Hurricane Ian’s impact on Southwest Florida has been heartbreaking for residents and property owners. Amid the destruction and panic, we have gathered our combined strengths to help rebuild and restore our cherished communities and public buildings. Construction professionals from across the state and even across the country have pledged their experience and knowledge in the efforts to rebuild. Unfortunately, not every company or individual offering construction services has the appropriate licensing that is required in the state of Florida. Hiring an unlicensed individual or company can expose homeowners to a variety of risks and can cause financial hardships. Law enforcement professionals are doing their best to remove these shady characters. Still, it is always in everyone’s best interest to stay informed and to have the resources necessary to find vital information.
The Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) has a helpful online resource to verify critical license information before hiring a contractor. Homeowners can go online and visit their website at myfloridalicense.com/DBPR and select “Verify a License.” After clicking “Verify a License,” you will be taken to a webpage that offers a list of option search types to locate and verify a contractor’s license. Users can search the database using the license number, name of the organization, person’s first, last, and middle name, and a few other options. If the license is located, homeowners will be able to verify the license holder’s name, the status of the license (this will let you know if the license is active), license rank (this will be key in determining what work they are allowed to perform), and a few other helpful details. Complaints can also be filed at myfloridalicense.com/DBPR.
Screen Shots From myfloridalicense.com/DBPR
City or Local Government Resource
Visiting your county or local government online portal can also be a great way to find helpful information on the contractor you intend to hire. For example, collier county has an online portal that can be accessed at cvportal.colliercountyfl.gov/cityviewweb. Once you are on the webpage, you can select from the arrangement of options. Under the “Contractor Licensing” option, there is an option to click titled “Status, Fees and Insurance.” Once you reach the search box, you can search for a contractor or company. If the contractor or company is located, you can verify information like license status, insurance status that the county or local government has on file, and a variety of other information.
Screen Shots From cvportal.colliercountyfl.gov/cityviewweb
Knowledge is power; we are fortunate to have the ability to seek out and harness this power. We need all the power and hope we can find and generate as we continue to rebuild.