Understanding Florida House Bill HB1383 and HB735: Key Changes to Contractor Licensing

June 03, 2024
Ori Gross

Hey there, fellow Floridians and curious readers! Today, we're diving into an important topic that might sound a bit dry but is crucial for anyone working with contractors in Florida. We're talking about the changes to contractor licensing with the introduction of Florida House Bill HB1383 and its relationship to HB735. Whether you're a homeowner, a contractor, or just someone interested in state regulations, this blog post will break down everything you need to know in a simple, straightforward, and even slightly humorous way. Let’s get started!

What Are HB1383 and HB735?

Before we jump into the changes, let's understand what these bills are all about. Florida House Bill 735, which passed in 2021, created significant changes to how contractor licensing is handled in the state. It aimed to simplify the licensing process and create a uniform standard across all municipalities and counties in Florida. Sounds great, right? But, like any big change, it came with its own set of challenges and controversies.

Now, enter HB1383. This bill was introduced to address some of the issues and loopholes that arose with HB735. Essentially, HB1383 is here to tweak and refine the rules set by HB735, ensuring they work more smoothly for everyone involved.

Key Changes Introduced by HB1383

  1. Uniform Licensing Requirements

    • One of the primary goals of HB735 was to establish uniform licensing requirements across Florida. HB1383 further solidifies this by clarifying what these requirements should be. No more guessing games about what’s needed in one county versus another. It’s like having the same rules for Monopoly everywhere you play – finally!
  2. Local Licensing Authority

    • Previously, local governments had the power to impose their own additional licensing requirements. HB735 aimed to curtail this, but it wasn’t entirely clear how far this restriction went. HB1383 clarifies that local governments can’t add extra requirements beyond what the state mandates. So, if you meet state requirements, you’re good to go everywhere in Florida.
  3. Grandfathering Existing Licenses

    • For those who were already licensed under the old system, HB1383 includes provisions to grandfather these licenses. This means current contractors won't suddenly find themselves out of a job just because the rules changed. Phew!
  4. Continuing Education and Renewal

    • Both bills emphasize the importance of continuing education. HB1383 ensures that all contractors keep up with their education and renew their licenses regularly. Think of it like keeping your car’s oil changed – regular maintenance keeps everything running smoothly.
  5. Enforcement and Penalties

    • HB1383 also strengthens enforcement mechanisms and outlines penalties for those who try to skirt the rules. Contractors working without proper licensing can face significant fines and other penalties. It’s the state’s way of saying, “Play by the rules, or else!”

Impact on Contractors and Homeowners

Now that we know what the changes are, let's talk about how they impact different groups:

  • Contractors

    • For contractors, these changes mean a more predictable and streamlined licensing process. Instead of navigating a patchwork of local regulations, there’s now a clear set of state standards to follow. This can make it easier to work across different areas without needing a new license for each location.
  • Homeowners

    • Homeowners benefit from these changes too. With uniform standards, it’s easier to verify that a contractor is properly licensed and qualified. This can give homeowners more confidence in the work being done on their homes.
  • Local Governments

    • Local governments lose some of their autonomy to set unique licensing requirements, but this trade-off is intended to create a more consistent and fair system statewide. It’s a bit like losing the ability to make your own house rules but gaining a game that’s easier for everyone to play.

Common Questions About HB1383 and HB735

Q1: How does HB1383 affect contractors who were licensed before HB735? A1: Contractors who were already licensed under the old system are generally grandfathered in, meaning they don’t have to reapply under the new rules. However, they do need to ensure they meet any continuing education and renewal requirements.

Q2: Can local governments impose additional licensing requirements? A2: No, HB1383 clarifies that local governments cannot impose additional requirements beyond the state’s uniform standards.

Q3: What happens if a contractor doesn’t comply with the new licensing rules? A3: Contractors who fail to comply with the new rules can face significant fines and other penalties. The state is serious about enforcing these standards to protect consumers and ensure quality work.

Q4: How does this impact new contractors? A4: New contractors will need to meet the uniform state requirements to obtain their licenses. This could simplify the process by eliminating the need to navigate different local regulations.

Q5: What about continuing education? A5: Continuing education is a key component of both HB735 and HB1383. Contractors need to stay up-to-date with their education to maintain their licenses, ensuring they’re knowledgeable about the latest standards and practices.


In summary, Florida House Bill HB1383 fine-tunes the sweeping changes introduced by HB735 to create a more uniform, predictable, and enforceable contractor licensing system across the state. Whether you’re a contractor, a homeowner, or a local government official, these changes are designed to make the process simpler and more consistent for everyone involved.

So next time you need a contractor, you can have a little more peace of mind knowing that the state of Florida is working hard to ensure they’re properly licensed and qualified. And for contractors, it’s a clearer path to doing business anywhere in the Sunshine State. Win-win!


FAQs about HB1383 and HB735

Alright, let's dive into some frequently asked questions about HB1383 and HB735 to clear up any lingering confusion!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What exactly does "grandfathering" mean for existing contractors?

A1: Grandfathering means that contractors who were already licensed before the new laws took effect can continue to operate under their existing licenses. They don't have to reapply or meet new initial licensing requirements, but they must adhere to ongoing education and renewal standards.

Q2: If local governments can't add extra licensing requirements, what role do they play now?

A2: Local governments still play a crucial role in enforcing the state's licensing standards. They can conduct inspections, ensure compliance with state laws, and handle complaints against contractors. However, they can't create additional requirements beyond what the state mandates.

Q3: How does HB1383 affect specialty contractors, like electricians or plumbers?

A3: Specialty contractors must adhere to the same state-wide licensing requirements as general contractors. HB1383 aims to simplify and standardize the process, making it easier for specialty contractors to work across different municipalities without needing multiple licenses.

Q4: Are there any exemptions to the state licensing requirements under HB1383?

A4: Yes, there are certain exemptions. For example, homeowners doing work on their own property are often exempt from needing a contractor’s license. However, these exemptions are specific and limited, so it's essential to check the details to see if they apply to your situation.

Q5: How often do contractors need to renew their licenses, and what does the renewal process involve?

A5: The renewal process and frequency can vary, but typically contractors need to renew their licenses every two years. The renewal process involves completing a set number of continuing education hours to ensure they stay updated on industry standards and regulations.

Q6: What should a homeowner do if they suspect a contractor is not properly licensed?

A6: Homeowners can verify a contractor's license through the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation's website. If there are concerns or suspicions, homeowners can file a complaint with the department to investigate the contractor’s credentials and compliance.

Q7: Can contractors appeal if they face penalties under the new laws?

A7: Yes, contractors have the right to appeal any penalties or enforcement actions. The appeals process will involve a review by the relevant regulatory body, and contractors can present their case to contest the penalties.

Q8: What are the benefits of continuing education for contractors?

A8: Continuing education ensures that contractors are up-to-date with the latest building codes, safety practices, and industry standards. This not only helps them maintain their licenses but also improves the quality and safety of the work they perform.


Alright, let’s wrap up everything we’ve discussed about the changes to contractor licensing in Florida with HB1383 and HB735.

Key Takeaways

  1. Uniform Licensing Requirements:

    • HB1383 strengthens the goal of HB735 by ensuring that contractor licensing requirements are consistent across all counties and municipalities in Florida. This uniformity eliminates confusion and simplifies the process for contractors and homeowners alike.
  2. Local Licensing Authority:

    • Local governments can no longer impose additional licensing requirements beyond state mandates. This means if a contractor meets state requirements, they’re good to work anywhere in Florida, creating a more streamlined system.
  3. Grandfathering Existing Licenses:

    • Contractors who were licensed before the new laws took effect are grandfathered in, allowing them to continue operating under their existing licenses. They must, however, comply with ongoing education and renewal requirements to keep their licenses active.
  4. Continuing Education and Renewal:

    • Both HB735 and HB1383 emphasize the importance of continuing education. Contractors must regularly renew their licenses and complete continuing education courses to stay updated on the latest industry standards and practices.
  5. Enforcement and Penalties:

    • HB1383 enhances enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance. Contractors who work without proper licensing can face significant fines and other penalties, ensuring a higher standard of work and consumer protection.

Impact on Different Groups

  • Contractors:

    • The changes simplify the licensing process, making it easier to work across various regions in Florida. With clear, state-wide standards, contractors can focus more on their work and less on navigating complex local regulations.
  • Homeowners:

    • Homeowners benefit from the assurance that contractors are uniformly licensed and qualified. This uniformity makes it easier to verify credentials and trust that the work being done meets state standards.
  • Local Governments:

    • While they lose some autonomy in setting licensing requirements, local governments continue to play a vital role in enforcing state standards and ensuring compliance, helping maintain the quality and safety of construction work in their areas.

Final Thoughts

Florida's efforts to streamline and standardize contractor licensing through HB735 and HB1383 are designed to create a more efficient and transparent system for everyone involved. By establishing clear, uniform standards, these changes help protect consumers, support contractors, and simplify regulatory enforcement.

So, whether you’re hiring a contractor for a home project or are a contractor yourself, understanding these changes can help you navigate the process with confidence and ease. The goal is a fairer, more predictable system that benefits all parties involved.