Chrissi and Lisa were able to attend the May Construction Industry Licensing Board meeting which was an eye opening experience. They were able to hear discussions and comments as well as rulings made during this procedure. Hopefully you never have to go in front of the board, but if you do then maybe this will help.
The actual statute that exists regarding financial stability reads that any open liens or judgments stop an application. This will get you sent to the board where you will need to explain what you are doing to rectify these situations. They can then choose to ask for a certain amount of money in the bank, to ask that the applicant get a separate financially responsible officer or to deny the application immediately. A rule has been created that an applicant’s credit score be 660 or above, but at this time that rule is not being enforced.
When you fill out your application, you are asked to answer questions regarding your criminal history and background. You are also required to submit to a fingerprint scan that the FDLE and FBI cross reference to their databases. Anything in your past worst than a speeding ticket needs to be disclosed to the DBPR, and may get you sent to the board. Crimes less than 10 years old—particularly violent crimes or felonies – are most prone to board referral, as well as previous board referrals. The board has final say over who has good moral character, which is a purely subjective issue. An applicant that had been convicted of a felony, but had his rights restored, came in front of the board to ask for his license back and was denied because his experience stated a project during the time he was in jail.
Another major point of contention for the board is the experience verification section. They discussed in great detail the amount of experience necessary and what makes up the four story requirement for a Certified General Contractor license. One gentleman in front of the board had experience in a pump station project where one of the stories was underground and housed equipment. This was deemed unacceptable to be considered a four story project. The board gave him the option to receive his Certified Building Contractor license instead.
Qualifying an additional business is a very involved process and is scrutinized heavily by the board. They want to make sure that a contractor is not selling his or her license, but is actively involved in both companies. If the license holder owns more than 50% of both businesses, the application should be approved without going to the board (unless background, financial or other areas show instability). If the license holder does not own more than half of both, then the board will look at two main areas: Why do you want to qualify this business? How are you to be paid for this venture? If you are trying to qualify two companies that compete with each other, the board sees that as a definite sign that you are selling your license. As for payment, any individual who was not an owner and was paid by 1099 instead of W-2 was denied on the spot.
Reinstatement of a license after it has become Null and Void is also done by a board review. Several individuals were at the meeting requesting their licenses be reinstated, but only one was granted. A hardship endured must be proven to the board’s satisfaction for them to reissue their license. The two who discussed their divorces did not meet that standard, nor did the gentleman who just had no idea how his license was never renewed. The contractor who had been wrongly imprisoned in Cuba for a period of time before finally being allowed a liaison from the embassy was the only one to receive his license back.
After seeing all of this, we have several points of wisdom to share with you:
· You have the right to an attorney. This can help you know your rights and be able to communicate more effectively with the members of the board.
· You will be drilled about all of your application, not just the part for which you were sent board. Be sure that you know your application forwards and backwards.
· If you ever find yourself in front of the board hearing the words “motion to deny”, immediately stand up and either ask for a continuance or completely withdraw the application. This will save you from having a record of being denied by the board.
The gals at Licenses, Etc. are constantly on top of the newest rules and regulations to help our clients avoid a board referral if at all possible. Call us today to find out how we can be of assistance with your next application. www.LicensesEtc.com