All businesses deal with unsatisfied customers at some point. But, for Licensed General Contractors (LGCs) in the State of Florida, a complaint filed against your business that is sent to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is a serious matter. If you are in the construction industry and you or your business require a professional license, you must be prepared to defend your business and your professional license – regardless of how you feel about the credibility of the customer who is complaining or about the validity of their complaint.
Often DBPR complaints arise out of what seem to be normal business practices. For instance, LGCs hire subcontractors. Most of the time the subcontractors are people or businesses who are known and trusted by the LGC. But this history of working together can lead to complacency on the part of the LGC. Subcontractors, like all businesses, operate in a fast-paced world with fierce competition. Sometimes subcontractors forget to renew their business license or have suffered personal issues that have resulted in a suspension or revocation of their license. By hiring a subcontractor who has failed to renew or lost his license, the LGC could be “aiding and abetting and unlicensed contractor.” The DBPR takes these complaints seriously and this can lead to the revocation of your business’ ability to pull permits or to the filing of an DBPR Administrative Complaint against your license.
In Florida, the DBPR has its own investigators – anything you say to a DBPR investigator can be used against you. As a result, it is recommended that you first speak to an attorney before making any statements to DBPR investigators.
Typically, when a LGC receives a DBPR complaint they have 20 days to respond. It is recommended that you contact an experienced professional licensing defense attorney who can help you navigate the process of defending your license and your business.