September 2013

Unlicensed contracting

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Working in another state can expose you to significant potential liability

by David M. Gersh
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Before bidding or working on a roofing project in another state, you must be aware of the state's licensing and registration requirements. Each state's requirements differ, sometimes substantially, and failure to plan ahead may result in lost opportunities or breached contracts.

Contractor licensing

Licensing requirements vary significantly among states. Some states require only residential contractors to be licensed. Some require roofing contractors to obtain specialty roofing licenses for all construction projects, and others only require licenses for general contractors or when a project exceeds a certain dollar threshold.

In Mississippi, for example, a license is required for commercial work only if the price is $50,000 or more. For residential work, a license is required if the price is $50,000 or more for new construction or $10,000 or more for work on an existing residence. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, do not impose any contractor licensing requirements for nonhazardous construction. Other states, such as New York, handle contractor licensing at the local level rather...

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