Defending Professional Licenses and Florida Law
If you are a professional license holder in the state of Florida, you are probably more aware than most of your fellow citizens about how various licenses are obtained, who needs to get them, and what they are for. While the general public probably knows that at age sixteen, a teenager in our state can get a license to drive a car, more than likely, they would be surprised to learn that, here in the Sunshine State, dozens of different occupations and businesses actually require a license, issued by a professional board or commission, and subsequently approved by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, before any license holder can legally open a shop, conduct a trade, operate a business, or provide certain services to the state’s citizens.
Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)
All told, the Department’s Division of Professions is responsible for approving the licensure of over 360,000 Florida professionals, while its Division of Regulation is the state’s enforcement authority for the professional boards and programs that oversee each individual professional category. It is the Division of Regulation’s job to investigate any complaints of wrongdoing, issue notices of noncompliance and citations, and conduct mandatory inspections.
Persons who hold a professional license in Florida are held to very high standards of ethics and expertise. So, when a consumer makes a complaint of alleged professional misconduct, negligence or malpractice, it is taken very seriously by the professional board that granted the license, as well as by the Division of Regulation that works with the state’s 12 boards and other professional councils and commissions to ensure compliance with all laws and statutory regulations.
In fact, the list of regulated and licensed professions and their related businesses is rather extensive and include the following:
- Alcohol and Tobacco Product Vendors
- Asbestos Contractors and Consultants
- Athlete’s Agents
- Barbers and Barbershops
- Building Code Administrators and Inspectors
- Community Association Managers
- Construction Contractors and Builders
- Cosmetologists and Beauty Salons
- Electrical Contractors
- Employee Leasing Companies
- Harbor Pilots
- Home Inspectors
- Insurance Agents
- Interior Designers
- Landscape Architects
- Labor Organizations and Business Agents
- Mold Related Services
- Real Estate Agents
- Talent Agencies
While many allegations of fraud, negligence, malpractice or misconduct against licensed professionals are often discovered to be unfounded, there is always the danger that, should the complaint be upheld, the Department, or a professional board, may invoke any number of disciplinary actions, including: reprimand, fine, restriction of practice, remedial education, probation, and, in extreme cases, even license suspension or license revocation.
Consulting an Attorney
That is why, if you are a holder of a professional license, and you become aware that a complaint has been made against you, or even if one is threatened, it is advisable to immediately contact an attorney who has expertise in the area of license defense. The reality is, if your license is suspended or revoked, it can end your ability to continue to make a living. No professional licensee in the state of Florida should consider dealing with this serious issue without seeking competent legal help and advice.