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The strict regulations in Florida came about after Hurricane Andrew in 1991. A license from Palm Beach or Pinellas county used to be recognized throughout the state.

Enforcement usually comes from within a county. e.g. there are 31 cities within Fort Lauderdale, I would guesstimate each one has their own code enforcement policiers. Some still require a license to perform work in their city via a permit. I haven't heard a painter complain in over 15 years, I don't know if the enforcement is more relaxed or the Licenses has reached almost 100% participation? What happened to the citizens after Andrew should have been a crime. Selling paint, I'm all for it.
I assure you licensing is no where near 100%. There are fly-by-nighters everywhere... At least in Pinellas/Pasco/Hillsborough, enforcement hasn't relaxed. The people who drive down the prices just don't care about the licensing or the small fines, or changing their names and starting over. Again...to my previous point.... the big problem remains that homeowners don't care at all about licensing, they care about low price. If Floridians ever take the mass screwing they got after Andrew again, I won't be one to shed a tear for them. They brought it on themselves and they deserve what they get. They want the flybynighter pricing & don't support legit contractors through a simple willingness to pay more for good companies who do things right... the customer is the problem in Florida. We work in a multitude of states.... with tons of experience in Florida.... and Florida to me is the worst.
 

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I assure you licensing is no where near 100%. There are fly-by-nighters everywhere... At least in Pinellas/Pasco/Hillsborough, enforcement hasn't relaxed. The people who drive down the prices just don't care about the licensing or the small fines, or changing their names and starting over. Again...to my previous point.... the big problem remains that homeowners don't care at all about licensing, they care about low price. If Floridians ever take the mass screwing they got after Andrew again, I won't be one to shed a tear for them. They brought it on themselves and they deserve what they get. They want the flybynighter pricing & don't support legit contractors through a simple willingness to pay more for good companies who do things right... the customer is the problem in Florida. We work in a multitude of states.... with tons of experience in Florida.... and Florida to me is the worst.
I assure you that Paint Manufacturers have greatly assisted in the enforcement. No longer can someone walk in a paint store and say they are employed by M Eicher and buy paint @ a level below wholesale prices. The misuse of a generic account is grounds for immediate dismissal. I realize this sub market still exists, but they are not buying paint from a manufacturer. Walk into a Big Box, and there are alleged contractors of every trade trolling the aisles. When Covid restrictions are eased, I'm sure enforcement from the municipalities will correct the situation.

When Homeowners appeared in paint stores for color selection, I have always reinforced the positives about using a licensed contractor. I use an instance where the unlicensed contractor was injured on the Homeowners residence and the consequences. Unlicensed contractors taking the downpayment and never appearing to perform the services or doing more damage then before the paint project. Latex over oil based woodwork without preparation and the latex is peeling? Experience a retired homeowner crying in your store, if one has a conscience, I will do everything I can to minimize this horrible experience. At my age, I get a lot of satisfaction educating co workers or assisting the end user with a difficult project. Challenges peak my interests @ this point of my life.
 
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