Clearwater, FL – With Unlicensed Activity Awareness Week occurring June 13 – 17, Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) are teaming up again to remind Floridians to thoroughly research professionals and businesses prior to hiring and to report any suspected unlicensed activity. Unlicensed activity is against the law. BBB and DBPR take unlicensed activity very seriously because it threatens the safety of Florida consumers and takes away business from properly licensed professionals throughout the state.
“BBB has the tools to help consumers find licensed professionals they can trust,” said Karen Nalven, President of BBB Serving West Florida. “Remember to look for the BBB Accredited Business Seal when choosing a contractor to know they are properly licensed and have been vetted against BBB’s Standards for Trust including a commitment to be responsive, advertise honestly and honor their promises.”
“Unlicensed activity threatens the livelihood of honest, hardworking professionals and can result in substantial physical or financial burdens to Florida consumers,” said DBPR Secretary Ken Lawson. “DBPR strives to ensure Florida consumers receive services from people and businesses that are in compliance with the law and meet the qualifications and standards required to obtain their state-issued license. Consumers can empower themselves by becoming familiar with what services require a license from DBPR and by always verifying a license before hiring a professional.”
Both BBB and DBPR have online resources to educate consumers on how to report unlicensed activity.
· BBB provides information on how to find properly licensed professionals, including an easy to use checklist. Resources to help businesses build trust in the marketplace are also available at www.bbb.org/west-florida/licensing.
· Consumers can verify professional licenses that fall under DBPR’s jurisdiction by visiting www.myfloridalicense.com, calling (850) 487-1395 or downloading the free DBPR Mobile app available in the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
· Information on services requiring a state-issued professional license from DBPR and how to report suspected unlicensed activity is available online at www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/reg/ula.html.
· Consumers can submit complaints of unlicensed activity with descriptions and pictures using the “Report Unlicensed Activity” feature on the DBPR Mobile app. To learn more about reporting unlicensed activity to DBPR using the mobile app, consumers can watch the how-to video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2MWba_rU_M or visit the DBPR mobile app webpage at www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/os/DBPRMobileApp.html.
BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews® and BBB Wise Giving Reports® and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is a difference in viewpoints. For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. Five BBB offices service the state of Florida, with primary locations in Clearwater, Jacksonville, Longwood, Pensacola and West Palm Beach.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses and regulates more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from hotels and restaurants, real estate agents and certified public accountants to veterinarians, contractors and cosmetologists. Consumers can verify professional licenses with DBPR online at www.myfloridalicense.com, by calling (850) 487-1395 or by downloading the free DBPR Mobile app through iTunes or the Google Play app store. Floridians should report any suspected unlicensed activity by emailing ULA@myfloridalicense.com, calling the Unlicensed Activity Hotline at 1-866-532-1440 or using the DBPR Mobile app.