Ignorance is no defense to the enforcement of criminal law. A number of people have called or written about the meaning of Florida’s emergency order suspending some requirements on Florida’s licensed contractors. The Order does not allow unlicensed roofers and contractors to work legally in Florida.

A Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department press release announced:

A roofing contractor was arrested for conducting business in Charlotte County without a Florida license.

At approximately 1:30pm on Friday, October 7, 2022, the Charlotte County Economic Crimes Unit received a call from an investigator at the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The investigator informed the CCSO detective that a roofing company…was found to be in Charlotte County, conducting business without a Florida license to do so, and that a homeowner had already agreed to a contract with them.

The homeowner was contacted, who advised that he met with an …employee at the Community Center on Cape Haze Blvd. After receiving an estimate from the employee at his home, the homeowner agreed to a written contract for roof repair.

The DBPR investigator met with the CCSO detective at the Community Center and located the area where the [roofing] trucks and trailers were parked. At that time, they spoke with the owner of the company. [The owner] advised that he read the Governor’s State of Emergency order regarding contractors, and that he understood it to mean that contractors from out of state were permitted to work in Florida. He went on to say that an employee had made contact with the DBPR and that the representative had given him permission to conduct business in Florida, though he could not provide the name of the representative.”

The Sherriff made this warning:

Ignorance is not an excuse. If you are in Charlotte County, doing business with the people of this community, you had better be on the up-and-up and have the appropriate licensing and insurance. These people have been through enough, and I will not allow unlicensed contractors to further victimize them.

Let’s stop the rumors and wrong information being given to unlicensed restoration contractors. Some have told me that even attorneys and a roofing supplier have been repeating this wrong advice. You need a Florida license to do construction work in Florida. The Emergency Order merely allowed Florida licensed contractors some exceptions that did not require them to subcontract roofing work to licensed roofers. Unlicensed contractors and roofers cannot sign construction contracts with Florida policyholders.