By Alexander Barthet

Advertising is a part of every business; some would argue the most important part of any business. How else would the public know what services your company offers? But when it comes to the construction industry, advertising must be accomplished in a particular way.

You see, there are rules to follow, specific rules or you could find yourself in a pickle. Most critical is the fact that your certification or registration number must appear on all forms of advertising:

“The registration or certification number of each contractor shall appear in each offer of services, business proposal, bid, contract, or advertisement…”

“If a vehicle bears the name of a contractor or business organization, or any text or artwork which would lead a reasonable person to believe that the vehicle is used for contracting, the registration or certification number of the contractor must be conspicuously and legibly displayed with the name, text, or artwork.”

“Local governments may also require that locally licensed contractors must also display their certificate of competency or license numbers…”

So as you can see, any item you use to offer your services as a contractor needs to clearly have your certification or registration listed – websites, vehicles, brochures that list your services all must contain the required certification numbers.

For example, if your company has a website that offers construction services you need to place your certification or registration numbers on each page. The best location for these these numbers is either on the header portion or the footer of each page. These numbers must also be easy to read and find.

Are There Exceptions?

The law does exclude some advertising items from having to comply. As you’ll see below, give away items, stationery and uniforms are not included in these rules:

“… The term “advertisement” does not include business stationery or any promotional novelties such as balloons, pencils, trinkets, or articles of clothing.”

What Happens if Rules Are Not Followed?

You could find yourself and your company in some trouble with the State of Florida regulating body if you don’t comply:

“The board shall issue a notice of noncompliance for the first offense, and may assess a fine or issue a citation for failure to correct the offense within 30 days or for any subsequent offense, to any contractor or business organization that fails to include the certification or registration number as required by this part…”

This is one of those rules that contractors either don’t know much about or don’t care much about.