Unlicensed Activity Citation

What happens if you are accused of practicing a professional activity that requires a license? If you are accused of practicing a professional activity without a license, then you might receive a citation for a civil penalty and a cease and desist letter. You might also be charged with a crime.

Unlicensed activity exists within various professions in Florida that are regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) including:

  • construction trade;
  • electrical trade;
  • cosmetology;
  • barbering;
  • real estate;
  • public accounting;
  • harbor pilots; and
  • veterinary medicine.

The DBPR enforces these regulations in order to protect the public from financial harm and incompetent providers of services. The licensing regulations are also intended to protect law-abiding, state-licensed professionals who might see encroachment into their businesses.

In order to eliminate unlicensed activity by engaging in proactive enforcement and by increasing public awareness, DBPR conducts numerous proactive sweeps and undercover sting operations each year.

According to the 2016 – 2017 DBPR Unlicensed Activity Annual Report, in Fiscal Year 2016-2017, investigators performed 726 sweep operations and visited 9,100 sites resulting in 502 new cases being opened.

The sweeps and sting operations often involve local law enforcement officers, local building departments, or other state agencies such as the Department of Financial Services.

During that same time period, DBPR conducted more than 40  undercover string operations. In the sting operations, the undercover agents with DBPR pose as consumers looking for services that require a license.

If the suspect provides a proposal or bid to perform the service to the undercover investigator and/or law enforcement personnel, then a new unlicensed activity case is opened and an unlicensed activity citation or notice to cease and desist letter might be issued.

More serious cases often result in a criminal investigation, arrest, or prosecution because unlicensed activity often carries criminal penalties.

Attorneys for Unlicensed Activity Citations in Tampa, FL

The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm represent clients served with citations for unlicensed activity by investigative officers with DBPR. We can help you deal with the cease and desist letter and any criminal investigation.

We work hard to present any favorable evidence showing innocence or mitigation to the investigator or prosecutor assigned to the case to increase the odds that no further action is taken.

By taking a proactive approach, you might be able to avoid the typical administrative sanctions imposed in these types of cases including license revocation, license suspension, probation, administrative cost, remedial education, restriction of practice, reprimand, or fine.

When the allegations are false or exaggerated, we can help you fight back to ensure the best result to protect your business, good name, and standing in the community.

Call 813-250-0500.

Additional Resources

DBPR’s Division of Regulation’s Unlicensed Activity Program – Responsible for providing preemptive enforcement actions and handling consumer complaints of unlicensed activity.

DBPR’s Unlicensed Activity Unit – Oversees investigative field offices by tracking sweeps and undercover string operations made by each investigative office. Works with field offices, the Office of the General Counsel, the Unlicensed Activity Unit, and the Office of Communications. The Unlicensed Activity Unit of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) handles complaints that originate from the new mobile app, or email.

Attorney for a DBPR Complaint or Investigation – Read more about hiring an attorney in Tampa, FL, to represent you after a DBPR complaint results in an investigation that you violated a rule or law.

This article was last updated on Friday, August 5, 2022.