Florida’s population continues increasing, making a general laborer or construction business an excellent opportunity. Before you start bidding jobs and completing projects for Florida’s property owners, though, you’ll need to complete a few requirements. Use this guide to learn how to start a general laborer business in Florida.
Why Start a Florida General Contracting Business?
Before covering the steps on how to start a general contracting business, it can be helpful to discuss a few reasons why this type of business may be a good idea. A few reasons to consider a general contracting business in Florida include:
- Ample opportunity: Between a record number of people moving to Florida and the state being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S., general contractors have ample business opportunities here.
- Easy entry: General contractors and business owners must complete a few steps to open a business in Florida. However, once these requirements are met, you’ll have the opportunity to earn unlimited income.
- Diverse work environment: No two days are the same when working as a general contractor. You can enjoy a diverse work environment where the workday goes by quickly.
- Flexible scheduling: One of the biggest advantages of owning a general contracting business is flexible scheduling. You can choose which jobs you take, how many you accept per day, and when you complete them.
Your Guide To Starting a General Contracting Business in Florida
Start your general contracting business in Florida with the following steps:
Create a Business Plan
A business plan is a great first step to starting any business. You can use a detailed business plan to outline your goals. A clear business plan can also give you a better understanding of how long it may take to start your own business, how you plan to make money, and how much you can expect to pay before earning.
Research Licensing and Certification Types
The state of Florida requires all general contractors to have a license. With different license types, though, you’ll want to understand what’s required for each and which is right to meet your goals. The most common is a Florida general contractor license, which allows you to complete unlimited job types with no monetary limit. A Florida building contractor license allows you to work on residential and commercial projects as long as they don’t exceed three stories.
It’s important to note that Florida requires certification in the jurisdiction in which you plan to work. If you want to work freely throughout the state of Florida, you’ll need a certified license.
Gain Experience in the Industry
Obtaining licensure as a general contractor in Florida requires previous experience. Gain experience in the specific general contracting area you want to work in. The state does allow some college credits to apply to some of the experience requirements.
Study and Pass the Exam
Signing up for a pre-licensing class can significantly improve your chances of passing the state exam on the first attempt. You’ll need at least a 70% to pass the test in all three categories: business and finance, contract administration, and project administration.
Insurance is also a requirement for all general contractors and business owners. Insurance requirements depend on the license type, but you can usually expect a requirement of around $300,000 in public liability and $50,000 in property damage. Owning a business also requires a workers’ compensation insurance policy.
Register Your Business
Make sure you register your business with the state of Florida. Most general contracting businesses choose a limited liability company (LLC) filing, but you may have other options available.
Complete the Financial Requirements
The state also requires that you show proof of financial stability before becoming a general contractor. Remember that the state will also check your credit score to determine financial stability. If your credit score is less than 660, however, you may still be able to obtain your license by completing a financial literacy and responsibility course.
Apply for Your License and Wait
Once you’ve met all the requirements, apply for your license and wait. Avoid bidding on jobs or offering your services during this time since you’re not yet considered licensed.
Put Your Business Plan Into Action
Once you receive your license in the mail, congrats, you’re ready to begin putting your business plan into action. Begin reaching out to clients and building your customer base. You might even create a marketing strategy to get your business up and running.
Starting a general contracting business in Florida may be a lot of work upfront, but once you’ve met all the requirements, you can enjoy unlimited income and good job stability. Licensing is one of the most important parts of starting a general contracting business, so make sure you give yourself ample time to study and prepare for the state exam.