Overview

This industry includes businesses engaged in the construction of buildings, roads, residential or other engineering projects. Projects typically include contractors and sub-contractors for new work, additions, alterations or maintenance and repairs.

Business types included in this category:
  • Building Finishing Contractors

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in the specialty trades needed to finish buildings. The work performed may include new work, additions, alterations, maintenance, and repairs.

  • Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in the specialty trades needed to complete the basic structure (i.e., foundation, frame, and shell) of buildings. The work performed may include new work, additions, alterations, maintenance, and repairs.

  • Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in the construction of highways (including elevated), streets, roads, airport runways, public sidewalks, or bridges. The work performed may include new work, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and repairs. Specialty trade contractors are included in this group if they are engaged in activities primarily related to highway, street, and bridge construction (e.g., installing guardrails on highways).

  • Land Subdivision

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in servicing land and subdividing real property into lots, for subsequent sale to builders. Servicing of land may include excavation work for the installation of roads and utility lines. The extent of work may vary from project to project. Land subdivision precedes building activity and the subsequent building is often residential, but may also be commercial tracts and industrial parks. These establishments may do all the work themselves or subcontract the work to others. Establishments that perform only the legal subdivision of land are not included in this industry.

  • Nonresidential Building Construction

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily responsible for the construction (including new work, additions, alterations, maintenance, and repairs) of nonresidential buildings. This industry group includes nonresidential general contractors, nonresidential for-sale builders, nonresidential design-build firms, and nonresidential project construction management firms.

  • Other Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in heavy and engineering construction projects (excluding highway, street, bridge, and distribution line construction). The work performed may include new work, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and repairs. Specialty trade contractors are included in this group if they are engaged in activities primarily related to engineering construction projects (excluding highway, street, bridge, distribution line, oil and gas structure, and utilities building and structure construction). Construction projects involving water resources (e.g., dredging and land drainage), development of marine facilities, and projects involving open space improvement (e.g., parks and trails) are included in this industry.

  • Other Specialty Trade Contractors

    This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in specialized trades (except foundation, structure, and building exterior contractors; building equipment contractors; building finishing contractors; and site preparation contractors). The specialty trade work performed includes new work, additions, alterations, maintenance, and repairs.

  • Residential Building Construction

    This industry comprises establishments primarily responsible for the construction or remodeling and renovation of single-family and multifamily residential buildings; residential housing general contractors (i.e., new construction, remodeling, or renovating existing residential structures), for-sale builders and remodelers of residential structures, residential project construction management firms, and residential design-build firms; primarily responsible for the entire construction of new single-family housing, such as single-family detached houses and town houses or row houses where each housing unit (1) is separated from its neighbors by a ground-to-roof wall and (2) has no housing units constructed above or below; general contractors responsible for the on-site assembly of modular and prefabricated houses; single-family housing design-build firms and single-family construction management firms acting as general contractors; primarily responsible for the construction of new multifamily residential housing units (e.g., high-rise, garden, town house apartments, and condominiums where each unit is not separated from its neighbors by a ground-to-roof wall); multifamily design-build firms and multifamily housing construction management firms acting as general contractors are included in this industry; primarily engaged in building new homes on land that is owned or controlled by the builder rather than the homebuyer or investor; build single and/or multifamily homes; ;merchant builders; for-sale builders; remodeling construction (including additions, alterations, reconstruction, maintenance, and repair work) of houses and other residential buildings, single-family, and multifamily; remodeling general contractors, for-sale remodelers, remodeling design-build firms, and remodeling project construction management firms.

  • Utility System Construction

    This industry group comprises establishments primarily engaged in the construction of distribution lines and related buildings and structures for utilities (i.e., water, sewer, petroleum, gas, power, and communication). All structures (including buildings) that are integral parts of utility systems (e.g., storage tanks, pumping stations, power plants, and refineries) are included in this industry group.

General Considerations

Before starting a business, you probably will need to register with the Florida Department of State, the IRS and the Florida Department of Revenue. When you have completed those steps, you may need to get a license from one of these Florida agencies:

  • Department of Business and Professional Regulation – business licenses for building, mechanical, pool and spa, roofing, solar, and various specialty contractors
  • Department of Financial Services – fire equipment and fire protection system contractors and dealers
  • Department of Health – mobile home park permits and septic tank contractors

Businesses within this category may employ or require individuals holding professional licenses as requirement for a business license.  If you are only pursuing a professional license, you may not need to complete all of the additional steps listed on this checklist.

Business owners in this category may also wish to explore assistance offered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Get Started

The following represents your interactive licensing checklist for this business category. Select the expandable blue bars below for more information on the specific licenses, permits or registrations that may be required to open your business. We have also included a printable version of the following checklist available at the top of this page for your convenience.

Register your business with the Department of State

Department of State

The Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations serves as the state’s central depository for a number of commercial activities. These activities include a variety of business entity filings, trade and service mark registrations, federal lien recordings, judgment lien filings, uniform commercial code financing statements, fictitious name registrations, notary commissions, and cable and video service franchises.

To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website.  To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: https://www.dos.myflorida.com/offices/general-counsel/public-records-requests/.

Steps to Opening

Agency Introduction

The Department of State (DOS) is where you register your business. You can search and access filed information for corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships, general partnerships, trademarks, fictitious name registrations and liens. Also, electronic filing and certification can be processed via the Department’s website.


  • Construction Contractors

Visit Website

Apply for your Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the nation’s tax collection agency and administers the Internal Revenue Code enacted by Congress.

Steps to Opening

Agency Introduction

If you are required to report employment taxes or give tax statements to employees, you need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to send with all items you report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Social Security Administration. If you do not intend to hire others, you may skip this step.


  • Construction Contractors

Visit Website

Register your business with the Department of Revenue

Department of Revenue

The Florida Department of Revenue administers three programs: general tax administration, property tax oversight and child support. The general tax administration program works with Florida businesses that are required to register for, collect, report and remit the taxes and fees administered by the Department.

The Department also manages the State of Florida’s New Hire Reporting Center. Federal and state laws require employers to report newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees within 20 days of an employee’s start date. This information is used to assist the Department’s child support program with child support orders. The employment information reported through the state’s New Hire Reporting Center is also used to detect and prevent public assistance and reemployment assistance fraud.

For additional information, please visit floridarevenue.com.

To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website.  To obtain this agency’s public records, visit:https://floridarevenue.com/opengovt/Pages/default.aspx.

 

Steps to Opening

Agency Introduction

A business owner or contractor may need to register for, collect, report and/or remit one or more of the taxes, fees and licenses administered by the Florida Department of Revenue. This is dependent on the structure of a business, the activities of a business, and whether the business hires employees. In addition, businesses must report newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees through the State of Florida’s New Hire Reporting program managed by the Florida Department of Revenue.


Reporting Employment Information

The Department manages the State of Florida’s New Hire Reporting Center. Federal and state laws require employers to report newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees within 20 days of an employee’s start date. The Department’s Child Support program utilizes employment information and employer cooperation to assist with child support order compliance. The reported employment information through the state’s New Hire Reporting Center is also used to detect and prevent public assistance and reemployment fraud.

  • Construction Contractors

Visit Website

Business Taxes, Fees and Surcharge

Businesses in this category may be required to register for, collect, report and/or remit one or more of the following taxes and fees.

  • Construction Contractors

Visit Website

Apply for a contractor license from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Department of Business and Professional Regulation

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is the agency charged with licensing and regulating businesses and professionals in Florida. A variety of businesses will need to coordinate with DBPR to obtain applicable licenses, registrations and/or permits.

To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website.  To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/instant-public-records/.

Steps to Opening


Construction Industry Licensing Board

The Division of Professions, Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB) is responsible for licensing and regulating a variety of construction contractors in Florida. This board offers licenses for both businesses and professionals. If you see the business type you want in the list below, go to this website for more information or go to the link under the list to apply.

  • Construction Contractors

Visit Website

Division of Hotels and Restaurants, Bureau of Elevator Safety

The Bureau of Elevator Safety licenses and regulates elevators and elevator professionals in Florida. If you want to start a business to construct, install, inspect, maintain, or repair any elevator, escalator or other vertical conveyance in Florida, you will need a registered elevator company license. These companies must employ one or more certified elevator inspectors, certified elevator technicians or certificate of competency holders to be eligible for a license.

  • Construction Contractors

Visit Website

Asbestos Licensing Unit

The Division of Professions, Asbestos Licensing Unit is responsible for licensing and regulating asbestos contractors and asbestos consultants

  • Construction Contractors

Visit Website

Apply for a fire equipment or protection license from the Department of Financial Services

Department of Financial Services

The Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) is the agency responsible for providing services and regulating businesses in financial and insurance related professions, as well as serving as the state’s fire marshal and chief financial officer. Financial and insurance related professionals will need to coordinate with DFS to obtain applicable licenses, registrations and/or permits.

To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website.  To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/publicrecords/.

Steps to Opening


Division of State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire Prevention

The Division of State Fire Marshal’s Bureau of Fire Prevention is comprised of a variety of compliance and enforcement programs including boiler inspections, licensure of fire related industries, explosives, and fire code development. The Bureau of Fire Prevention is responsible for the licensing, inspection, and regulation of the Fire Equipment Industry (Portable Fire Extinguisher and Pre-Engineered Systems Dealers), the Engineered Fire Protection System Industry (Fire Sprinkler Contractors), the Explosives Industry (Manufacture, Distribution, and Use), the Sparkler Industry (manufacture, Distribution, Wholesale, and Retail Sales), and the Construction Materials Mining Industry.

  • Construction Contractors

Visit Website

Apply for a permit or license from the Department of Health

Department of Health

The Florida Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.  The department’s goal is to be the healthiest state in the nation through innovation, collaboration, accountability, responsiveness and excellence.

To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website.  To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: http://www.floridahealth.gov/about/sunshine-info/public-records-requests/index.html.

Steps to Opening


  • Construction Contractors

Visit Website

Explore assistance from the Department of Economic Opportunity (optional)

Department of Economic Opportunity

In collaboration with our partners, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) assists the Governor in advancing Florida’s economy by championing the state’s economic development vision and by administering state and federal programs and initiatives to help visitors, citizens, businesses, and communities.

To file a complaint regarding a business or person licensed by this agency, please see their website.  To obtain this agency’s public records, visit: https://floridajobs.org/about-us/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/requests-for-public-records.

Steps to Opening

Agency Introduction

The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) utilizes public and private sector expertise to attract, retain and grow businesses and create jobs in Florida. It also provides valuable resources for businesses and entrepreneurs; assistance with recruiting workers; and statistical information regarding Florida businesses and employment. Your business may qualify for various state or federal assistance.


  • Construction Contractors

Visit Website

Additional Local Government Information

County Business Requirements

Steps to Opening


Explore Federal Licensing Considerations

Federal Business Requirements

In addition to state and local licensing, many business activities are also regulated by federal agencies.  Businesses within this category may also be required to obtain additional federal licenses, permits, registration, etc. depending on your specific business activities.  It is recommended that you consult with a professional (e.g., attorney, CPA, SBA, etc.) to ensure you meet all requirements before starting your business.  The U.S. Small Business Administration is an excellent resource for potential and current business owners seeking assistance navigating federal licensing requirements.  For more information on the Federal Government, please visit www.usa.gov.

In most cases, you will need not need a license to import or export services or goods into or from the US.  However, international transfer of certain goods may require a license, permit or certification.  All items are subject to export control laws and regulations.  For more information, please visit USA.gov’s importing and exporting page.

Steps to Opening


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has approximately 37,000 dedicated Civilians and Soldiers delivering engineering services to customers in more than 130 countries worldwide. The Army Corps of Engineers is energizing the economy by dredging America’s waterways to support the movement of critical commodities and providing recreation opportunities at our campgrounds, lakes and marinas while protecting and restoring the nation’s environment including critical efforts in the Everglades, the Louisiana coast, and along many of our Nation’s major waterways. The Corps is also cleaning sites contaminated with hazardous, toxic or radioactive waste and material in an effort to sustain the environment.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits are necessary for any work, including construction and dredging, in the Nation’s navigable waters.

Visit Website

Disclaimer: The State of Florida operates OpenMyFloridaBusiness.gov as a public service to Florida residents and visitors worldwide. While efforts were made to verify that the content of this website is accurate and comprehensive, it is recommended that you consult with a professional (e.g., attorney, CPA, SBDC, etc.) to ensure you meet all requirements before starting your business. OpenMyFloridaBusiness.gov is not responsible for the content of external websites.