The paid security guard industry in Florida is highly regulated. To comply with state regulations, you can anticipate paying fees for advertising the security services offered, hiring and training personnel and guarding both people and property. Florida requires different types of licenses for the various types of security services you offer.
Obtain a security agency Class B license. According to the Security Officer Handbook issued by the state of Florida, only those who have a Class B security license can operate a security business in the state. The Class B license allows your business to provide services such as security guard services, armored car services and transportation of prisoners. The license also allows the business to enter into subcontracting licenses with other security agencies.
You can obtain your Class B license (and all other security licenses) from your local Division of Licenses. As of 2010, you will pay $50 for the application fee (nonrefundable), $42 for the fingerprint fee and, if you are approved, $450 for the license.
Get a Class BB license for all branch offices. Florida requires any branch office that will provide security services to have a Class BB license.
Hire licensed individuals as managers. The state of Florida has specific requirements for those who manage security offices. Each office must have its own licensed manager, and that manager must have either a Class M or a Class MB license. Managers are not allowed to manage more than one office, and they must operate primarily out of the office they manage. An individual who has held a Class D license for more than two years can be exempted from the license requirement.
Hire licensed security guards. All people who perform security services must have a Class D license. Security guards are not allowed to enter into subcontracts without a Class B license. If they carry firearms as part of their services, then they must also have a Class G license.
Provide high-quality training for future security guards. To train security guards and help them get a Class D license, you must obtain a Class DS license designating yours as a qualified school. Each instructor will need to get a Class DI license, with the exception that full-time faculty members are exempt if they teach in public educational facilities.
Security guards must complete 40 hours of security courses to qualify for a Class D license. According to Florida Statute 493, training for security guards involves such topics as legal issues and liabilities, first aid, fire suppression, emergency procedures and terrorism awareness-a subject now required by the state.
You can simplify the process of hiring a Class DI instructor if you hire former military personnel who served more than one year in a law enforcement capacity in the service. Other exceptions are available for specific courses, such first aid taught by an emergency medical technician (EMT).