Becoming a Licensed Real Estate Broker in Florida in 2021

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the real estate broker in Florida applicant requirements and situations that may cause an application to be denied
  • Identify the consequences of failing to disclose a prior conviction
  • Identify the post-licensing and continuing education requirements for brokers and sales associates
  • Explain how it is unlawful to perform real estate services with an expired real estate license and the consequences of renewing a real estate license without first satisfying the continuing education requirement
  • Distinguish between licensure and registration
  • Distinguish between multiple licenses and a group license and explain the provisions for issuance of multiple licenses
  • Identify the rules regarding change of address, residency, and change of business address
  • Identify practices that are exempt from licensure

A) License requirements for real estate broker in Florida

A Real Estate Broker in Florida is licensed to carry out real estate services and operates as an intermediary between a buyer and a seller, or a landlord and a tenant, for the purpose of receiving compensation for his/her services.

A.N. Shell Realty 954-858-6311

A Real Estate Broker in Florida is issued their license by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and may perform duties, such as purchasing, selling, auctioning, and appraising real estate, as well as negotiating the purchase, sale, or leasing of property on behalf of a client.

The distinguishable characteristics of a Real Estate Broker in Florida license are the ability to work independently and receive compensation for providing real estate services.

A Real Estate Broker in Florida is also responsible for all sales associates’ activities, that are in their employ.

A Real Estate Broker in Florida could also be an individual acting as an officer, general partner or director, in a partnership or corporation, or an individual who lists, or sells, one or more timeshare periods, in one or more timeshare plans, annually, on the behalf of a client.

All individuals, wishing to enter into a career providing real estate services, must start at the level of sales associate. However, for an individual to obtain a real estate license in the State of Florida, whether it be a broker’s license or a sales/broker’s associate license, they must meet certain provisions, as set out in Florida Statute 475.17 Qualifications for Practice.

If the individual believes they are able to meet all the provisions required of them, they may then submit an application to obtain their license, to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) for review. The DBPR will then make the decision whether to approve or refuse the individuals license, based on the applicant meeting the following provisions

Age – To apply for a real estate license, an applicant must be at least 18 years of age and a natural person. A natural person means the applicant is a human being, and not an entity, such as a corporation.

High school diploma or it’s equivalent – An applicant must have a high school diploma, or equivalent qualifications, such as a GED, which has nationwide recognition and makes it possible for individuals to achieve an equivalent diploma when they have not graduated from high school.

Honest, trustworthy, of good moral character – Another provision that must be met to obtain a real estate license, is that an applicant must be honest, trustworthy, and of good moral character.

These characteristics are extremely important for a real estate professional to possess, as they will be involved in transactions that need to be dealt with in an ethical, and honest manner. These qualities will be measured by the background of the individual, and whether they have any criminal history.

Disclose if under investigation, convicted of a crime or ever entered a plea of nolo contendere / no contest or guilty – Applicants for real estate licensing, and also real estate licensees, must disclose to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), if they are either under investigation, convicted of a crime, or have ever entered a plea of nolo contendere/ no contest or guilty, in any state.

If an applicant has had previous charges brought against them, that were expunged, sealed, or had adjudication withheld, the first step they would need to take, would be to ensure that the charges are not still on their record and to complete any steps required to clear them. If an applicant has ever been found guilty of a crime or entered a plea of nolo contendere, they must declare the full details of all cases, on their application, along with a personal statement relating to the crime/s on record. An applicant must disclose any convictions, or investigations being carried out, in any state or a foreign nation, not just the state of Florida.

An adjudication withheld means that under Florida statute 948.01, judges have the authority to withhold a formal conviction. This does not, however, mean that the charge/s have been dropped.

Nolo Contendere is Latin for “I will not contest”. In legal terms, it is a plea of no contest, which results in charging the defendant with the crime in which they are being prosecuted. Pleading nolo contendere has the same outcome as if the defendant had pled guilty. Charges that are expunged, means the record of arrest or charge/s has been deleted from a person’s history/background.

An expungement would be applicable in cases that have been dismissed from a court or deferred. It is important for the applicant to check that expungements have been officially removed from their record. Charges that are sealed, means that the criminal record is still present on the person’s history/background. A record may be sealed in cases of juvenile charges but are still present by means of a court order.

Aliases or A/K/A – Alias is a Latin term, meaning “otherwise called”, or A/K/A (an abbreviation of “also known as”), which indicates if an individual is known by another name.

An applicant for real estate licensure must include all versions of their name, or aliases, on their license application, which include nicknames, maiden names, or any previous names, if they have made changes. If an applicant has had their name misspelled in association with their background history, it is also good practice to include this information on their application also.

Disclose if denied, or had a license disciplined or pending discipline in another jurisdiction – All applicants must disclose any circumstance in which they have had any license, in any profession, denied, revoked, disciplined, or are pending discipline, throughout any jurisdiction. This license provision relates to the applicant’s entire lifetime, and to all jurisdictions, across all states, and nations out with the U.S., and areas of authority.

Disclose if Denied, surrendered, or revoked license or registration to practice a regulated profession in any jurisdiction – Disclosure of surrendered, denied, revoked licenses or registration, or licensees that have been disciplined, or are pending disciplinary action, must also be made for all regulated professions, across all jurisdictions. This includes all regulated professions and businesses, requiring a license or registration, spanning the lifetime of the individual.

Guilty of any conduct or practice that would have been grounds for suspension or revocation under Chapter 475, F.S. – According to Florida Statute Chapter 475, in circumstances where a licensee is found guilty of illegal conduct, or practice, they must disclose this within 30 days, to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).

This includes any circumstances where there are grounds for suspension, or revocation of their license, although minor traffic violations are an exception, and in which case, do not need to be disclosed. The disclosure must also be made if a licensee is found guilty of any misconduct, or malpractice, across all jurisdictions, including foreign jurisdictions, and not just in the state of Florida. Non-disclosure is classed as a violation of licensure, as stated under Florida Statute Chapter 475.

As stated in Florida Statutes Chapter 455, any immigrant that has met the education requirements for licensure, and met the general provisions diploma requirement or equivalent, may sit the state examination for their license and must have a full understanding of real estate licensing law.

Florida Statute 455.11 Qualification of immigrants for examination to practice a licensed profession or occupation.

(1) It is the declared purpose of this section to encourage the use of foreign-speaking Florida residents duly qualified to become actively qualified in their professions so that all Florida citizens may receive better services.

(2) Any person who has successfully completed, or is currently enrolled in, an approved course of study created pursuant to chapters 74-105 and 75-177, Laws of Florida, shall be deemed qualified for examination and reexaminations for a professional or occupational license which shall be administered in the English language unless 15 or more such applicants request that said reexamination be administered in their native language.

In the event that such reexamination is administered in a foreign language, the full cost to the board of preparing and administering the same shall be borne by said applicants.

(3) Each board within the department shall adopt and implement programs designed to qualify for an examination of all persons who were resident nationals of the Republic of Cuba and who, on July 1, 1977, were residents of this state.

1) Application process

The initial license application to become a licensed Real Estate Broker in Florid consists of the following steps:

Step 1: Submit the broker initial application – upgrade from sales associate to broker application form, which can be found on the State of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation website

Step 2: Include the relevant application fee, with the Real Estate Broker in Florida application form, $91.75. Payment can be made by Debit/Credit Card or electronic check when applying online, or alternatively if applying by mail, a check can be attached with the application form.

Step 3: Submit electronic fingerprints, and remember to include any legal documents, if applicable (in the case of previous convictions). If an applicant does not disclose any previous charges or information which may affect the outcome of their application, it could result in their license being denied.

Step 4: if an applicant is sending the forms, fees and documents by mail, they must send their application to the DBPR’s address in Tallahassee.

It is imperative that an applicant responds accurately, and completely, to requested background information on the license application form. Applicants must answer all questions honestly. As previously explained, one of the main general provisions for a real estate professional to possess is, to be honest, trustworthy, and of good moral character.

To non-disclose information, or to add any misleading, or dishonest information on the application form, is a violation of licensure, as stated under Florida Statute Chapter 475, and will result in the application being denied.

For an applicant to schedule their final state exam, for their initial broker license, the applicant must first successfully pass the 72 Hour Real Estate Broker in Florida Pre-License Course (FREC II), to receive their final course certification, and have received the approval of their real estate license application, from the DBPR.

The applicant can then schedule their final state exam, and must present both their course certificate, and provide their license number (present on the license approval letter, from the DBPR) to the exam vendor, on the day of their exam.

Details for scheduling state exams can be found by following the link to Pearson Vue website

2) Nonresident Application Requirements

Rules pertaining to nonresident licensees

An applicant for licensure is not required to be a U.S. citizen, by law. The application process for a non-resident of Florida, is the same as a resident application, with the exception that the non-resident does not qualify for mutual recognition.

If a non- resident is applying from a mutual recognition state, they must then follow the required process, which will be explained later in the course.

Also note, in the event that a licensee relocates, out with Florida State, they must inform the Commission of their non-residency, within 60 days, as required by law. The licensee must meet all continuing education requirements, and post-license courses, and notify the commission of any changes in address. Failure to notify the commission may result in a citation and a $300 fine.

Florida Statute 475.180 Nonresident licenses

(1)

Notwithstanding the prelicensure requirements set forth under ss. 475.17(2) and (6) and475.175, the commission in its discretion may enter into written agreements with similar licensing authorities of other states, territories, or jurisdictions of the United States or foreign national jurisdictions to ensure for Florida licensees nonresident licensure opportunities comparable to those afforded to nonresidents by this section.

Whenever the commission determines that another jurisdiction does not offer nonresident licensure to Florida licensees substantially comparable to those afforded to licensees of that jurisdiction by this section, the commission shall require licensees of that jurisdiction who apply for nonresident licensure to meet education, experience, and examination requirements substantially comparable to those required by that jurisdiction with respect to Florida licensees who seek nonresident licensure, not to exceed such requirements as prescribed in ss. 475.17(2) and (6) and 475.175.

(2)

(a) Any resident licensee who becomes a nonresident shall, within 60 days, notify the commission of the change in residency and comply with nonresident requirements. Failure to notify and comply is a violation of the license law, subject to the penalties in s. 475.25.

(b) All nonresident applicants and licensees shall comply with all requirements of commission rules and this part. The commission may adopt rules necessary for the regulation of nonresident licensees.

b) Florida resident (for application and licensing purposes)
The definition of an individual who is recognized as a “Florida Resident” is a person who has been resident in the state of Florida, for a minimum of 4 months continuously, within a 1-year time period. Any individual that is recognized as a Florida resident is not permitted to apply for real estate licensure through the provision of mutual recognition.

If a licensee is a resident of Florida, and not eligible for mutual recognition, then education exemptions do not apply to the applicant. The Florida resident will be required to fulfill all pre-license course requisites, as set out by the Commission, and also be required to sit the full 100 question-based Florida state exam, for both sales associates and brokers.

Denial of Licensure may occur in the following instances:

  • Submitting an incomplete application form
  • Failing to submit the applicable application fee
  • Failing to submit fingerprints, along with the application
  • Failing the state exam, or failing to pass the exam, within the 2-year time period, from license application
  • An applicant is under investigation or charged with a violation under Florida License Law
  • Background checks show evidence of the applicant’s unfair dealings, and dishonest character, and/or previous criminal history
  • Failing to respond truthfully to the information requested on the application form
  • Failing to disclose any record or history that may affect the person’s application

The DBRP has 30 days upon receiving an application to inform the applicant of any errors or omissions. The agency is permitted by law, to request additional information, although it must be within the 30-day timeframe. If the DBPR does not request the information within the 30 days, they are not permitted to deny a license based on errors or omissions made by the applicant. The DBPR can grant extensions, to an applicant, to give the applicant more time to submit further information.

The DBPR must notify applicants on the outcome of their application, within a 90-day time period, as to whether their application has been approved or denied. Failure in the DBPR meeting the 90-day notification period, as set out in Florida Statute 120.60 Licensing, will result in the application being automatically approved, after a public hearing is held, or 45 days after an order is submitted. An applicant is not permitted to carry out any licensed activity until they have received notice by the agency clerk, that the default license has been issued.

If an application for licensure has been denied, the Commission must inform the applicant within the 90-day time period, and provide the reasons for such outcome, in the form of a Notice of Intent to deny. The applicant then has 21 days, from receiving the denial notice, to file a petition with the DRE (Division of Real Estate) and appeal the decision either by;

Option 1: Requesting an informal hearing with the FREC (Florida Real Estate Commission)

Option 2: Requesting a formal hearing before an administrative law judge

Fingerprint process and consequences for failing to disclose a prior conviction

All applicants must submit fingerprints to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, (DBPR), for the purpose of running a background check. This process is required by most regulated professions and is a means of checking that an individual is honest, trustworthy, and of good moral character.

Fingerprints that are submitted to the DBPR, are forwarded to the Department of Law Enforcement, and its Division of Criminal Justice Information Systems will process them, in order to check if the applicant has any criminal charges on their record.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will also receive the fingerprints, to run criminal history checks on the applicant. Any background history collected by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Law Enforcement, will be provided to the DBPR to assist the department in establishing if the applicant is honest, and of good character, and is suitable for licensure.

The DBPR has the authority to use private vendors to collect fingerprints, where the issuance of licenses, or certification require background checks to be carried out. Fingerprints can be submitted electronically by approved Livescan vendors.

These vendors will need to have been approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Every applicant must ensure they provide two forms of identification, such as a passport, driver’s license, and/or state ID card, and must also include the Originating Agency Identification (ORI) number to the vendor when submitting their fingerprints.

If they do not, the DBPR will not receive them. One form of identification must include the applicant’s signature and photo. It is also required that the applicant clearly identify the profession, in which they are seeking to license for.

Follow the link for details of Livescan vendors

If an applicant is found guilty of deliberately withholding information from the Commission, the Division of Real Estate or the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, pertaining to their criminal history, or charges, their application will be automatically denied, or if the person is already in possession of a license, the license will be revoked.

3)

Education requirements
a) Regulations pertaining to prelicense courses
The rules pertaining to real estate pre-license courses are detailed by the Florida Administrative Code, FREC Division Rule: 61J2-3.008

Applicants must follow the regulations in regards to education requirements, complete the relevant Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) approved courses, pass the course examinations, and state exam, in order to obtain, and renew their real estate license.

A licensed sales associate who wishes to progress to a broker’s license must satisfactorily complete a FREC approved course consisting of 72 hours of education, with 3 hours of examination included. The course must educate the student on the fundamentals of real estate appraising, investment, financing, and brokerage and management operations.

This course has been designated as Course II by the Commission. The student must pass the end of course examination with a grade of 70% or higher, and not miss a maximum of 8 hours of the prescribed 72 hours of education. Each hour is equal to 50 minutes as stated in the rules of the Administration. The end of course examination will be made up of 100 questions, equal to 1 point for each question.

The end of course examination is broken down into the following structure;

  • Real Estate Law – 40 questions
  • Real Estate Principles and Practices – 40 questions
  • Mathematics – 5 questions
  • 5 questions based on the closing statement, worth 2 points per question

The Florida state exam is administered by a private computer-based company.

Any student that fails the end course exam, for sales associate or Real Estate Broker in Florida licensure, must wait 30 days, before re-sitting the exam. Only one re-sit is permitted per year. If the student fails the exam on the second attempt, they will be required to complete the course, and the relevant designated hours, once again.

The successful completion of either course does not entitle the student to receive a license. The student must complete all the other requirements of law and pass their state exam.

Students are permitted to take make-up classes in cases of illness, or family illness, during a maximum of 30 days from the date of the original examination. Make-up classes must consist of the original course work, that was missed.

The student’s certification is valid for two years after completing the 72 Hour Brooker Pre-License Course (FREC-II), where the state exam must be completed within this time frame, in order for the student to qualify for their Real Estate Broker in Florida license.

Exemptions to these rules apply to individuals who have a 4-year degree in real estate, or a commission approved equivalent. Additionally, Florida Licensed Attorneys, who are educated in real estate licensing law, are not required to take the sales associate pre-license course but are required to take the Real Estate Broker in Florida pre-license course.

There are two methods in which students can sit the course; either online (distance learning), or by classroom instruction.

Classroom instruction: students are required to attend all of the required classroom hours, and must not miss more than 8 hours of the 72 hours course, or they may be disqualified. However, they are permitted to make up classroom hours, or sit a missed final exam, if they do so within the time period of 30 days, from the original exam date.

Online Course: students must be able to confirm they have personally completed all the required hours of the 72-hour course, and have completed a timed 3.5-hour examination, in order to receive their certification.

b) Exceptions to pre-license courses

Exemptions to these rules, regarding pre-license courses, apply to individuals who:

Have a 4-year degree in real estate, or a commission approved equivalent.
Are qualifying students applying for their Real Estate Broker in Florida license under mutual recognition?
It is important to note that Florida Licensed Attorneys, who are educated in real estate licensing law, are not required to take the pre-license course for sales associate licensure but are required to take the pre-license Real Estate Broker in Florida course.

To view the FREC rules on pre-license courses in full, follow the link

4)

Mutual recognition

The state of Florida has “Mutual Recognition” agreements with the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Rhode Island

Mutual recognition means that the state of Florida recognizes the similarities, educational requirements, and real estate experience requirements of applicants, and real estate professionals, that have obtained their licenses, and experience in the states mentioned above.

As a result, they are entitled to certain licensing provisions and may be exempt from some of Florida’s real estate license testing, and educational requirements. Note that mutual recognition only applies to non-residents of Florida. If the applicant is recognized as a Florida resident, then mutual recognition would not be applicable.

In order for an individual to qualify for mutual recognition, the licensee must also possess a social security number, be recognized as a non-resident of Florida, and accomplish all post-license, and continuing education requirements, as ruled by the Commission. The individual is not required to be of U.S. Citizenship.

Educational and examination requirement exemptions, that a licensee would qualify for under mutual recognition are:

  • Exemption from the 63 Hour Pre License Sales Associate Course, referred to as Course I, by the Commission
  • Exemption from the 72 Hour Pre License Real Estate Broker in Florida Course, referred to as Course II by the Commission
  • Partially exempt from the 100-question state exam for sales associate and broker licensure

Although the applicant is partially exempt from the 100 questions required of the Florida state exam, they will be required to pass a written Florida Real Estate Law exam. This ensures the student’s education and knowledge is current, in regards to Florida states specific licensing laws, and regulations.

The exam consists of 40 questions, each worth one point each. Students must achieve 30 points or more to pass the exam.

It is also important to note that a sales associate in a mutual recognition state is not permitted to apply for a broker’s license in Florida. Mutual Recognition is for a license equivalent to that of a mutual recognition state. If a sales associate wishes to upgrade to a Florida broker’s license from a mutual recognition state, they would have to first obtain a broker’s license, from within their own state.

Mutual recognition is not reciprocity

The mutual agreement by Florida state, should not be confused with reciprocity. Reciprocity is not permitted in the state of Florida. Reciprocity is where U.S. states, nations, businesses and licensees, share and acknowledge the same licensing privileges.

In real estate licensing terms, states that share a reciprocity agreement, will recognize real estate licenses, and licensees, and allow them to practice real estate services, without any further state requirements.

This differs from Florida’s mutual recognition agreement, as individuals are subject to some examination, and education requirements, in order to obtain their Florida real estate license. For example, mutual recognition applicants must pass the Florida Law section of the state exam.

5)

Experience requirement

In order for an applicant to qualify for a broker’s license, they must meet certain experience requirements, as stated in Florida Statute 475.17.

All applicants must have held:

An active real estate sales associate license for a minimum of 2 years, in the last 5 years prior to the application, under the employ of a licensed Real Estate Broker, within any U.S. state, a foreign state, and past the 45-hour post-license sales associate course.
They may also meet the requirement if under the employ of a government agency, and held their active sales associate license for the minimum 2 year period, in the previous 5 years.
Or alternatively, if they have held an active broker’s license, out with Florida state, but within another U.S. state or foreign state, for a 2 year period, within the previous 5 years.

Florida Statute 475.17 Qualifications for practice.

3(b) A person may not be licensed as a real estate broker unless, in addition to the other requirements of law, the person has held:

An active real estate sales associate’s license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years in the office of one or more real estate brokers licensed in this state or any other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States or in any foreign national jurisdiction;

A current and valid real estate sales associate’s license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years in the employ of a governmental agency for a salary and performing the duties authorized in this part for real estate licensees; or

A current and valid real estate broker’s license for at least 24 months during the preceding 5 years in any other state, territory, or jurisdiction of the United States or in any foreign national jurisdiction.

6) Real Estate Broker in Florida license examination

a) Review of exam
After an applicant has completed the 72-hour Real Estate Broker in Florida pre-license course and passed the course exam, they are then eligible to sit the state exam, providing they meet the experience requirements.

Note, that in order for a student to sit the state exam, they must have submitted their license application, and received approval for their license from the DBPR, (Department of Business and Professional Regulation). If the agent’s application is approved, they will receive a PIN, from the DBRP, which replaces their social security number, for purposes of security.

The applicant will be required to present this PIN, and their end of course certification, in order to schedule, and on the attendance of the final state exam. They will also be required to provide two forms of identification.

The Florida real estate license state exams are conducted by Pearson Vue, and exams can be requested in either English or in Spanish. The state exam follows the same format as the 72-hour Real Estate Broker in Florida pre-license course exam and consists of 100 questions to test the students’ knowledge of:

  • real estate appraising
  • investment
  • financing
  • brokerage and management operations

The student will be required to complete the exam on a computer-based terminal. They will receive instruction from the exam center, on how to use the terminal before beginning the examination. They will then be allocated 3.5 hours in which to complete the state exam.

The state requires a higher passing grade of 75% on the state Real Estate Broker in Florida exam, where the student will be informed of the outcome of their exam, immediately after completion. The applicant is permitted to review their exam, on completion, however, they are only permitted to view the questions, that they answered incorrectly.

If the student has successfully passed their Real Estate Broker in Florida state exam, the DBPR will automatically be notified that the applicant’s educational requirements have been accomplished. Within around 24 hours, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation will have updated their online portal to reflect the student’s license application status.

b) Objections
If a student believes that the questions that were asked on the state exam, were either inaccurate or unfair, they are permitted to ask that an administrative hearing be held, as stated in the Florida Administrative Code.

Florida Administrative Code Rule: 61-11.017

(g) Unless prohibited by board rule or national guidelines, candidates have the right to challenge any question that they believe to be ambiguous or any solution that they believe to be incorrect, and to request a formal administrative hearing if there are any disputed issues of material fact as set forth by Sections 120.569, 120.57, F.S., and Rule 61-11.012, F.A.C.

The candidate’s challenges must be submitted in writing during the scheduled review. Any challenges or supporting documentation submitted after the candidate has left the review room shall not be accepted.

There are two options in which the applicant may take:

Option 1: Request formal hearing in front of an administrative law judge

Option 2: Request an informal hearing in order to appear before the Florida Real Estate Commission

7) Post-License education requirement

It is also a requirement of Florida state, that all brokers and broker associates continue their real estate license education, by taking the mandatory 60-hour post-license Real Estate Broker in Florida course. The education requirement consists of two, 30-hour courses, equaling 60 hours of education, that cover real estate investment, and real estate brokerage management.

Both courses must be completed by each licensed Real Estate Broker in Florida, or broker associate, before their first initial license renewal, which would be either on March 31st or September 30th, as explained previously, 2 years after the date of their initial license.

Florida state sets this education requirement, as working as a real estate professional, means the individual is required to possess a large amount of knowledge pertaining to the industry, which is demanding for the individual to learn, on their first 72-hour pre-license Real Estate Broker in Florida course, in all its entirety.

In the event that A Real Estate Broker in Florida or broker associate fails to successfully complete the mandatory 60-hour post-license broker course, before their first initial license renewal date, their license will then be categorized as “null and void”.

A license that is considered “null and void”, means that the individual will be required to start the licensing process again, by successfully completing the 72-hour Real Estate Broker in Florida pre-license course, have their application for their state license approved by the DBPR, and pass the Florida state exam.

Alternatively, they may operate as a licensed sales associate on the condition that the licensee successfully completes the 14-hour continuing education requirement, within a period of 6 months, after the license expiry date.

The end of the course unit exam for both sales associates, brokers, and broker associates, must be passed at a grade of 75% or more. If the real estate licensee fails the exam, they may take a second attempt at the test, but must wait 30 days, from the date of the original examination.

In the event that the exam is failed a second time, the course would have to be taken again. This is another important reason to take the relevant post-license course as soon as possible, upon passing the pre-license course, as the student must leave themselves enough time to complete their continuing education before their license is due to expire.

Also note, that licensees with a four-year degree in real estate, are not required to take either post-licensure courses, as ruled by the Commission

8) Continuing education requirement

The FREC also requires all Florida real estate licensees, to complete further education requirements, after passing either the post-license course for sales associates, or the post-license for brokers, on the licensee’s second renewal period, and every subsequent renewal period thereafter. The 14-hour continuing education requirement covers the following;

  • 3 hours of Florida Core Law
  • 3 Hours of Real Estate Business and Ethics
  • 8 Hours of Specialty Credit

Each hour of the 14-hour course, is equal to 50 minutes, as ruled by the Commission. The student must pass the course with a grade of 80% or more. Every real estate licensee must meet the minimum education requirements, in order to renew their license.

In the event that the licensee fails to meet the 14-hour education requirement, their license will then be classified as involuntary inactive. In this situation the licensee will then be required to complete either the 14-hour continuing education course or the 28-hour reactivation course, within a 24 month time period, in order to reactivate their license.

The continuing education requirement can be completed either by classroom instruction, or online (Distance Learning), where the following must be met;

Classroom Instruction: students must meet 90% of the required 14 hours of continuing education. No final exam is required.


Online (Distance Learning): students must complete an end of course examination upon completing the 14-hour continuing education course. The end of course exam consists of 30 questions, where a passing grade of 80% or higher is required.

B) Licensure requirements for sales associates

1) Qualifications for practice

Sales associates must meet certain provisions, as set out in Florida Statute 475.17 Qualifications for Practice, in order to obtain their license.

Age – To apply for a real estate license, an applicant must be at least 18 years of age and a natural person. A natural person means the applicant is a human being, and not an entity, such as a corporation.


High school diploma or it’s equivalent – An applicant must have a high school diploma, or equivalent qualifications, such as a GED, which has nationwide recognition and makes it possible for individuals to achieve an equivalent diploma when they have not graduated from high school.
Honest, trustworthy, of good moral character – Another provision that must be met to obtain a real estate license, is that an applicant must be honest, trustworthy, and of good moral character.

These characteristics are extremely important for a real estate professional to possess, as they will be involved in transactions that need to be dealt with in an ethical, and honest manner. These qualities will be measured by the background of the individual, and whether they have any criminal history.

Disclose if under investigation, convicted of a crime or ever entered a plea of nolo contendere / no contest or guilty – Applicants for real estate licensing, and also real estate licensees, must disclose to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), if they are either under investigation, convicted of a crime, or have ever entered a plea of nolo contendere/ no contest or guilty, in any state.

If an applicant has had previous charges brought against them, that were expunged, sealed, or had adjudication withheld, the first step they would need to take, would be to ensure that the charges are not still on their record and to complete any steps required to clear them.

If an applicant has ever been found guilty of a crime or entered a plea of nolo contendere, they must declare the full details of all cases, on their application, along with a personal statement relating to the crime/s on record.

An applicant must disclose any convictions, or investigations being carried out, in any state or a foreign nation, not just the state of Florida. An adjudication withheld means that under Florida statute 948.01, judges have the authority to withhold a formal conviction. This does not, however, mean that the charge/s have been dropped.

Nolo Contendere is Latin for “I will not contest”. In legal terms, it is a plea of no contest, which results in charging the defendant with the crime in which they are being prosecuted. Pleading nolo contendere has the same outcome as if the defendant had pled guilty. Charges that are expunged, means the record of arrest or charge/s has been deleted from a person’s history/background.

An expungement would be applicable in cases that have been dismissed from a court or deferred. It is important for the applicant to check that expungements have been officially removed from their record. Charges that are sealed, means that the criminal record is still present on the person’s history/background. A record may be sealed in cases of juvenile charges, but are still present by means of a court order.

Aliases or A/K/A – Alias is a Latin term, meaning “otherwise called”, or A/K/A (an abbreviation of “also known as”), which indicates if an individual is known by another name. An applicant for real estate licensure must include all versions of their name, or aliases, on their license application, which include nicknames, maiden names, or any previous names, if they have made changes. If an applicant has had their name misspelled in association with their background history, it is also good practice to include this information on their application also.

Disclose if denied, or had a license disciplined or pending discipline in another jurisdiction – All applicants, must disclose any circumstance in which they have had any license, in any profession, denied, revoked, disciplined, or are pending discipline, throughout any jurisdiction. This license provision relates to the applicant’s entire lifetime, and to all jurisdictions, across all states, and nations out with the U.S., and areas of authority.

Disclose if Denied, surrendered, or revoked license or registration to practice a regulated profession in any jurisdiction – Disclosure of surrendered, denied, revoked licenses or registration, or licensees that have been disciplined, or are pending disciplinary action, must also be made for all regulated professions, across all jurisdictions. This includes all regulated professions and businesses, requiring a license or registration, spanning the lifetime of the individual.

Guilty of any conduct or practice that would have been grounds for suspension or revocation under Chapter 475, F.S. – According to Florida Statute Chapter 475, in circumstances where a licensee is found guilty of illegal conduct, or practice, they must disclose this within 30 days, to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).

This includes any circumstances where there are grounds for suspension, or revocation of their license, although minor traffic violations are an exception, and in which case, do not need to be disclosed. The disclosure must also be made if a licensee is found guilty of any misconduct, or malpractice, across all jurisdictions, including foreign jurisdictions, and not just in the state of Florida. Non-disclosure is classed as a violation of licensure, as stated under Florida Statute Chapter 475.

An applicant wishing to obtain a sales associate’s real estate license, must successfully complete a FREC approved 63 Hour Sales Associate Pre License Course, referred to as Course I by the Commission. The time allocated for the course is made up of 60 classroom hours, with each hour equal to 50 minutes.

The 60 hours can be either by classroom, or computer-delivered instruction. The remaining 3 hours are allocated to the final end of course exam. An applicant can only miss a maximum of 8 hours, of the 63-hour course.

The course material must educate students on the fundamentals of real estate principles and practices, basic real estate, and license law in order to meet the Commission’s requirements. The end of course exam must include 100 questions, which equal an allotted 1.7 minutes per question, with multiple choice answers. Students must achieve a grade of 70% or higher, in order to pass the course. The exam questions must meet the following criteria:

  • 45 questions based on the principles and practices of real estate
  • 45 questions based on Florida Real Estate law
  • 10 questions to test the student’s mathematical aptitude

In the event that a student fails the final course examination, he or she will be required to wait a period of 30 days, from the date of the original exam, in order to re-sit the test. The second examination must consist of alternative questions, from that of the original exam. If the final course exam is failed a second time, the student would need to begin the 63-hour pre-license sales associate course again.

2) Post-license requirements

A requisite of Florida State is that every real estate licensee, that have obtained their license as a sales associate, continue their real estate license education, by taking the mandatory 45-hour post-license sales associate course. The course must be completed by each licensee, before their first initial license renewal, which would be either on March 31st or September 30th, as explained previously, 2 years after the date of their initial license.

Florida state sets this education requirement, as working as a real estate professional, means the individual is required to possess a large amount of knowledge pertaining to the industry, which is demanding for the individual to learn on their first 63-hour pre-license sales associate course, in all its entirety.

It is advantageous for the sales associate to begin the course as soon as possible, as it will help educate them on the skills they need to develop, in order to work adequately with both buyers, and sellers, and prospect for new customers.

In the event that a sales associate fails to successfully complete the mandatory 45-hour post-license sales associate course, before their first initial license renewal date, their license will then be categorized as “null and void”.

A license that is considered “null and void”, means that the individual will be required to start the licensing process again, by successfully completing the 63 Hour sales associate pre-license course, have their application for their state license approved by the DBPR, and pass the Florida state exam. In order to ensure they maintain their license, they must then complete the 45-hour post-license sales associate course.

3) Continuing Education Requirement

The FREC also requires all Florida real estate licensees, to complete further education requirements, after passing either the post-license course for sales associates, or the post-license for brokers, on the licensees second renewal period, and every subsequent renewal period thereafter. The 14-hour continuing education requirement covers the following:

  • 3 hours of Florida Core Law
  • 3 Hours of Real Estate Business and Ethics
  • 8 Hours of Specialty Credit

Each hour of the 14-hour course, is equal to 50 minutes, as ruled by the Commission. The student must pass the course with a grade of 80% or more. Every real estate licensee must meet the minimum education requirements, in order to renew their license.

In the event that the licensee fails to meet the 14-hour education requirement, their license will then be classified as involuntary inactive. In this situation the licensee will then be required to complete either the 14-hour continuing education course or the 28-hour reactivation course, within a 24 month time period, in order to reactivate their license.

C) Florida Real Estate License renewal

1) Failure to complete education requirements
It is a requirement that all licensees renew their licenses every 24 months. In doing so they must meet all education requirements, pass the relevant examinations, and submit their renewal application form with the relevant renewal fee.

If a licensee fails to renew their sales associate license in their first renewal period, 24 months after receiving their initial license, the license will be classed as “Null and Void”, meaning the license has been lost, and the applicant will be required to start their pre-licensing course all over again.

If a licensee fails to meet the continuing education requirements, to renew their license in the second renewal period, or thereafter, their license will then be classified as involuntary inactive. In order for the agent to activate their license once more, they will be required to complete continuing education or reactivation course.

If Real Estate Broker in Florida license has been classified as involuntary inactive for a maximum of 1 year, the licensee will be required to complete the 14-hour continuing education course, to return their license to active status.

If the Real Estate Broker in Florida license has been involuntarily inactive for a period of more than 1 year, but less than 2 years, the broker will be required to take a 28-hour reactivation course.

If the licensee does not complete the reactivation course within the maximum 2 year time period, their license will be classified as “null and void”, meaning the licensee, including the Real Estate Broker in Florida, would be required to start at the beginning of the process, and complete the initial 63-hour sales associate pre-license course once more.

Florida Statute 475.182 Renewal of license; continuing education.

(1) (a) The department shall renew a license upon receipt of the renewal application and fee. The renewal application for an active license as broker, broker associate, or sales associate shall include proof satisfactory to the commission that the licensee has, since the issuance or renewal of her or his current license, satisfactorily completed at least 14 classroom hours of 50 minutes each of a continuing education course during each biennium of a license period, as prescribed by the commission.

Approval or denial of a specialty course must be based on the extent to which the course content focuses on real estate issues relevant to the modern practice of real estate by a real estate licensee, including technology used in the real estate industry.

The commission may accept as a substitute for such continuing education course, on a classroom-hour-for-classroom-hour basis, any satisfactorily completed education course that the commission finds is adequate to educate licensees within the intent of this section, including an approved distance learning course.

However, the commission may not require, for the purpose of satisfactorily completing an approved correspondence or distance learning course, a written examination that is to be taken at a centralized location and is to be monitored.

(b) The commission may accept as a substitute for 3 classroom hours, one time per renewal cycle, attendance at one legal agenda session of the commission. In order to obtain credit, the licensee must notify the division at least 7 days in advance of his or her intent to attend. A licensee may not earn any continuing education credit for attending a legal agenda session of the commission as a party to a disciplinary action.

(2) The department shall adopt rules establishing a procedure for the renewal of licenses at least every 4 years.

(3) Any license that is not renewed at the end of the license period prescribed by the department shall automatically revert to involuntarily inactive status. Such license may subsequently be renewed only if the licensee meets the other qualifications specified in s. 475.183.

(4) Sixty days before the end of the license period and automatic reversion of a license to inactive status, the department shall mail a notice of renewal and possible reversion to the last known address of the licensee.

2) Members of armed forces
There are special exemptions which apply to members of the armed forces, and their spouses, under Florida Statute 455.213 and Florida Statute 455.02

Members of the armed forces, veterans, and their spouses, can receive an initial licensing fee waiver, up to 60 months after an honorable discharge from duty, on the condition that they have not already been engaged in real estate services during the period mentioned. This is only applicable for their initial license fee, and not for renewal fees, or examination fees.

455.02 Licensure of members of the Armed Forces in good standing and their spouses or surviving spouses with administrative boards or programs.

(1) Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States now or hereafter on active duty who, at the time of becoming such a member, was in good standing with any of the boards or programs listed in s. 20.165.

And was entitled to practice or engage in his or her profession or vocation in the state.

Shall be kept in good standing by the applicable board or program, without registering, paying dues or fees, or performing any other act on his or her part to be performed, as long as he or she is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States on active duty and for a period of 2 years after discharge from active duty as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, if he or she is not engaged in his or her licensed profession or vocation in the private sector for profit.

(2) A spouse of a member of the Armed Services of the United States who is married to a member during a period of active duty, or a surviving spouse of a member who at the time of death was serving on active duty, who is in good standing with any of the boards or programs listed in s. 20.165 shall be kept in good standing by the applicable board or program as described in subsection

(1) and shall be exempt from licensure renewal provisions, but only in cases of his or her absence from the state because of his or her spouse’s duties with the Armed Forces.

A temporary license may be issued to the spouse of an active duty member, who is assigned to carry out duties in the state of Florida. This exemption from normal licensing processes are only available if the spouse is actively licensed in another state.

The license would only be issued for a period of 6 months and cannot be renewed. Therefore if the spouse wishes to continue practicing real estate services in the state of Florida, they would be required to follow all the regular license application procedures.

3) Inactive Licenses

If a license falls under the status of “inactive”, it means the licensee is not permitted by law, to practice real estate services.

An applicant’s license will be considered inactive on the day of passing their state exam. In order to activate their license, they will be required to file their employment information, by submitting a transaction form from the DBPR. A sales associate must be registered under the employ of Real Estate Broker in Florida in order to activate his or her license.

A license could also be classed as inactive in the circumstances that either an agent possesses a license, but does not want to practice real estate, at that point in time, or that the licensee has failed to meet license renewal, and education requirements.

A licensee has the right to request their license status be classed as inactive, but they must maintain their license in terms of meeting education requirements and paying the appropriate renewal fees.

Therefore there are two categories under which a license status can be inactive, as follows;

a) Voluntarily inactive

A voluntarily inactive license occurs when a licensee has acquired their license, but are not practicing real estate. A licensee who has passed their state exam will hold a voluntarily inactive license until they register their employment information. For a sale associate to activate their license, they must be registered under the employ of a Real Estate Broker in Florida.

Other licensees may hold a real estate license, but may not wish to practice real estate services, at that present time, and in such circumstances may request the status of their license be voluntarily inactive.

The licensee must still complete all post-license and continuing education requirements and renew their license, within the 24-month time frame, in order to maintain the voluntarily inactive status, and to prevent their license status from changing to involuntarily inactive, or being classed as null and void.

b) Involuntary inactive

A license will be classed as involuntarily inactive when a licensee fails to renew their active license, within the second renewal period, or fails to complete their continuing education requirements. Their license will also be classed as involuntary inactive, if they fail to meet the renewal requirements of a voluntarily inactive license.

Another example of a license status being altered to the status of involuntary inactive, is in the circumstances that an employing broker fails to renew his or her license, or their license is revoked or suspended, or the employing broker retires, all the sales associates licensed under the employ of the broker, will be considered involuntarily inactive until the sales associates are employed under a new licensed Real Estate Broker in Florida.

If a license has been classified as involuntary inactive for a maximum of 1 year, the licensee will be required to complete the 14-hour continuing education course, to return their license to active status. If the license has been involuntary inactive for a period of more than 1 year, but less than 2 years, the agent will be required to take a 28-hour reactivation course.

If these requirements are not met, and the licensee does not complete either of the reactivation courses, within the maximum 2 year time period, their license will be classified as “null and void”, meaning the licensee, including the Real Estate Broker in Florida, would be required to start at the beginning of the process and complete the initial 63-hour sales associate pre-license course once more.

D) Registration versus licensure

Licensure is in most cases, obtainable through a series of formal education, and examinations. In meeting the criteria, individuals obtain licensure, which permits them to carry out their profession, in a legal and regulated manner. Licensure is usually granted at state level, upon meeting all the relevant state laws, and requirements. Licensure, in short, permits an individual, by law, to perform services in relation to their profession.

Registration is a record held on an official list or register and is an indication that an individual, meets the requirements of their regulated profession. A register may be used in an instance, for example, in which an employer needs to check an applicant has met certain regulatory requirements, in order to perform the job role required of them.

In regards to the Florida Real Estate Industry the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), is responsible for maintaining the database, or registration, of all licensees, and licensed organizations, of every regulated profession, in the state of Florida.

Information that is held on the registry includes the licensee’s name, address, license status, license activation date, and the licensee’s employer. It could also include an individual’s directorship or their partner registration in a company.

It is mandatory in the state of Florida, that all sales associates and broker associates are registered under the broker they are employed by, and may only be registered under the employ of one Real Estate Broker in Florida, at any one time.

It is also important to note, that there are instances in which licensure is not a requirement, but registration is. For example, corporate officers of real estate brokerages, trading as corporations, must be registered, but do not require licensure.

1) Who must register
Registration is required for licensed brokers, broker associates, and sales associates. Licensees must register their names and addresses, employer’s names and addresses, and brokerage names (where a Real Estate Broker in Florida has ownership).

The names of each Director, partner, or officer are required, even if unlicensed. If a director, officer, or partner, are unlicensed, they are not permitted to carry out real estate services but their names must still be registered.

Florida Statute 475.15 Registration and licensing of general partners, members, officers, and directors of a firm.

Each partnership, limited liability partnership, limited liability company, or corporation which acts as A Real Estate Broker in Florida shall register with the commission and shall renew the licenses or registrations of its members, officers, and directors for each license period. However, if the partnership is a limited partnership, only the general partners must be licensed brokers or brokerage corporations registered pursuant to this part.

If the license or registration of at least one active Real Estate Broker in Florida member is not in force, the registration of a corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or partnership is canceled automatically during that period of time.

The commission shall adopt rules that allow a brokerage to register A Real Estate Broker in Florida on a temporary, emergency basis if a sole broker of a brokerage dies or is unexpectedly unable to remain a Real Estate Broker in Florida.

2) Failure to register
In the event that an agent, Real Estate Broker in Florida, or business entity fails to register the appropriate information, they will be subject to a citation and or monetary fine, as per Florida Statute Chapter 475.

Florida Statute 475.42 Violations and penalties.

1) VIOLATIONS

(a) A person may not operate as a Real Estate Broker in Florida or sales associate without being the holder of a valid and current active license, therefore. Any person who violates this paragraph commits a FELONY OF THE THIRD DEGREE, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, or, if a corporation, as provided in s. 775.083.

(b) A person licensed as a sales associate may not operate as a Real Estate Broker in Florida or operate as a sales associate for any person not registered as her or his employer.

Florida Statute 475.42 Violations and penalties.

1) (j) A person may not operate as a Real Estate Broker in Florida under a trade name without causing the trade name to be noted in the records of the commission and placed on the person’s license, or so operate as a member of a partnership or as a corporation or as an officer or manager thereof, unless such partnership or corporation is the holder of valid current registration.

A full list of disciplinary guidelines can be found in the Florida Administrative Code Rule: 61J2-24.001

E) Multiple licenses for Real Estate Broker in Florida

1) Multiple licenses versus group license

Multiple licenses can be issued to a licensed Real Estate Broker in Florida on the condition that the broker can show that it is necessary for their brokerage business, and are issued in circumstances that a Real Estate Broker in Florida is legally licensed for more than one brokerage. For each business entity, a separate Real Estate Broker in Florida license will be required. It is important to note that only a licensed broker can hold multiple licenses, and not a sales associate or broker associate.

This differs from a group license, as they are provided to sales associates and broker associates who are registered under the employ of an owner-developer, who may own multiple properties, registered under multiple names. The business entities must meet the condition, that they are all connected and under the control and ownership of the same individual/s.

In short, multiple licenses can only be issued to a licensed Real Estate Broker in Florida. A group license is a single license that can be issued to a sales associate or broker associate, under the employ of an owner-developer.

Note that a sales associate or broker associate must only be registered under one employer, at any one time, and may only hold one license.

Florida Statute 475.215 Multiple licenses.

A licensed broker may be issued upon request additional licenses as A Real Estate Broker in Florida, but not as a sales associate or as a broker associate, whenever it is clearly shown that the requested additional licenses are necessary to the conduct of real estate brokerage business and that the additional licenses will not be used in a manner likely to be prejudicial or harmful to any person, including a licensee under this chapter.

The commission may also deny a multiple license request pursuant to s. 475.17(1)(a). A final order of discipline rendered against a Real Estate Broker in Florida for a violation of this part or s. 455.227(1) applies to the primary license of the broker as well as any multiple licenses held by that broker at the time the final order becomes effective.
A sales associate or broker associate shall have no more than one registered employer at any one time.

F) Real Estate Broker in Florida change of address

1) Definition of current mailing address

The current mailing address is defined by the physical mailing address, in which the Real Estate Broker in Florida is receiving mail. This could also include a PO Box number. If the broker fails to notify the Division of real estate of any changes, they may face a fine of up to $500. Any changes to address should be registered with the DRE within 10 days.

In the event that a licensee relocates, out with Florida State, they must inform the Commission of their non-residency, within 60 days, as required by law. The licensee must meet all continuing education requirements, and post-license courses, and notify the commission of any changes in address. Failure to notify the commission may result in a citation and a $300 fine.

Florida Statute 475.180 Nonresident licenses.

(2)(a) Any resident licensee who becomes a nonresident shall, within 60 days, notify the commission of the change in residency and comply with nonresident requirements. Failure to notify and comply is a violation of the license law, subject to the penalties in s. 475.25.

In addition to this rule, if a licensee changes brokerage, it is the responsibility of the broker to notify the Division of Real Estate, within 10 days. If the broker fails to do so, the agent will not be permitted to practice real estate services, until the changes are made, and the broker may be subject to a citation.

It is also the broker’s responsibility to inform the Division of Real Estate of any change to their business address, within 10 days. The same outcome where the broker may be subject to a citation, and will not be permitted to practice real estate services, may apply until the changes are made. They must also notify the DRE of changes of address, of the sales associates, and broker associates, under their employ, if applicable.

G) Services of real estate, exemptions from licensure and unlicensed activity

Services of Real Estate;

Florida statutes decree that any person that receives compensation, either monetary, or valuable tangible goods, for aiding in the lease, purchase, exchange, or sale of real estate, must hold a real estate license unless one of the exemptions applies. As real estate services cover an extensive range of duties, including leasing, transfer of real property, and the advertisement of property, rules apply in order to define what services must be carried out by a licensed professional, and what services are exempt from licensure.

For example, advertising a property in a newspaper, for a set advertising fee, would not require a license. However, if there was an agreement for an agent to be paid commission on the sale of a property, that came about from the agent’s advertisement of the real estate, then the agent must be licensed, in order to negotiate, and secure such an agreement.

Helping, and negotiating with buyers and sellers to transfer, or exchange real estate, including timeshares, requires a license. Licensure also applies to the auction of the property, unless the person carrying out these services is a licensed auctioneer. Real estate services, which require licensure, also include an agent assisting landlords and tenants in the leasing or renting of property, or in the provision of appraising property, or providing an estimate of value, on behalf of another person.

Florida Statute 475.43 Presumptions.

In all criminal cases, contempt cases, and other cases filed pursuant to this chapter, if a party has sold, leased, or let real estate, the title to which was not in the party when it was offered for sale, lease, or letting, or such party has maintained an office bearing signs that real estate is for sale, lease, or rental thereat, or has advertised real estate for sale, lease, or rental, generally, or describing property, the title to which was not in such party at the time, it shall be a presumption that such party was acting or attempting to act as a real estate broker, and the burden of proof shall be upon him or her to show that he or she was not acting or attempting to act as a Real Estate Broker in Florida or sales associate.

All contracts, options, or other devices not based upon a substantial consideration, or that are otherwise employed to permit an unlicensed person to sell, lease, or let real estate, the beneficial title to which has not, in good faith, passed to such party for a substantial consideration, are hereby declared void and ineffective in all cases, suits, or proceedings had or taken under this chapter; however, this section shall not apply to irrevocable gifts, to unconditional contracts to purchase, or to options based upon a substantial consideration actually paid and not subject to any agreements to return or right of return reserved.

Exemptions from Licensure:

There are however some exemptions that are permitted in state statute, which allows a person to carry out certain activities in relation to real estate, without being permitted to hold a real estate license. If a person receives an hourly wage, or salary, for performing real estate services, where no additional compensation is due if the property is sold or leased, exemption of licensure would apply.

Individuals who are also exempt from licensure, include the following:

Any person or entity, that is selling, leasing, or exchanging their own property, including companies such as partnerships, corporations or trusts. This exemption allows salaries employees of owner developers to sell property, on the condition that they are not paid any commission, based on sales.

Any person performing duties, as a certified public accountant, or a licensed attorney. Individuals with the power of attorney, or by appointment of the Court may carry out conveyances, and execute contracts only.

An employee that is involved in the sale, lease or purchase of a business trading in radio, cable or television services, on the condition that real estate is not included in the transaction, and that the business is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission.


An employee, who receives a salary, working under the employ of the owner, or registered broker, involved in the leasing of an apartment community, on the condition they are working in an onsite rental office.
An employee of a railroad, public utility organization, or state or government agency, that carries out services for a regular salary, and not for commission based on sales.


A manager, in receipt of a regular salary, who is tasked with managing, and leasing a cooperative apartment complex, or condominium, if the rental period does not exceed 1 year. This includes any property management company or owner of an apartment complex, who wishes to pay a finder’s fee to a tenant, that does not exceed $50, per transaction.


Any person that wishes to resell their own personal timeshare periods.
Any person, or entity involved in renting, or advertising rentals, for temporary property leases, such as holiday rentals, lodging, hotels, or motels.
Any person that is involved in the sale or exchange of cemetery plots.
Any person that is licensed as an appraiser, performing property appraisals.
The full list of exemptions can be viewed under Florida Statute 475.011 Exemptions.

Unlicensed Activity;

Unlicensed activity, in the State of Florida, is a THIRD-DEGREE FELONY. Brokers, sales associates, and broker associates are not permitted to carry out real estate services, if not in possession of an active real estate license. Any unlicensed activity should be reported to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, where the Bureau of Unlicensed Activity will be responsible for investigating any complaints.

The Bureau of Unlicensed Activity is also tasked with informing consumers and other regulatory organizations, on the dangers that unlicensed individuals have on the public, and the real estate industry. Unlicensed activity is defined in Florida Statute Chapter 475 and may result in a fine of up to $5,000, or a maximum of 5 years imprisonment.

Florida Statute 475.42 Violations and penalties.

(1) VIOLATIONS

(a) A person may not operate as a Real Estate Broker in Florida or sales associate without being the holder of a valid and current active license, therefore. Any person who violates this paragraph commits a FELONY OF THE THIRD DEGREE, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, or, if a corporation, as provided in s. 775.083.

Any activity that is in breach of licensing regulations, for example, a sales associate directly receiving compensation for real estate services, paid by a client, is punishable by second degree ($500 and up to 60 days imprisonment);

(b) A person licensed as a sales associate may not operate as a Real Estate Broker in Florida or operate as a sales associate for any person not registered as her or his employer.

(c) A Real Estate Broker in Florida may not employ, or continue in employment, any person as a sales associate who is not the holder of a valid and current license as a sales associate; but a license as a sales associate may be issued to a person licensed as an active broker, upon request and surrender of the license as a Real Estate Broker in Florida, without a fee in addition to that paid for the issuance of the broker’s active license.

(d) A sales associate may not collect any money in connection with any real estate brokerage transaction, whether as a commission, deposit, payment, rental, or otherwise, except in the name of the employer and with the express consent of the employer; and no real estate sales associate, whether the holder of a valid and current license or not, shall commence or maintain any action for a commission or compensation in connection with a real estate brokerage transaction against any person except a person registered as her or his employer at the time the sales associate performed the act or rendered the service for which the commission or compensation is due.

(e) A person may not commit any conduct or practice set forth in s. 475.25(1)(b), (c), (d), or (h).

(f) A person may not make any false affidavit or affirmation intended for use as evidence by or before the commission or a member thereof, or by any of its authorized representatives, nor may any person give false testimony under oath or affirmation to or before the commission or any member thereof in any proceeding authorized by this chapter.

(g) A person may not fail or refuse to appear at the time and place designated in a subpoena issued with respect to a violation of this chapter, unless because of facts that are sufficient to excuse appearance in response to a subpoena from the circuit court; nor may a person who is present before the commission or a member thereof or one of its authorized representatives acting under authority of this chapter refuse to be sworn or to affirm or fail or refuse to answer fully any question propounded by the commission, the member, or such representative, or by any person by the authority of such officer or appointee; nor may any person, so being present, conduct herself or himself in a disorderly, disrespectful, or contumacious manner.

(h) A person may not obstruct or hinder in any manner the enforcement of this chapter or the performance of any lawful duty by any person acting under the authority of this chapter or interfere with, intimidate, or offer any bribe to any member of the commission or any of its employees or any person who is, or is expected to be, a witness in any investigation or proceeding relating to a violation of this chapter.

(i) A Real Estate Broker in Florida or sales associate may not place, or cause to be placed, upon the public records of any county, any contract, assignment, deed, will, mortgage, affidavit, or other writing which purports to affect the title of, or encumber, any real property if the same is known to her or him to be false, void, or not authorized to be placed of record, or not executed in the form entitling it to be recorded, or the execution or recording whereof has not been authorized by the owner of the property, maliciously or for the purpose of collecting a commission, or to coerce the payment of money to the broker or sales associate or another person, or for any unlawful purpose.

However, nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit a Real Estate Broker in Florida or a sales associate from recording a judgment rendered by a court of this state or to prohibit a Real Estate Broker in Florida from placing a lien on a property where expressly permitted by contractual agreement or otherwise allowed by law.

(j) A person may not operate as a Real Estate Broker in Florida under a trade name without causing the trade name to be noted in the records of the commission and placed on the person’s license, or so operate as a member of a partnership or as a corporation or as an officer or manager thereof, unless such partnership or corporation is the holder of valid current registration.

(k) A person may not knowingly conceal any information relating to violations of this chapter.

(l) A person may not undertake to list or sell one or more timeshare periods per year in one or more timeshare plans on behalf of any number of persons without first being the holder of a valid and current license as A Real Estate Broker in Florida or sales associate pursuant to this chapter, except as provided in s. 475.011 and chapter 721.

(m) A Real Estate Broker in Florida or sales associate may not enter into any listing or other agreement regarding her or his services in connection with the resale of a timeshare period unless the broker or sales associate fully and fairly discloses all material aspects of the agreement to the owner of the timeshare period.

Further, a Real Estate Broker in Florida or sales associate may not use any form of contract or purchase and sale agreement in connection with the resale of a timeshare period unless the contract or purchase and sale agreement fully and fairly disclose all material aspects of the timeshare plan and the rights and obligations of both buyer and seller.

The commission is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to chapter 120 as necessary to implement, enforce, and interpret this paragraph.

(n) A person may not disseminate or cause to be disseminated by any means any false or misleading information for the purpose of offering for sale, or for the purpose of causing or inducing any other person to purchase lease, or rent, real estate located in the state or for the purpose of causing or inducing any other person to acquire an interest in the title to real estate located in the state.

(2) PENALTIES —Any person who violates any of the provisions of subsection (1) is guilty of a MISDEMEANOR OF THE SECOND DEGREE, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, or, if a corporation, it is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083, except when a different punishment is prescribed by this chapter.

Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the prosecution under any other criminal statute of this state of any person for an act or conduct prohibited by this section; however, in such cases, the state may prosecute under this section or under such other statute or may charge both offenses in one prosecution, but the sentence imposed shall not be a greater fine or longer sentence than that prescribed for the offense which carries the more severe penalties.

A civil case, criminal case, or a denial, revocation, or suspension proceeding may arise out of the same alleged state of facts, and the pendency or result of one such case or proceeding shall not stay or control the result of either of the others.

Key terms: Real Estate Broker in Florida, compensation, Florida resident, group license, involuntarily inactive status, irrevocable consent to service, licensure, nonresident, multiple licenses, mutual recognition, registration, voluntarily inactive status.

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