Community Development - Building
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Notice for Local Business Tax Receipts: Effective August 1, 2008, New Local Business Tax Receipts or Local Business Tax Receipt renewals will now be issued from the Tax Collector's office, Administration building, 18500 Murdock Circle, Room 241, Port Charlotte, FL 33953. The office is located on the second floor. Please call 941.637.1350, for inquiries.
DID YOU KNOW?
• That a LOCAL BUSINESS TAX RECEIPT is not a license at all. It is non regulatory tax by which a local government grants the privilege of engaging in or managing any business, profession or occupation.
• That a LOCAL BUSINESS TAX RECEIPT is non-regulatory and can be revoked only if doing business with Cuba, or upon the revocation of a local or State license issued by governmental agencies (examples: Contractor, Physician, Cosmetologist, Realtor).
• That a person who holds a LOCAL BUSINESS TAX RECEIPT as a “HANDYMAN” cannot perform any phases of construction. They can only perform work such as rescreening, mowing lawns, carpet and linoleum installation, changing door locks and light bulbs, cleaning gutters, window tinting.
DID YOU KNOW?
• That if you buy WINDOWS or TILE from a Business they cannot offer the installation without holding a CONTRACTOR LICENSE in their respective fields. A separate contract must be drawn between the Installer and the homeowner unless the business is QUALIFIED AND LICENSED as a contractor.
• That Charlotte County requires all applicants for CONTRACTOR LICENSES to take a trade exam and a business and law exam with the exception of Jobsite Cleanup and Shed contractors. Financial responsibility is also assessed.
• That a person that performs contracting without being licensed as a contractor can be charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor for the 1st offense and a 3rd degree felony for any offense after being found guilty of unlicensed contracting.
• That contracting without a license during a STATE OF EMERGENCY is a felony in the third degree.
• That complaints against UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS should be reported to the appropriate licensing agency AND the Sheriff’s Office. They are not a civil matter.
• That all CONTRACTORS LICENSES can be differentiated from an BUSINESS TAX RECEIPT by the prefix. An BUSINESS TAX RECEIPT consists of numbers only. CONTRACTOR LICENSES are comprised of a combination of letters and numbers. (examples are AAA, CGC, CCC, CFC, CAC, RR, RA ER, EC…..).
• That CONTRACTOR LICENSE numbers beginning with a “C” are regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
• That you can verify whether a Contractor is currently licensed by the STATE by calling 850-487-1395 or accessing their website at www.MyFloridaLicense.com.
• That CONTRACTOR LICENSE numbers beginning with an “R” or “AAA” are regulated by the county.
• That you can verify whether any CONTRACTOR is licensed in CHARLOTTE COUNTY and whether there are any complaints filed against him/her by calling 941-743-1201.
• That you can also access the COUNTY website to verify if the CONTRACTOR is licensed by checking the Charlotte County website at charlottecountyfl.com and follow the link for Permitting and Licensing.
• That Complaints against STATE CERTIFIED CONTRACTORS should be filed with the DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION. You can request a complaint by calling 850-487-1395 or accessing their website at www.MyFloridaLicense.com
• That Complaints against REGISTERED or LOCALLY LICENSED CONTRACTORS should be filed with the BUILDING CODE/LICENSING DIVISION. You may call 941-743-1201 to have a complaint mailed to you or visit the Building Code/Contractor Licensing Division at the Murdock Administration Center.
• That individuals advertising in various newspapers and the phone books MUST have their CONTRACTOR LICENSE number in the advertisement.
• That if a person who is advertising states LICENSED and INSURED in their advertisement but fails to put their CONTRACTOR LICENSE NUMBER in the advertisement, there is a good chance that they are not PROPERLY licensed.
• That a CONTRACTOR MUST list their license numbers in all forms of advertisements and on their business cards, contracts, invoices, and proposals.
• That if a CONTRACTOR has his/her business name on their vehicle they MUST list their CONTRACTOR LICENSE NUMBER on their vehicle.
• That an UNLICENSED CONTRACTOR will usually ask you to obtain the permit or will advise you that a permit is not required. If in doubt call 941-743-1201.
• That CONTRACTS written by UNLICENSED CONTRACTORS are unenforceable by law.
• That an UNLICENSED CONTRACTOR cannot LEGALLY file a lien against your property.
DID YOU KNOW?
• That if you do obtain an OWNER/BUILDER permit, regardless of who actually performs the work, you as the OWNER/BUILDER are responsible for everything that occurs on the jobsite. That if you have obtained a BUILDING DEPARTMENT PERMIT as an OWNER/BUILDER to build or rebuild your home, you are required to provide direct on-site supervision of the construction yourself; you cannot sell or lease (rent) the home for 1 year from the date the permit is issued a final inspection. If the home is sold or rented you can face the SAME PENALTIES as the UNLICENSED CONTRACTOR. Read the OWNER/BUILDER AFFADAVIT before signing it.
• That a BUILDING PERMIT is required for almost all work performed at a home with the exception of tile, painting and other type maintenance work. This work must still be done by LICENSED CONTRACTORS
• That prior to performing ANY WORK on site the required BUILDING PERMIT along with the required Plans must be posted in a conspicuous place.
• That the BUILDING PERMIT protects you as the consumer and assures you that the work has been INSPECTED by a BUILDING INSPECTOR. Inspections are done to ensure that the work has been completed in accordance with the Florida Building Codes.
• That you can call the Building Division at 941-743-1201 to verify whether a permit is required.
• That you can check the status and progress of your permit through the County website at charlottecountyfl.com and follow the links for Permitting and Licensing.
• That if a CONTRACTOR requests more than a 10% deposit of the total contract price, he or she must: 1) APPLY for the permit with 30 DAYS. 2) START work within 90 days after the required permits are issued unless the OWNER has agreed in WRITING to a longer period of time.
DID YOU KNOW?
• That you should avoid paying CASH for any construction job as proof of payment is required to file a complaint. If you do pay cash, obtain a signed receipt.
• That if you pay your contractor in full but he fails to pay the supplier, subcontractor or employees that worked on your jobsite, a lien can be filed against your property which could result in you paying twice. You must become familiar with the FLORIDA CONSTRUCTION LIEN LAW. You can access an online brochure through the Department of Business and Professional Regulation through the website of http://www.myflorida.com/dbpr/dbpr/news/brochures_tips/lien_law_jan04.pdf
• That a CONTRACT should include the contractor’s name, address, phone numbers and license number.
• That the CONTRACT should also include a PRECISE description of the work to be performed, including a draw schedule and anticipated completion dates.
• That any contractual disputes are CIVIL and must be dealt with through the Civil Court system or mediation.