California contractor licensing is strictly enforced. This is also the case in many other states. It’s simply a matter of law that you must go through the process of obtaining a contractor’s license.
Of course, legality is just one consideration. Many people simply will not do business with any company that isn’t properly licensed. Here are three reasons why this is so important.
1. Licensed Contractors Can Pull the Right Permits
Only businesses with construction licenses in California and other states can obtain proper work permits. People know that working with an unlicensed contractor usually means that the work is being done without required permits from the local authorities.
There are a few problems with this. First, if the city or county discovers work is being done without permits, they may shut down the project entirely. Additionally, the home or business owner could be fined.
A final inspection must be conducted at the close of any construction or remodeling project. Again, this won’t happen if a licensed contractor doesn’t do the work. If something goes wrong, the homeowner has little recourse.
2. California Contractor Licensing Requires Skills and Experience
To obtain a contractor’s license, someone must have verifiable experience and proven skills. Many licensing processes include a test that contractors must pass before receiving their license.
No licensing process is 100% perfect. However, it is the best means that people have for determining whether a contractor can do the work and whether they have earned a positive reputation.
3. Liability and Insurance Requirements
Builders and other contractors must have a license to obtain business insurance. Insurance companies will not have liability or workmen’s compensation policies for unlicensed contractors. This is extraordinarily important for people who:
- Are concerned that there is proper coverage in case a contractor makes a mistake
- Don’t want to be liable for accidents or injuries that occur on their property
- Need to have insurance-related repairs done to their home or business
An injured construction worker who can’t seek damages from an uninsured contractor may choose to take legal action against the property owner. Also, if a homeowners insurance company finds that the homeowner failed to hire a licensed contractor, they may not cover repairs or take responsibility for any injury claim.
Ultimately, any construction contractor will benefit from taking steps to get properly licensed. In addition to being legally compliant, they’ll be able to attract more customers and increase their bottom line.