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Unlicensed Construction Work is a Felony


Unlicensed Construction Work is a Felony

State of Emergency was declared by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sept. 23, 2022, as a result of Hurricane Ian. Any person who does work without the correct licensure during a state of emergency may be charged with a felony.

Per Florida Statute 489.127(2)(c): “Any unlicensed person who commits a violation of subsection (1) during the existence of a State of Emergency declared by executive order of the Governor commits a felony of the third degree.”

This applies to all types of construction – not just that which is associated with repairs due to a tropical storm or hurricane, and is in addition to the regular penalties incurred by unlicensed individuals acting in the capacity of a contractor. This does not include removing debris, boarding windows, or tarping roofs.

Allowing an unlicensed person to perform work on your property puts you, as the owner, at risk. They are unable to obtain workers compensation coverage or general liability insurance and are unable to obtain permits for the work they are doing. Should injuries occur at the site, the owner may be liable for the injuries, and any work performed without a permit, may not be covered by your insurance company in the event of future claims.

Anyone coming into the area wanting to work as a contractor should first contact the DeSoto County Building Department. This applies to all licensed contractors – all contractors working in the county must register with the county prior to contracting for work.

For more information about whether a person is licensed and registered as a contractor in DeSoto County, contact (863) 993-4811.

Lester Hornbake
Building Division Director
[email protected]
Ph:   (863) 993-4811
Fax:  (863) 491-6163

Building Department’s Contractor Licensing Division 941- 743-1201, the Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association at (941) 625-0804, or by reviewing the state website,