Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation
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The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is the agency charged with licensing and regulating businesses and professionals in the State of Florida, such as cosmetologists, veterinarians, real estate agents, hotels and restaurants and pari-mutuel wagering facilities. DBPR’s mission is to license efficiently, regulate fairly, and it strives to meet this goal each day. The Department is under the executive branch of the Governor and is governed by Chapter 120, F.S. The Department is structured according to the requirements of Section 20.165, F.S. On the Department’s website, consumers and licensees can verify licenses, file a complaint against licensed or unlicensed individuals, apply for or renew licenses, search food and lodging inspections, search for or request public records and read about recent Department initiatives.
DBPR has more than 1,500 employees and is headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida. DBPR licenses and regulates more than one million businesses and professionals in the state of Florida. In recent years, the Department has significantly reduced the average professional license processing time. In October 2008, the average was more than 41 days and at the end of 2012, the average was less than two days.
Office of the Secretary
The head of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is the Secretary, who is appointed by the Governor and is subject to confirmation by the Senate. There is no set term limit; the Secretary serves at the pleasure of the Governor. The Secretary is responsible for planning, directing, coordinating and executing the powers, duties and functions vested in the Department, its divisions, bureaus and other subunits. The current Secretary is Ken Lawson. Lawson has held the position since May 2011.
A native Floridian, Lawson has spent more than a decade protecting the public in numerous public and private regulatory positions.
Lawson is a graduate of Florida State University and the Florida State University College of Law.
- Division of Professions
- Division of Regulation
- Bureau of Education and Testing
- Architecture and Interior Design
- Asbestos Contractors and Consultants
- Athlete Agents
- Boxing, Kick Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts
- Building Code Administrators and Inspectors
- Certified Public Accounting
- Child Labor
- Community Association Managers and Firms
- Construction Industry
- Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics
- Electrical Contractors
- Employee Leasing Companies
- Farm Labor
- Florida Building Codes and Standards
- Harbor Pilots
- Home Inspectors
- Labor Organizations
- Landscape Architecture
- Mold-Related Services
- Real Estate
- Talent Agencies
- Veterinary Medicine
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco
- Condominiums and Cooperatives
- Hotels and Restaurants
- Mobile Homes
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering
- Yacht and Ships
Recent Department Improvements
Division of Hotels and Restaurants: 2009 Food Code
Effective January 1, 2013, the Division of Hotels and Restaurants adopted provisions of the 2009 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code. The updates encompass more efficient and smarter regulations that improve the inspection process, ultimately helping operators better serve their customers.
For a copy of the entire 2009 Food Code, visit click here.
One of the most important changes is a new three-tiered violation classification system that replaces the “critical” or “non-critical” classification. The new system uses the terms “High Priority,” “Intermediate,” and “Basic”—which better defines violation information for operators and consumers, making the process easier to understand.
High Priority food service violations are those that could contribute directly to a foodborne illness or injury. High Priority lodging violations are those that could pose a direct or significant threat to the public health, safety, or welfare.
Intermediate food service violations are those that, if not addressed, could lead to risk factors that contribute to foodborne illness or injury. Intermediate lodging violations relate to specific actions, equipment, or procedures that contribute to a high priority violation if left unaddressed.
Basic violations are those considered best practices. To download a complete copy of the new food service violation classifications, click here.
If you are a food service or hotel operator and have any additional questions, you may call 850-487-1395 or visit your local District Office. Local district office locations can be found here.
Florida Building Codes and Standards
The Florida Building Commission was transferred to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation on July 1, 2011. Prior to that, the Commission was housed under the Department of Community Affairs.
The Florida Building Commission (Sections 553.76 and 553.77, F.S.) is a 25-member technical body responsible for the development, maintenance and interpretation of the Florida Building Code through a consensus-building process. The Chair is appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and serves at the pleasure of the Governor. Other Commission members appointed by the Governor represent architects, engineers, contractors, building owners, insurance, public education, local governments, building and fire officials and persons with disabilities. The Commission also approves products for statewide acceptance and administers the Building Code Training Program.
The Florida Building Code (Section 553.73, F.S.) replaced Florida's patchwork of codes and regulations that were developed, amended, administered and enforced by more than 400 local jurisdictions and state agencies with building code regulation responsibilities. The current Code is a single statewide code based on national model codes and consensus standards, amended for Florida specific needs for the design and construction of buildings. The Code is designed to make the local building process more efficient, increase accountability, bring new and safer products to the market, increase consumer confidence, and better protect the residents of this natural-disaster prone state.
For more information on the Florida Building Codes and Standards, visit here.
Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics
The Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics was transferred to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation on October 1, 2011. Prior to that, the Division was housed under the Department of Health.
The Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics safeguards the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the state of Florida from injury due to the use of adulterated, contaminated, misbranded drugs, drug ingredients and cosmetics by administering the provisions of the Florida Drug and Cosmetic Act (Chapter 499, F.S.). The Program carries out its responsibilities through three bureaus: Compliance & Enforcement, Licensing and Legal.
The Division administratively supports the Cancer Drug Donation Program (CDDP). The CDDP was created during the 2006 Legislative Session with the passage of House Bill 371, which was sponsored by Representative Gayle Harrell. The purpose of the CDDP is to provide access to the drugs and supplies used to treat cancer to patients who are uninsured and do not qualify for Medicare, third-party insurance or any other state or federal programs. Section 499.029, F.S., authorizes the donation of cancer drugs and supplies by any person or entity to a participant facility for re-dispensing to an eligible recipient.
For more information on the Division of Drugs, Devices and Cosmetics, visit here.