Qualifying Agents to Operate a Construction Business in Florida
A qualifying agent is someone who takes responsibility for the management of construction operations for a construction company in Florida. It is the person who the State identifies as being in-charge of all construction-related operations. The State of Florida requires at least one qualifying agent per company in order for the company to legally operate.
Can the qualifying agent and the owner of a construction business be two different people?
Yes, they can, and it is not an unusual. It is not uncommon in Florida for the qualifying agent to be an employee of the company and not necessarily a majority shareholder.
Is it illegal to be a qualifying agent or to look for one?
Absolutely NO, it is not illegal at all. The qualification process of a company is a formal process done through the DBPR. What is an illegal practice is to become what is known as an "absentee contractor". An "absentee" contractor is one who simply qualifies a company and walks away from all supervisory duties. Doing so, not supervising the work which is being done with your license is not a wise move since it is contrary to what you've officially told the State (that you will be responsible for all the construction-related work the company does). If you are a qualifying agent for a company and you do not wish to work with said company any longer, you must notify the state immediately that you are no longer associated with said company to limit your liability. The DBPR will then notify the company that they need to find another qualifier within a specific time period.