Government authorities in the state of New York are obligated to protect consumers. One way they do this is by requiring contractors to obtain appropriate licenses.
At first, the New York contractor licensing process might seem intimidating. Fortunately, you can take these five steps to streamline the process.
1. Know the New York Construction License You Need
In New York, contractor’s licenses are usually issued at the city or county level. Only crane operators and asbestos removal contractors are licensed by the state. Specific requirements vary from one location to the next.
You may even need a specialized license, depending on what you do. Before you begin filling out paperwork or paying fees, do some research.
2. Start Early and Study for Your Exam
You may need to take an examination to obtain the license you need. In some cases, only a few exams are scheduled each year. Additionally, it takes time to process your license application. A delay could cost you important jobs. Set appointments early, and don’t forget to study.
3. Have Your Bonds and Insurance in Place
There is a good chance that you will need to be bonded and insured to obtain your New York construction license. It’s also good business practice to have these protections in place.
Don’t wait until you are applying for your license. Instead, learn what is required and obtain what you need today. If you are already insured, this is a good time to ensure that you have the correct maximums and deductibles according to local regulations.
4. Schedule Your Background Check and Fingerprinting
A background check might not be required in every jurisdiction, but it is fairly common. Get ahead of the process by scheduling appointments early. Your local law enforcement agency might be able to help you. If not, it should be able to point you in the right direction. Call ahead; it may take some time to get an appointment.
5. Know the Law
There’s nothing more frustrating than starting the licensing process only to discover that you have missed something important. When that happens, you could end up spending money on fees with no license to show for it.
Research the licensing requirements that apply to you carefully. Remember that in addition to being licensed where your business is located, you may also need to be licensed in other counties in which you do work. The best thing to do is contact your local government to make sure you have completed every step that is required of you.
Don’t be intimidated by the contractor licensing process. If you follow these steps and plan ahead, the process should run smoothly. Soon, you will be able to begin work as a fully licensed New York contractor.