Sarasota County Penalizes Aiding Unlicensed Contractors
The Sarasota County Commission voted on July 8, 2020, to impose penalties on any contractor who is licensed in the County who allows an unlicensed contractor to perform work under their license.
Under current law (Sarasota County Code, Sec. 22-122), it is unlawful for any person of company to contract for, or do, any construction work in a wide range of trades unless the individual or company holds an active Sarasota County Operating Certificate in addition to an applicable Sarasota County Certificate of Competency. Further, under State law (Florida Statute 489.127, 489.132, 489.531) it is unlawful to hold yourself out as having the necessary certifications or registrations, or to use another’s certification or registration as your own. The Sarasota County Commission added as a violation of its code anyone who aids or abets violation of these State prohibitions. As defined by the amendment, aiding and abetting includes:
knowingly combining or conspiring with an uncertified or unregistered person by allowing his or her certificate or registration to be used by the uncertified or unregistered person with intent to evade the provisions of these sections. When a certificate holder or registrant allows his or her certificate to be used by one or more business organizations without having any active participation in the operations, management, or control of such business organizations, such act constitutes prima facie evidence of an intent to evade the provisions of these sections.
Violators will be subject to a noncriminal infraction and fine. The minimum fine is $1,000. Each day the violation occurs constitutes a separate violation subject to a separate fine.