About Construction Projects in Miami, FL
Miami is one of the most populated regions in the U.S. Its sunny climate, strong economy, and lack of state income tax lure new residents. If you know the local laws, you can build homes and commercial properties for the city’s growing population.
The City of Miami Building Department issues all city building permits. As a contractor, you need the following to get a residential building permit:
- State registration or certification
- Miami-Dade County contractor’s license
- Certificate of Competency
- Certificate of insurance
- An affidavit of authorization from the building’s owner
When your permit is approved, you’ll get an inspection card. This tells you when a city official will inspect your site.
Talk to someone in the department to apply for a commercial building permit.
Necessary Building Licenses
Most Miami builders are licensed by the county and the state. The Construction Trades Qualifying Board oversees Miami-Dade County licenses.
To get your builder’s license, you must:
- Have at least four years of experience. You must have worked at least one year in a supervisory role
- Submit an application form that shows proof of your experience. You can get the form from the county office
- Score at least 70 percent in an open book exam
The Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board issues state licenses. This is part of the state’s Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR).
Visit the DBPR website to apply for your state license online. You must show:
- Your Miami-Dade County contractor’s license
- Proof you’re financially responsible and stable
- Proof you’ve worked in your license category for at least four years. You also must have worked at least one year as a supervisor. Up to three years of college credit hours or military service can stand in for job experience
You must pass Florida’s contractors exam to get your license. It tests you in three areas:
- Project management
- Contract administration
- Business and finance knowledge
Complete approved education each year to renew your county and state licenses.
Liability Coverage in Miami, Florida
Miami-Dade County requires you to have general liability insurance. This policy should list Miami-Dade County Risk Management as the certificate holder and additional insured. If you employ others, you must have proof of workers’ compensation insurance to get a permit or license.
Many builders have other policies to increase their coverage. Some common insurance policies for builders include:
- Builders risk
- Commercial auto
Best Equipment to Use
Miami limestone has impacted Miami’s soil. Local soils are either rocky or marl. Both soil types can pose problems for builders.
You’ll need rough terrain manlifts and scissor lifts for sites with rocky soil. You may need a ripper to break up soil thick with limestone.
Marl soils don’t drain well, so they’re often muddy. To deal with muddy ground, choose a boom lift with a crawler undercarriage or four-wheel drive train. A raised working platform will also keep you high above the mud. Forklifts don’t work well in slippery conditions, so you may need to use a different lift for sites with marl soil.
Miami has a strong building industry with many opportunities for local contractors. Stay on top of paperwork and equipment, and you can take advantage of all Miami offers.