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Old 01-27-2013, 11:04 AM   #1
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In this little "city" where I live. They have a full time person in codes,who goes thru the local papers and if there is an ad offering a service, they cross reference looking to see if that person or business has a license. They then send a letter giving these people 10 days to get one. They even go after high school kids cutting grass for the summer.
It isn't hard to get a license, you can get one for GC, floor laying or almost anything (except plumbing or electrical) for $2-$25. No insurance, bonds, tests, or references required.
Some of the people who don't advertise, have their business plastered all over the outside of a vehicle and are never bothered.
I am the only flooring installer to ever have a city license, which doesn't bother me, I am also the only certified installer ever here. There are three others here with signs on their vans.

Any place else out there like this?

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Old 01-27-2013, 11:24 AM   #2
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Yes, in Glouchester VA they want you to have a contractors licence for even someone who does painting, paper hanging, anything you get paid to do to a home.
You have to have just a business licence to do things like pressure washing or lawn mowing.

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Old 01-28-2013, 10:32 AM   #3
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In Wisconsin, we're required as home improvement contractors to carry a license, both showing "apptitude" as well as "financial responsibility". This, I have no "beef" with, as it requires continuing education, and helps (just a little probably) weed out illegitamate contractors IMO.

As for localized licensing like I think you're referring to, there's only one community that requires a "city license". Sounds similar to what you're describing, "pay us money and we do nothing to verify your legitamacy". It's simply a money grab and a way to keep non-locals from infiltrating the city as quickly, so it ultimately reduces competition. The ironic part is that this city is in a region where they already work relatively cheap, so many of those "city contractors" flee to areas like where I work, because they can make more money usually.............
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:03 PM   #4
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The state will go after people that are offering commercial electrical or plumbing work. Otherwise you are free to do maintenance related stuff. Wall switches, kitchen faucets, leave raking. You are required to register in three of the main cities you do work in. Then their is the whole lead paint thing, you have to take classes and what not. Word of mouth is the best way. I feel like I am the only guy out there that does any work. People are always bugging me to do stuff for them. No advertising, no signs nothing.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:15 PM   #5
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Feel lucky. My local City/County doesn't issue "Business License" anymore. They are now known as "Occupational Tax Certificates". Who thought that one up? Now the City and County are going through the OTC's then cross-referencing with the local Tag Office to see if the person listed on the OTC has "Commercial Vehicle Insurance". If they find that you do not, then you have thirty (3) days to show proof of CVI. I have operated a "Household HandyMan" business since retiring for seven (7) years now obtaining licensing in three (3) local counties. Now only my county has notified me that I have to obtain CVI or they will pull the license on my business. The CVI insurance will be $1400/year along with my personal insurance coverage on my truck and my business insurance which total would top out over $2000/year. All those "grass cutters, house painters, and whomever" are being affected. They local authorities are running these small business people out of business really fast.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:49 AM   #6
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Feel lucky. My local City/County doesn't issue "Business License" anymore. They are now known as "Occupational Tax Certificates". Who thought that one up? Now the City and County are going through the OTC's then cross-referencing with the local Tag Office to see if the person listed on the OTC has "Commercial Vehicle Insurance". If they find that you do not, then you have thirty (3) days to show proof of CVI. I have operated a "Household HandyMan" business since retiring for seven (7) years now obtaining licensing in three (3) local counties. Now only my county has notified me that I have to obtain CVI or they will pull the license on my business. The CVI insurance will be $1400/year along with my personal insurance coverage on my truck and my business insurance which total would top out over $2000/year. All those "grass cutters, house painters, and whomever" are being affected. They local authorities are running these small business people out of business really fast.

I understand the need for CVI, but why would you need a personnal policy as well?
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:06 AM   #7
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I work for a city (though not in that department). We require contractors to register annually. To register they must have a certificate of insurance showing $300,000 in bodily injury liability coverage, $100,000 property damage liability coverage, and workmen's compensation as required by the state. Fees are $150 for general contractors and $100 for all other contractors - good for one year.

Our code enforcement officer (before the position was laid-off) has never gone after a kid cutting grass, but the rule says "All contractors desiring to engage in business within the Corporate Limits must be registered with the Development Department." I think the whole program came about during the building boom of the 2000s, to try and protect homeowners from fly-by-night contractors who really didn't know what they were doing.

Also of note: "Plumbers, Roofers and all other contractors required to e licensed with the State of Illinois, must provide a copy of their State License. Plumbing Contractors: Please list all names and XC numbers of plumbers employed by ou that are CCCDI approved."

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Old 02-27-2013, 07:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by hyunelan2 View Post
I work for a city (though not in that department). We require contractors to register annually. To register they must have a certificate of insurance showing $300,000 in bodily injury liability coverage, $100,000 property damage liability coverage, and workmen's compensation as required by the state. Fees are $150 for general contractors and $100 for all other contractors - good for one year.

Our code enforcement officer (before the position was laid-off) has never gone after a kid cutting grass, but the rule says "All contractors desiring to engage in business within the Corporate Limits must be registered with the Development Department." I think the whole program came about during the building boom of the 2000s, to try and protect homeowners from fly-by-night contractors who really didn't know what they were doing.
So did the city initiate tests to determine if a contractor was legitimate? If not, then the only test was if they had insurance?
Did they do that to retail establishments also? if not then they need to do so.


My contention is that these licenses are no more than a money grab by municipalities. To say that this eliminates bad contractors is just a fallacy brought about by poor thinkers.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:14 AM   #9
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Just got my yearly forms from the county. They expect you to pay a tax on any equipment, unsold inventory and tools you own every year.
Got to tell me how this makes any since.
Without the tools you can not make any money, so why buy them.
I've already paid a state tax when I bought them.
If I have unsold inventory I've made 0 profit on it so why have any on hand.
If we buy less that puts people out of jobs, how much money do you think there going to make on someone with no job?
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:20 AM   #10
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Joe, always wondered about the taxes in VA. Shoot, even us NYers don't pay on tools and equipment.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:24 AM   #11
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There voting on getting rid of that tax.
Out of thousands of people that were suppost to be paying it only a hand full where paying anything.
Our property tax here are dirt cheap compaired to most places so I guess it all works out.
My sister in NH is paying about $5,000 a year for a house valued the same as mine in VA that I'm only paying $800.00 for.

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Old 02-27-2013, 07:39 AM   #12
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There voting on getting rid of that tax.
Out of thousands of people that were suppost to be paying it only a hand full where paying anything.
Our property tax here are dirt cheap compaired to most places so I guess it all works out.
My sister in NH is paying about $5,000 a year for a house valued the same as mine in VA that I'm only paying $800.00 for.
]
Oh we have higher property taxes, for sure..
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:42 AM   #13
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I have a rental that valued at $108,000 and only pay about $250.00 a year for.
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Old 02-27-2013, 07:53 AM   #14
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rub it in
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:54 AM   #15
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So did the city initiate tests to determine if a contractor was legitimate? If not, then the only test was if they had insurance?
Did they do that to retail establishments also? if not then they need to do so.
Insurance is the only test. If they are in a trade that has to be licensed by the state, then proof of the state required licenses need to be attached. There is no realistic way for a city to test for competency across all realms of contracting, and issue licenses in a timely manor for crews to be able to do work. If your drywall company was hired to to a job, you can come in, register and show your insurance, and get to work - same day. If you had to wait to pass competency tests, that would stop contractors from making money. Also would be a waste of time, since most things requiring competency also require inspections.


Quote:
My contention is that these licenses are no more than a money grab by municipalities. To say that this eliminates bad contractors is just a fallacy brought about by poor thinkers.
This is probably true in some cases, but it also pays for the salaries of code enforcement officers and inspectors to verify jobs are done right. Most ordinances are written that specify what the money collected from registration fees is to be used for, and it doesn't just go into the general fund.

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