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Things to Know About the Florida Business and Finance Exam


If you live in Florida and are considering becoming a licensed contractor, you must take the Florida Business and Finance Exam. Of course, you first must figure out the right line of contract work, get the education required to perform that work, and obtain on-the-job experience, but all that culminates in a rigorous test of your knowledge and skills mastery. 

Though the exam is long and complicated, by the time you've finished with schooling and gotten an apprenticeship under your belt, you'll find the exam to be perfectly doable. That is, with a lot of studying, and after a Florida Business and Finance Exam course. Here are four of the most important things you should know before heading into the exam.

What Is the Florida Business and Finance Exam?

This exam certifies that you have mastered all the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience required to do construction or other contract work in the state of Florida. 

For people looking to hire you in the future to rewire the electricity in their house, install HVAC in their commercial property, or lay new mainline pipes throughout a neighborhood, licensure with the CILB (Construction Industry Licensing Board) seal of approval ensures that they aren't going to wind up on the wrong side of a construction snafu. 

For you, it's important to know that you know you have the best practices of your trade on lock. Being a contractor is like being a surgeon for houses — one wrong snip, and the entire system could be in jeopardy. Getting that license means you can trust yourself to do the difficult things as well as the easy ones.

Who Has to Take the Exam?

Anyone looking to do contract work in the state of Florida must take the exam. It's possible to do small-time repair work for friends and family without a license, but if you ever hope to take on big projects and run a business of your own, you have to take and pass the exam. 

That includes electricians, plumbers, HVAC specialists, mechanical engineers, those in construction, and more. 

What Do I Need to Become a Licensed Contractor in Florida?

To perform any kind of home improvement or construction contract work in the state of Florida, you must take the business and finance exam. To qualify for that exam, you must: 

  • Be at least 18 years of age.
  • Meet the educational/experience requirements.
  • Be of good moral character.
  • Pay all required fees.
  • Provide proof of worker's compensation / liability insurance.
  • Be able to demonstrate financial responsibility.

What Is the Exam Like?

The exam takes 390 minutes (six and a half hours) and covers 120 questions. Topics include: 

  • Tax law, labor law, and lien law
  • Financing, accounting, and payroll
  • Establishing a business
  • Managing administrative duties and trade operations

The Florida Business and Finance Exam has a required paper and pencil examination section, which is always administered Central Florida. Check with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to learn more. 

For specialized sections, from business and finance to residential contract administration you can schedule with Pearson VUE (the test administrators) for testing centers at statewide locations.

The Bottom Line — Plan Ahead and Study, Study, Study

Contracting is serious work, and the licensure exam is no joke. Clients both big and small need to trust that you understand and will comply with every federal and statewide rule and regulation that goes into building, permitting, zoning, and construction.

Don't look at the Florida Business and Finance Exam with dread or apprehension. Look at it as an opportunity to showcase the skills you've been building for years. If you study and know what to expect, there's nothing to be afraid of. 


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