When you’re hiring a contractor, why is a contractor license essential? If you’re not sure why it’s important, consider this: you’re taking a risk if you don’t have one. Unlicensed contractors often lack knowledge of license requirements and may not be concerned about the risks. But if you’re not licensed, you may find yourself a victim of a misdemeanor.
An unlicensed contractor may file a claim against their employer.
A homeowner can file a claim against their employer for injuries from an unlicensed contractor. Because they lack liability insurance, unlicensed contractors often do not carry workers’ compensation or liability insurance. Because they are not required to have these insurance policies, you should only hire a licensed contractor for your project. A licensed contractor also carries worker’s compensation insurance. This will protect you if the contractor fails to meet safety standards.
A not licensed contractor may be held liable for injuries caused by the work of unlicensed contractors. California law requires unlicensed contractors to pay workers minimum wage, overtime, and other compensation based on the nature of their work. If the contractor does not pay their employees a living wage, they may be forced to pay their employees attorney fees and medical bills. This can cost thousands of dollars.
An unlicensed contractor is a victim of a crime.
Hiring an unlicensed contractor may not be the first time you’ve dealt with an evil person. But it can be especially problematic when this person doesn’t have the proper education and insurance. Despite their lack of experience, unlicensed contractors often disappear after taking your money and failing to complete the job. You may also come across unsavory people who have a criminal past, including fraud, theft, and other violent and sexual crimes.
Unfortunately, there are many scams in the construction industry. Con artists pose as contractors and prey on the vulnerable and needy. Consumer protection investigators contact these contractors and often discover that they rob homeowners of thousands of dollars. Despite repeated communications with the Attorney General’s office, unlicensed contractors refuse their customers’ requests. Ultimately, you’re the victim of a crime.
An unlicensed contractor may file a lawsuit.
Suppose you are unhappy with a project that an unlicensed contractor has performed. In that case, you can file a lawsuit against the contractor to recover the damages—several types of cases, including breach of contract, construction defect, and civil theft. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to collect damages and attorney’s fees. However, if you have not yet paid the contractor, you may have to file a lawsuit yourself.
While hiring a licensed contractor has many benefits, you should be wary of unlicensed workers. An unlicensed worker can sue you for causing injuries or damages to third parties. This may seem tempting, but the risks you face are far greater than the savings you might enjoy. Make sure you take the time to research each contractor before making a decision. This way, you will know what to expect from your new contractor.
An unlicensed contractor may be found guilty of a misdemeanor.
While most contractors are protected by the license, some work without it; contracting without a license is considered a misdemeanor and may result in a fine and jail time. In some states, the penalties for unlicensed contractors are significantly less severe. In Maryland, a contractor guilty of unlicensed work may be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to 30 days in jail. However, repeat offenders may also be sentenced to up to five years in jail. Additionally, court-ordered restitution can also result.
BP 7028 describes the definition of a contractor. Under this code, a contractor can be a builder, construction worker, home improvement expert, or any other occupation that is similar to a contractor. It is illegal to operate as an unlicensed contractor unless you are licensed to do so in your state. The statute of limitations on contracting without a license is three years.
Licensure protects contractors
A license protects the customer by ensuring that the contractor is qualified and on the up. It also ensures that the contractor is up to date with laws and regulations and must renew their license periodically through the contractor’s state license board. A license is also beneficial in protecting lien rights, as some states don’t allow unlicensed contractors to claim liens. Here are some reasons why you should consider getting a license:
If you’re in the business of building things, it’s essential to get licensed as a general contractor. A general contractor license is enough to do most work, but you should have a specialty license if you perform certain services. Specialty contractors must have their permits and specializations. A general contractor license does not cover the specialty trades, such as roofing or solar. However, specialty licenses are required to do electrical work, masonry, mechanical contracting, sheet metal, and solar. If you’re not sure if your contractor is licensed, you can check with your state’s Department of Consumer Protection.