How to Verify a Professional's License in Jacksonville?
The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) issues over 490,000 professional licenses to eligible individuals in different counties and cities in the state, including the City of Jacksonville. Before hiring a professional in Jacksonville, you should always ensure that the individual has obtained the appropriate professional license that qualifies them for the job. Failure to do this may result in statutory penalties like cease and desist orders from the DBPR, circuit court cases, and the imposition of civil penalty of up to $5,000 or more. Therefore, you should always request proof of licensing and verify the information via the DBPR's online license search portal.
In addition to verifying the professional's licensing status, you should also ensure that the individual has obtained the necessary permits that are required for the job. For example, constructing a new building or renovating an old building in Jacksonville without first applying for, and obtaining, a building permit is considered unlawful and punishable by a fine of $250. As such, you must ensure that the professional you hire obtains the required building and construction work permits from the Jacksonville Building Inspection Division before starting the job. Queries concerning Jacksonville building permits can be directed to (904) 630-1100.
The City of Jacksonville is divided into 14 districts and each district elects a representative to the city council. The city council also has five additional members that are elected to represent the entire city at large, and it collectively legislates on behalf of all the districts in Jacksonville through its various standing and special committees. You can find out your district representative in the council by using the city council's online map.
While the Jacksonville City Council does not issue home improvement or construction work permits, it deliberates and decides on matters involving public and affordable housing within the city. For example, in April 2021, the city council named the Union Terminal warehouse located at 700 East Union Street a local landmark at the request of the owner. This decision is expected to facilitate the conversion of the building into affordable apartments eligible for city incentives. The City Council also provides solutions to other housing-related problems through relief programs. In March 2021, the council voted in favor of the distribution of nearly $29 million to residents of Duval County that were unable to pay rent and utilities due to Covid-19.
Complaints concerning unfair methods of competition and deceptive business practices in Jacksonville can be filled with the Jacksonville Neighborhoods Department Office of Consumer Affairs online or by calling (940) 630 - 2489. You may also be required to complete and submit a consumer affairs complaint form at:
- Consumer Affairs Manager
- 214 North Hogan Street
- 7th Floor
- Jacksonville, FL 32202
Before filling and submitting a complaint form, residents are required to have made attempts to settle the complaint with the business. Note that the department may delay processing the complaint if the aforementioned attempt has not been made. Upon determining that a deceptive business practice was committed after investigating the matter, the Chief of Consumer Affairs may issue an order requiring the business to cease and desist from the practice. The Chief of Consumer Affairs may also request the Office of General Counsel to handle the matter in an appropriate court. If the claim is valued at less than $8,000, the appropriate court is usually the Duval County Small Claim Court. Note that filling a matter with the Neighborhood Department of Consumer Affairs does not prevent the State Attorney from prosecuting the case.
Finally, if your complaints involve criminal offenses like theft, vandalism, vehicle burglary, and sexual offenses you can also report the matter to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office online or by calling (904) 630 -0500.