This article will be an attempt to communicate both to members and non-members the vagaries of the Florida Statutes in relation to Alarm Contractors, their employees, their customers and public safety.
    First, a disclaimer regarding the AAF role in this effort. This is strictly for communications purposes and information dissemination. The Board of Directors had determined by policy that the AAF play no role in either the determination of legal status of contractors or the reporting of any violations to any agency. We maintain a distinctly neutral role in this process.
    Notice the extensive definition under the term ‘Alarm system contractor’. You as a licensee are ‘executing contracts’. To do so requires no less than fourteen learned requirements.  Contracts can be either ‘expressed or implied’. However this contracting includes the circumstances of undertaking, offering to undertake, even saying that you CAN or are ABLE to do the service or bidding the service. Even if you offer to have it done by another contractor (licensed or otherwise), all of these issues ARE contracting under Florida law.
    However all of the above hinges on the issue of two words; ‘for compensation’. Even if it is a handshake agreement, if it involves ANY compensation of any kind, it is considered contracting under Florida law. Now consider this; this statute became law in 1988. The states attorney has had twenty-nine years to deal with those folks who think that they are so clever that they do not need any license. Believe me when you ‘contract alarms’ in Florida, you need a license.
    Whether you’re a contractor, employee of a contractor, an alarm customer or a public safety agency go to www.myfloridalicense.com to see if someone is in compliance and check a license.
    The old argument “But I ONLY do (fill in the blank), so I don’t need a license” doesn’t cut it. You can readily see by the definition above and the legal precedent of some 29 years that you’re wrong. No excuses; either get a license or employ a qualifier for your firm. If you do not, any and all contracts undertaken are null and void (worthless) in a court of law.
Bob Neely
Executive Director
Alarm Association of Florida
FLORIDA STATUTES for Electrical and Alarm Contractors
CONTRACTING    View Entire Chapter
489.505 Definitions.—As used in this part:
 (2) “Alarm system contractor” means a person whose business includes the execution of contracts requiring the ability, experience, science, knowledge, and skill to lay out, fabricate, install, maintain, alter, repair, monitor, inspect, replace, or service alarm systems for compensation, including, but not limited to, all types of alarm systems for all purposes. This term also means any person, firm, or corporation that engages in the business of alarm contracting under an expressed or implied contract; that undertakes, offers to undertake, purports to have the capacity to undertake, or submits a bid to engage in the business of alarm contracting; or that by itself or by or through others engages in the business of alarm contracting.
    Though Bob can't give legal advice, I can, and he is absolute correct.  You contract to provide or provide a licensed service - you need to be licensed.  You also need to comply with the license requirements and adhere to all the legal issues.  Using the proper contract is a great starting point because it lays out the requirements.  The Standard Form Agreements are customized state by state, and that includes Florida.  
    If you need a license or want to be engaged by a company who needs a license in Florida, you're welcome to list on The Alarm Exchange.  Be sure to cover all issues by using our Qualifier Agreement which you can get by contacting our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312