OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of Business and Professional Regulation

Professional Regulation

What is the purpose of the program?

The Professional Regulation program licenses and regulates professions doing business in Florida.

What activities does the program perform?

Primary program activities include licensing; testing; inspecting licensed establishments; enforcing laws, rules, and standards; responding to complaints against licensees and unlicensed activity; conducting mediations; and taking action against licensees and businesses and individuals engaging in unlicensed activity if probable cause is determined. The program also examines and licenses farm labor contractors; conducts routine checks, inspections, and investigations of farm labor contractors; regulates and licenses labor organizations and business agents; and conducts walk-in visits at establishments that employ minors to verify compliance with child labor laws.

How is the program organized?

Professional Regulation is divided into five divisions and two commissions.
These divisions are supported by the Bureau of Education and Testing, which develops and administers licensure examinations.

What is the purpose of the Division of Professions?

The Division of Professions is responsible for licensing over 460,000 professionals and administers 12 professional boards, 5 department-regulated professions, and 1 council. Each profession listed below is administered either directly by the department or through separately appointed boards or councils.
The division also houses the Florida Building Commission, a 25-member technical body responsible for the development, maintenance, and interpretation of the Florida Building Code.

What is the purpose of the Division of Regulation?

The Division of Regulation is the enforcement authority for the professional boards and programs, including the Farm and Child Labor programs. The division monitors these professions and related businesses to ensure compliance with the laws, rules, and standards set by the Legislature and the professional boards. The division monitors compliance by investigating complaints and performing inspections. 
The exceptions to this are the engineering profession, which receives administrative, investigative, and prosecutorial services through the Florida Engineers Management Corporation, the architecture and interior design profession, which contracts with a law firm to provide investigative and prosecutorial services; and the Divisions of Certified Public Accounting, Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics, and Real Estate, which perform their own investigative services.
The division has six program areas.
Regional offices are located in Ft. Myers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Margate, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Tampa, and West Palm Beach.

What is the purpose of the Division of Certified Public Accounting?

The Division of Certified Public Accounting regulates Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and accounting firms.  Division duties include processing applications to sit for the CPA license, reactivating delinquent or inactive CPA licenses, licensing accountancy firms, tracking continuing education forms, and providing administrative support to the Board of Accountancy.

What is the purpose of the Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics?

The Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics regulates and enforces laws and rules related to manufacturing and distributing drugs, devices, and cosmetics. The division also safeguards Florida citizens from injury by product use and merchandising deceit involving such products.

What is the purpose of the Division of Real Estate?

The Division of Real Estate regulates, through education and compliance, real estate and appraisal licensees that include individuals, corporations, real estate schools, and instructors. The division provides administrative support to the Florida Real Estate Commission and the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board.

What is the purpose of the Florida Building Commission?

The Florida Building Commission is responsible for developing, maintaining, and interpreting the Florida Building Code through a consensus-building process. The commission also approves products for statewide acceptance and administers the Building Code Training Program.

What is the purpose of the Florida State Boxing Commission?

The Florida State Boxing Commission regulates professional boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts in Florida. In addition, the commission approves and monitors amateur boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts sanctioning organizations that host events in Florida.

How do citizens find comprehensive information about licensing, check their license status, or file a complaint?

The department has an online system to serve both licensees and the public.  The system allows licensees to access their application status and report continuing education.  The online system also allows the public to verify licenses, request public records, or file a complaint.

How many licensees is the program responsible for and what percentage complies with all laws and rules?

In Fiscal Year 2018-19, the program was responsible for over 955,000 licensees. During this period, 81% of licensees were in compliance with inspection laws and regulations. Thirty-nine percent of the licensees corrected violations through alternative means, including notices of non-compliance, citations, or alternative dispute resolution. According to the department, these alternative procedures have resulted in significant cost savings to the department, faster case resolution for the consumers, and have proven to be especially beneficial after hurricanes and/or major storms.

How are these activities funded?

Program funding comes from fees collected for licensing regulations with the exception of the Florida Boxing Commission and the Division of Drugs, Devices, and Cosmetics, which were appropriated $443,675 and $640,000 in General Revenue, respectively, for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
PROGRAM: PROFESSIONAL REGULATION
COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
32,809,888
236.50
DRUGS, DEVICES, AND COSMETICS
3,445,685
25.50
FARM AND CHILD LABOR REGULATION
2,030,038
30.00
FLORIDA BOXING COMMISSION
1,086,420
4.00
TESTING AND CONTINUING EDUCATION
3,230,881
38.00
TOTAL
42,602,912
334.00

Updates

Reduced regulation.  The 2020 Legislature enacted Ch. 2020-160, Laws of Florida, which: deregulated some professions, such as hair braiders and wrappers, nail polishers, and makeup artists; reduced training and other requirements to obtain professional licenses; made it easier for some out of state professionals and veterans to obtain licensure; reduced the number of members on the Florida Building Commission and preempted the regulation of food trucks to the state.

Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act.   The 2020 Legislature enacted Chapter 2020-118, Laws of Florida, which preempts the regulation of over the counter drugs or cosmetics,  including sunscreen, to the state.  Thus, local governments may not pass ordinances regulating the sale of sunscreen.  This law will be enforced by the Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics within the Division of Profession Regulation.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

The State Requirements for Educational Facilities (SREF) Should Be Retained; Some Modifications Could Be Made, Report 17-04, January 2017

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
Annual Reports and Publications, Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Websites of Interest
Department of Business and Professional Regulation
Licensed Occupations Search Tool
Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 120, 310, 447 Part I, 450 Parts I and III, 455, 465, 468 Parts VI, VIII, IX, XI, XII, XV, and XVI, 469, 471, 473, 474, 475, 476, 477, 481, 489, 492, 499, 548, and 553, Florida Statutes

Whom do I contact for help?

Customer Contact Center, 850-487-1395
 
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