By Alex Barthet
We see them every time we are on any highway – those construction vans and pickups with the contractor’s name, logo and phone number. After all advertising is a part of every business. How else would the public know what services your company offers? But when it comes to the construction industry, advertising of this sort must be done in a particular way.
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. That’s everything including each offer of services, business proposal, bid, contract, or advertisement. The actual rule in Florida states:
“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…”
Doing it right means any item you use to offer your services as a contractor needs to clearly have your certification or registration listed – websites, vehicles, brochures, all must contain the required certification numbers. And these numbers must also be easy to read and find.
Are There Exceptions?
The law does exclude some items. 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 if you don’t comply. The law states: “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 many contractors just don’t know much about. But as you can see, it would be a mistake to ignore these compliance requirements. Folks are starting to receive citations, and some are being fined. Don’t be one of those contractors, especially when observance is frankly so easy.