Decipering a Contractor License

Deciphering A Contractor License

Now that we’ve confirmed the easy and obvious stuff, let’s take a little bit deeper look. There could be some things here that could be of major importance later on.

The next item we’ll take the microscope to is:

Additional Status

In most cases, this is blank. But if there’s been any code violation involving the licensee, you’ll see a link titled “Complaint Disclosure”. In the next articles in this series we’ll go into depth on the information found when you click on the link. But like raising kids and dogs, it’s just as important to acknowledge the positive as the negative and so no link in this section is a good indication that an experienced contractor has never done anything that rises to level of a consumer filing a complaint with the Board (even completed or satisfied complaints are listed as we’ll discuss shortly). Here’s where I get to point out that in over 30 years of contracting, that section has remained blank for my license(s)

Classifications

There’s enough information here to justify its own section so for now, simply make a note of the contractors classification and we’ll discuss in detail shortly.

Bonding

Another topic that qualifies for its own section. We’ll be looking at license bonds in quite a bit of depth later; for now, you’ll want to make sure that they are bonded and the bond is active. Surety companies love to get their premiums so the moment the contractor doesn’t pay up, the surety company changes the status in this database so you can be assured it’s probably up to date

Workers Compensation

Like any other insurance coverage, its status should be listed here along with who the carrier is (this could be important if an accident occurs on your property regardless of whether or not you have homeowners or other property insurance). However, many contractors prefer to use independent contractors and subcontractors when they need additional help rather than employees (primarily for the many tax advantages) in which case they need to file an exemption form with the State. Not a problem, but it does mean that the consumer needs to make sure that anyone else coming on their property is covered by a policy or there is an exemption form on file for each qualifying individual.

Personnel List

This is a link on the bottom, center of the page that is supposed to provide you with key personnel of the contractor. However, it usually only gets updated when the contractor renews their license so while you might find out interesting information about the business, it really isn’t a good source of up-to-date information.

Other Licenses

This link may tell you much about the contractors past although most consumers rarely click on it. In my case, it would let the reader know that I was first licensed on May 11th, 1981. But what’s NOT there is even more important – anything about disciplinary action and/or complaints.

 

Sounds like a great segue to our next posting subject on checking out the disciplinary actions taken against your contractor.

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