Florida Business License Problems

Thousands of Floridians trying to get a business license have been put on hold. The state has suspended computer testing for many professionals, and a software contract problem is to blame.

She's been cutting hair for only a few months now, and Melissa Austin’s cosmetology license is still fresh. It took a year and a half of classes, then months of waiting to get.

“I called and it took about two months before I could get in to take the test because they only do it on certain days and only so many people can be in there at a time to take the test,” says Melissa.

The state test to be a cosmetologist doesn't actually involve using the tools of the trade, it's all done on a computer, but because of a contract problem, that exam and about a dozen other state license exams are on hold.

Other affected professions include realtors, auctioneers, veterinarians, barbers, funeral directors and landscape architects. The state contract for those computer tests is now in dispute. With no clear date when that computer testing might resume, some would-be cosmetologists and others may have their careers on standby.

“To be told that you just can't take it, not know when you can start your career and when you can get things going for yourself, that would be frustrating.”

The state is working to get the word out to test-takers before their scheduled testing date.

A state spokesperson for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation declined to give us an on-camera interview, so we have no answers as to how long this testing dhutdown might continue.