be done by one of these licensed contractors with two exceptions: the owner of a one or two family dwelling; or the owner of a commercial building who is doing less than $75,000.00 in work on the building for his or her own use, and not for sale or lease.
A homeowner can hire laborers to assist him or her in the work provided the laborers are supervised by the homeowner and the homeowner complies with the Florida Statutes regarding worker's compensation, insurance and payroll taxes.
A contractor can only do the work in the area of certification (e.g. a plumbing contractor cannot do roofing work). Some areas of work such as painting does not require a permit, but the contractor must still be licensed even though a permit is not required. Hillsborough County has contractor disciplines that are locally regulated, so it is wise to check to see if your discipline is required to be licensed.
Contractor Licensing Links