Hurricane Sandy Shines Spotlight on Unlicensed Contractors - Tips For Consumers and Contractors

Hurricane Sandy caused widespread destruction and the need for emergency home and business repairs, including complete reconstruction in some unfortunate cases. Homeowners, businesses, and contractors should be aware of state contractor license requirements and the ramifications of operating without valid contractor licenses or home improvement contractor licenses. Business licensing expert LicenseLogix understands the state requirements for businesses and what consumers should look for when hiring a contractor.

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Following a natural disaster, many states increase efforts to enforce contractor licensing laws.

New York, NY (PRWEB) November 14, 2012

Hurricane Sandy caused widespread devastation to homes and businesses throughout many states along the eastern seaboard. Unfortunately, after a natural disaster many consumers fall prey to unlicensed contractors looking to take advantage of a terrible situation. Homeowners and businesses needing repair should verify that their contractor is properly licensed while contractors must be aware of the contractor licensing requirements in all states.

If you are a home improvement contractor planning to solicit residents in any of the states listed below (or any other state), you must become licensed first. Unlicensed contractors may be subject to severe penalties, and, following a natural disaster, many states increase efforts to enforce contractor licensing laws.

LicenseLogix assists every type of business entity in researching, obtaining, and maintaining their licenses or permits. They also offer a License Verification service for consumers to check whether a business is properly licensed. LicenseLogix is an expert on business and professional licenses in a wide range of industries such as General Contractor Licenses, Home Improvement Contractor Licenses, and Specialty Contractor Licenses such as Electrical Contractor Licenses and Roofing Contractor Licenses.

Connecticut: Under the Connecticut Home Improvement Act, no person may undertake, offer to undertake, or agree to perform any home improvement in the State without first registering as a Home Improvement Contractor with the Department of Consumer Protection. Unregistered contractors may be subject to various penalties. To obtain a certificate of registration, a contractor must submit an application, supporting documentation, and a $220 fee.

Maryland: Under the Maryland Home Improvement Act, no person may offer or perform any home improvements in the State without first obtaining a Contractor License from the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Home Improvement Commission. Unlicensed contractors may be subject to fines up to $5,000 or even imprisonment. To become properly licensed, a contractor must submit an application, supporting documentation, and a $370 fee.

Massachusetts: Under Massachusetts General Law, no person may solicit, bid on, or perform residential contracting in the State without first registering as a Home Improvement Contractor with the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. Unregistered contractors may be subject to various penalties. To become properly registered, a contractor must submit an application, supporting documentation, and a fee ranging from $250 to $650 (dependent upon number of employees).

New Jersey: Under the New Jersey Contractors’ Registration Act, no person may engage in the business of making or selling home improvements in the State without first registering as a Home Improvement Contractor with the Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Affairs. Unregistered contractors may be subject to civil penalties up to $20,000 and/or even criminal charges. To become properly registered, a contractor must submit an application, supporting documentation, and a $90 fee.

New York: New York City and its surrounding counties each require their own Home Improvement Contractor License for any person providing home improvement services within its jurisdiction. As there is no statewide license, a contractor operating in multiple counties must obtain multiple licenses. Each County’s licensing process, generally handled by its Department of Consumer Protection, requires its own application, supporting documentation, and fees. To legally provide services in the counties of Suffolk, Nassau, and Westchester, you must apply for and obtain three separate licenses. Unlicensed contractors may be subject to various penalties.

Pennsylvania: Under the Pennsylvania Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, no person may hold himself out as a home improvement contractor or perform any home improvement without first registering as a Home Improvement Contractor with the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Unregistered contractors may be subject to various penalties. To become properly registered, a contractor must submit an application, supporting documentation, and a $50 fee.

Virginia: Under Virginia Law, no person shall engage in, or offer to engage in, contracting work in the Commonwealth without first becoming licensed with the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation’s Board for Contractors. To become properly licensed, a contractor must submit an application, supporting documentation, and a fee ranging from $385 to $235 (dependent upon license classification). In addition, any locality in the Commonwealth has the authority to require any person engaging in the specific business of home improvement to obtain an additional license. Contractors that are not fully licensed may be subject to various penalties, both by the Commonwealth and the local government where services are being performed.

West Virginia: Under West Virginia Law, no person shall undertake or offer to undertake to provide home improvement services without first becoming licensed with the Division of Labor’s Contractor Licensing Board. Unlicensed contractors may be subject to various penalties. To become properly licensed, a contractor must submit an application, supporting documentation, and a $90 fee.

About LicenseLogix LLC

The experts at LicenseLogix take over all business license research, application assembly, and filing. LicenseLogix prepares everything related to the license application except the client’s signature while getting businesses licensed faster and keeping them compliant with the law.
LicenseLogix offers personalized service with easy to use technology, ensuring that clients are properly licensed and their questions promptly answered.

LicenseLogix also offers a cost-effective, on-line solution called CLiC (Client License Information Center) for companies that have the legal responsibility for multiple licenses.

LicenseLogix and CLiC provide a user-friendly, secure, and cost-effective method to keep track of licenses in every jurisdiction while automating renewals and streamlining new license filings. Information on deadlines, renewal fees, and relevant corporate documents are easily accessible and customized to each client.

LicenseLogix services sole proprietors operating in one state, as well as large corporations with hundreds of entities doing business in all 50 states.


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