occupational licenses

I live and run my business in Orange County Florida where I hold an Orange County occupational license. Can anyone tell me if I am able to do inspections in other Florida counties without holding an occupational license in every county I get jobs in? I was asked that question today by a realtor in Flagler County. Anyone?:mrgreen:

You need an occupational license for each county and possibly each city if they have one or enforce it. Minimum you need one for the county.

This is just one of those little FL problems. I checked into this last year to see if I could get out of this because of storm work – The only way out was to be employed not contracted to a company that had a PROPER license in that location. The question being are you working for FEMA or a contractor – are you employed or are they your client?

Here is how it can go down – You do something that MIGHT be wrong - They find you. First question — “Who is going to pay for this mess that you caused? Who do you work for?”

It is the law and in the age of prepaid cell phones etc. helps the consumer find you if something goes wrong. If we didn’t have it one could run a business with no audit trail at all. — Solves the question of insurance – Can’t find me can’t sue me.

Normally you will have to have a county license and one for the city that is your business home. Some cities do not require a license if you have a county license and I have been told but can not prove it that some counties will honor adjoining county license

Also at least one county has a true HI license

It is the law and right now no one is checking web sites to see that we all are compliant but could

I have been ask “Are you licensed” by a client and I do see HI advertising that they are licensed


Sounds like a good reason for a State license.


State HI license will not replace local occupational licenses. This is NOT a good reason for HI licensing. HI license - or regulation - is for other reasons

There occupational license among other things says that your place of business has been inspected by the local fire dep. and has the required number of parking spots etc. I know that this does not apply to most HI’s and in some area they could care less

It was funny when the local fire chief came to my front door though. I also got the word that I could not run a business out of my house because of zoning. No AMWAY, party plans etc. —

In some areas a truck with your sign on the side in your drive way is in violation of local rules.

Yes, I am zoned commercial


Many cities around my neck of the woods (and throughout the US) “require” a business license to practice inside their city limits. I don’t think businesses operating out of a vehicle all over the state normally comply. I’d claim ignorance if I were you–if you get caught.


I do not agree – know the law and how to comply with a little work

— In a past life I did two way radio sales and service with a van that I used for the family and also used it for the business — where I got in trouble even though it was registered as a 15 passenger van – when I got stopped I had one of the back seats out and it was full of test equipment. I put commercial tags on it and payed the fine. In the front was all types of radio equipment mounted for sales demo etc. I had no signage on the van but a lot of antennas

NACHI says that we will comply with local law and in reality this is the best way of doing business


So Richard, if you work in 20 different cities in multiple states, doing jobs only twice per year or so in some of those cities, you have a business license for each one. Right?

If so, you must have a pretty large staff to keep up with that kind of stuff.


I don’t do work in multi states. If I did I would be properly licensed - business and professional. How would the HI’s in New York like it if I went up there for 1/2 the year and did inspections and then ran back here to Florida in the winter and did not have a NY state HI license??

In most cases these occupational licenses can be gotten by phone or on line. As far as tracking them – before the days of the computer I would put a copy in the client folder and the original in a note book. The client folder always went on the service call.

I also paid city income tax in all of those “small towns” – sometimes like $6.00. Since most of those small town clients were the local Fire or PD dept I was known by the city $$ person anyway and sometimes they would call me and remind me.

We can look at it as a pain in the tail but look at it from the other side of the fence. You are buying a home. You get the name of an inspector thought a realtor - you pay him cash because he will not take credit cards or out of state checks. He gives you the report same day at the house to you and your realtor.

Major electrical issues were never reported someone gets hurt in the fire. You call the phone number on the report and he answers. It is a cell phone and he does not remember you at all. The realtor says that he dropped some business cards off at the office and that is all they know about him. You can’t even find out where he lives. You can read his first name sort of on the report it looks like Bill or Bull and the last name is not readable – The company name is Masters Home Inspections Service

See why occupational licenses are a must for the protection of the consumer? It is sometimes the only audit trail that they have back to the business esp in our profession.

In some areas of the country there are many out of state “tradesmen” that come into an area to - clean roofs - do yard work - etc. and take trusting people to the cleaners. It is an old game.

Joe – with my luck if I did not conduct business this way - the first question that a lawyer would as me at the hearing would be “Were you legal to do an inspection on my clients home”


Richard, I’m not sure if we’re on the same page. Of course I have a State HI license in each state in which I practice–anyone would be a fool not to have that. The license number is on my cards, website, and reports. I’m talking about the rinky-dink “business” licneses that many municipalities require, which are nothing more than a tax.

Let’s say I have my first job in Chapin, SC tomorrow morning. Booked it today. Is it really reasonable that I obtain a “business license” for that town prior to beginning the job? Should I turn the job down because I don’t have a Chapin “business license”? If you do that stuff, I don’t see how you keep up with it. I don’t know who requires what, to be honest with you.

I’m barely keeping my head above water now keeping up with Federal and State taxes and State license requirements. I just don’t have time to call every small town in which I work and inquire about their local requirements. I’m sure I’m not alone in that regard.

I have always considered that I needed a license for where my office is located not where I perform work. I have done this in Florida for over 30 years and have never had a problem. I work in 5 different counties and probably hundreds of cities. As with everything else here each person has to do what is right for themselves.


Good luck with keeping all of those licenses straight.

As an engineer I do most of my work in my office. However, if I perform a site visit I should have a city/county business license for the project location. I see this as a way to generate money for the city…and nothing more.

If I were asked about a city/county business license for an inspection, I would get one. If I’m not asked, I wouldn’t bother.

It should be noted that some cities/counties have high fines for not having one…others only send a letter asking you to pay the normal fee. I would find out who has the high finds and file for a business license in those cities only…or cities I do a lot of work in.

This is the Florida Law on Occupational Licenses. It is very vague which essentially says to me that enforcement would be difficult. For those of us with an Occupational License in the county where we are located that do most business there with only occasional work in other counties this works out real well in the state of Florida.

205.065 Exemption; nonresident persons regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.–If any person engaging in or managing a business, profession, or occupation regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation has paid an occupational license tax for the current year to the county or municipality in the state where the person’s permanent business location or branch office is maintained, no other local governing authority may levy an occupational license tax, or any registration or regulatory fee equivalent to the occupational license tax, on the person for performing work or services on a temporary or transitory basis in another municipality or county. In no event shall any work or services performed in a place other than the county or municipality where the permanent business location or branch office is maintained be construed as creating a separate business location or branch office of that person for the purposes of this chapter. Any properly licensed contractor asserting an exemption under this section who is unlawfully required by the local governing authority to pay an occupational license tax, or any registration or regulatory fee equivalent to the occupational license tax, shall have standing to challenge the propriety of the local government’s actions, and the prevailing party in such a challenge is entitled to recover a reasonable attorney’s fee.

Someone e-mailed this to me and I think that it answers many questions for those of us in Central Florida with the counties set up the way they are.


I do not agree — I reviewed this section when I was getting started and as I see it we are not regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation thus we are not exempt. Section **205.065 **does not apply to our type of work

This would be a good case for G Bell’s point on getting us regulated but then we would have to get a ruling on the temporary or transitory part of the statute.

I do not think that this is just another way of making $ for the gov. At $30 for the license that did not pay for the inspection by the fire Chief. The probably have a $50 indirect cost to keep the program going.

If the law is get the license then get the license – I contacted Orlando and they said license is required. I will call Monday the State and Orlando and see if section 205.065 applies

If not I will request modification of same with my representative

It is just paper work and a few emails to get the ball rolling.

Sure would like to get a good county or city lawyer in on this subject