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Sublime Painting Co.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
I've been in the painting business since I was a kid. My owns a paint store in New Jersey. I worked for him up until I moved to Florida, and also did a whole bunch of side jobs. I have a lot of painting experience for my age. That being said I have decided to start my own business. I am in the process of licensing and insuring. I have done a lot of researching on getting licensed in Florida. I have read all sorts of mixed things. Some people say you don't need to be licensed at the state or county level if your a painter, others have said you just need to be licensed at the county level, some have said just at the state level. Who has had experience getting licensed in Florida? I need help on where to go next. Some people have said you need to be licensed as a general contractor. I'm a little worried if I do need to be licensed that I won't be able to get it. I have a felony on my record from a STUPID mistake I made when I was 18. I have heard all sorts of mixed things, and just need some clarity on this. I have tried talking to a couple of painters down here. Some told me they aren't licensed or carry insurance but advertise they do. I do not want to do anything illegal. Others have told me they have a GC license because they do more then paint. I just don't know where to turn. Any comments would be GREATLY appreciated. I would be more then happy to help anyone with any issues you have as far as adhesion or product recommendations for problem projects etc....As I have a lot of experience in helping painters with those projects that don't seem to end.
 

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Im in florida. Heres what I know. And not by any means trying to discourage you. Just the facts. You may have picked the worst county to start out in florida. From what I know and also hear. They require a competency license in that county and several other s. florida counties. And some in s. west florida. It may be the wave of the future.
There is no state of florida painters license. usually all u need is a county licencse in the county of residence or where work is performed. But BUT the competency license is the closest thing to a state license. You have to take a 2 part test. Similar to a GC or roofing state license test. So thats why some s fl painters just go ahead and get a GC license. Then they can do anything. Anywhere. It cost money for the test and the books to study. You have to Pass background checks. And Credit checks. Provide a list of references from people you have worked for in the industry. And some other stuff. Its quite a little process. Its not to hard to pass the painting section. It is tough to pass the business section. I did go thru the process. And have it. I do not reccomend going the illegal route.

The Paintman
 

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Sublime Painting Co.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Im in florida. Heres what I know. And not by any means trying to discourage you. Just the facts. You may have picked the worst county to start out in florida. From what I know and also hear. They require a competency license in that county and several other s. florida counties. And some in s. west florida. It may be the wave of the future.
There is no state of florida painters license. usually all u need is a county licencse in the county of residence or where work is performed. But BUT the competency license is the closest thing to a state license. You have to take a 2 part test. Similar to a GC or roofing state license test. So thats why some s fl painters just go ahead and get a GC license. Then they can do anything. Anywhere. It cost money for the test and the books to study. You have to Pass background checks. And Credit checks. Provide a list of references from people you have worked for in the industry. And some other stuff. Its quite a little process. Its not to hard to pass the painting section. It is tough to pass the business section. I did go thru the process. And have it. I do not reccomend going the illegal route.

The Paintman
WOW! so they won't license you if your personal credit is not so good? That really isn't fair. What if someone is trying to turn their life around. Painting businesses are good ways to go. Low start up, and good profit. I can get plenty of reference letters. I hate Broward County for so many reasons. This is just one to add. I would just hate to put forth all of that time and effort and then not get licensed for one reason or another. Another thought (because of my felony) was to have my business partner apply for the license. We are going into this venture together and would both co-own.
 

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Speaking from experience. Each county has different requirements.Some counties do not require a license. Call your county and find out what they require.
We are licensed to work in 3 counties.Pinellas,Hillsborough and Pasco.

All require background checks,credit checks, testing on business and trade knowledge.
Minimum verifiable 4 years painting experience.That means proof that you worked for a "real" company for a minimum 4 FULL years.
Character reference letters and yes they want to know that you are not in debt and have a bank account so that you are less likely to steal from customers.

You will then need to be bonded for each county,carry WC and liability.Then every 2 years take 14 hours of continuing education.

You must be allready on your way of "turning your life around" before you can begin.
These things take time and most don't have the patience.

Trust me I did it so can you.
 

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aaron61 said:
Speaking from experience. Each county has different requirements.Some counties do not require a license. Call your county and find out what they require. We are licensed to work in 3 counties.Pinellas,Hillsborough and Pasco. All require background checks,credit checks, testing on business and trade knowledge. Minimum verifiable 4 years painting experience.That means proof that you worked for a "real" company for a minimum 4 FULL years. Character reference letters and yes they want to know that you are not in debt and have a bank account so that you are less likely to steal from customers. You will then need to be bonded for each county,carry WC and liability.Then every 2 years take 14 hours of continuing education. You must be allready on your way of "turning your life around" before you can begin. These things take time and most don't have the patience. Trust me I did it so can you.
Exactly same procedure here in Miami Dade county witch is county next to broward. Good luck.
 

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All require background checks,credit checks, testing on business and trade knowledge.
Minimum verifiable 4 years painting experience.That means proof that you worked for a "real" company for a minimum 4 FULL years.
Character reference letters and yes they want to know that you are not in debt and have a bank account so that you are less likely to steal from customers.

You will then need to be bonded for each county,carry WC and liability.Then every 2 years take 14 hours of continuing education.

All this for house painting? You'd almost think we weren't a sub trade :jester:
All I had to do in VA to be legal was biz license and appropriate contractor's license.
 

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All this for house painting? You'd almost think we weren't a sub trade :jester:
All I had to do in VA to be legal was biz license and appropriate contractor's license.
The trades have a very bad reputation here for ripping people off after hurricanes. "hurricane chasers"

So this is an effort to try to curb that. Unfortunately many customers greed will always get the best of them so they hire the super cheap guy who needs 50% deposit and runs off with their money. Then we are all labeled as high risk.
 

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I attempted to become a legit contractor in Fort Myers Florida back in 2003.

Ummmmm no.

The requirements outpaced my ability to conform.
By like 1,000,000%

Here's why:

The licensing course was held only twice a year, the books were $600 and required for the open book test which was timed so that you had to search and answer questions at a rate of 2 per minute...goodluck if you weren't familiar and actually had to look up the answer.

You needed FIVE years residency and proof.

THREE character references from licensed local contractors.

Insurance both personal and property of over $1 million

Credit score that was super seriously 800 or more

Money in the bank...like over $25,000

I had only been in the area for two years :(

My work was recognized by some high level home builders, so they hired me anyway, but the risk was insane.

$10,000 fine, plus felony charges if caught arrested onsite.
$5,000 fine for the client for hiring me.

Not exactly the place to avoid the winter if you're having that fantasy.
It's been tried for decades, Florida has already rejected your application.
 

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WisePainter said:
I attempted to become a legit contractor in Fort Myers Florida back in 2003. Ummmmm no. The requirements outpaced my ability to conform. By like 1,000,000% Here's why: The licensing course was held only twice a year, the books were $600 and required for the open book test which was timed so that you had to search and answer questions at a rate of 2 per minute...goodluck if you weren't familiar and actually had to look up the answer. You needed FIVE years residency and proof. THREE character references from licensed local contractors. Insurance both personal and property of over $1 million Credit score that was super seriously 800 or more Money in the bank...like over $25,000 I had only been in the area for two years :( My work was recognized by some high level home builders, so they hired me anyway, but the risk was insane. $10,000 fine, plus felony charges if caught arrested onsite. $5,000 fine for the client for hiring me. Not exactly the place to avoid the winter if you're having that fantasy. It's been tried for decades, Florida has already rejected your application.
If this is true. This is bonkers. One might as well join the FBI or something alike. Better pension.
 

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If this is true. This is bonkers. One might as well join the FBI or something alike. Better pension.
It is meant to deter the thousands of painters and other contractors that are dreaming of surviving the winter slow down in a tropical environment.

It is true, I went through the vetting process personally.

Every year at this time there are at least a million threads titled:

"HEY EVERYONE I AM GOING TO FLORIDA TO PAINT FOR THE WINTER!!!"

Let the games begin.
 

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They are strict in Florida. I was "reported" once while painting my house in the Keys. Had to tell them I was the owner.

Last winter, I had a good friend who was also a past employee, paint the full interior of the house on Marcos Island. 66yo and retired, he wanted to spend the winter in Florida. Due to area covenants, I couldn't rent the house to him so "as a favor" I let him stay at the house and, "as a favor", he painted the interior. That was our story and we had to stick to it a few times when some local inspectors and "attentive" neighbors made it their business to see what was going on. Probably spent more time on the phone with them than I did with my friend the whole time he was down there. I was told more than once by them they thought I was walking a fine line and was warned about the non-rental covenants. Now they've changed the covenant to read that "only family members" are allowed.
 

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It seems like a big double edged sword.

Yeah it must really suck to start up and get licensed but getting it must be awesome. I'm going to assume Florida painters are on a more level playing field due to the licensing and their strict enforcement.

I'd gladly go through the process to weed out the craigslist hacks I sometimes bid against. :yes:
 

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And I thought california was tough. Out here you pay $300 to get started, do a criminal background check, prove that you have 4 years journeymen experience, take a two part test which was easy to pass, pay for a bond ( I got a 3 year bond for $250 ), declare that you have at least $2,500 in operating capitol, pay another $250 and you got your license for two years. No credit check out here and no liability insurance either. Workmans comp only if you hire somebody. (Except Roofers) Oh ya, the background check was $75. I did not purchase any study materials for the test, they were pretty much common sense questions. Total- $875. On a side note, 75% of painters out here don't have a license.
 
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