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Newly Passed Bill Eliminates Patchwork of Local Occupational Licenses in Florida

Institute for Justice praises measure that makes it easier to run small businesses across the Sunshine State

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—The Legislature today approved a bill that would make it easier for many Floridians to work. House Bill 735 bans Florida municipalities and counties from creating additional licensing requirements for a long list of occupations. For instance, should the bill become law, cities could no longer create new local occupational licenses for handyman services. For most of the listed occupations, any existing local licensing requirements must expire by July 1, 2023.

“Many Floridians struggle to legally offer their services because of a patchwork of local occupational licenses, each with their own costs and requirements,” said IJ Florida Office Managing Attorney Justin Pearson. “Offering simple handyman services could be legal on one side of a street and illegal on the other. But if an occupation is safe in one town, it does not suddenly become dangerous the next town over. We applaud the Legislature for passing a common-sense measure that will make it easier for many Floridians to operate their own businesses or seek employment. We want to thank the bill sponsors, Senator Perry and Representative Harding, for their work on both chambers’ versions of the bill.”

The banned local occupational licenses include, but are not limited to, handyman services; painting; flooring; cabinetry; interior remodeling; driveway or tennis court installation; decorative stone, tile, marble, granite, or terrazzo installation; plastering; stuccoing; caulking; canvas awning; and ornamental iron installation.

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