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General Contractor License Requirements by State

Different U.S. states set different regulatory requirements for professions. One commonly regulated profession is general contracting. A general contractor is responsible for supervising a construction project. General contractor license requirements may vary from state to state, and the requirements may change considerably with new legislation. Read more

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The Risks of Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor

For property owners, project owners, general contractors and anyone else facing a project with high costs, hiring an unlicensed contractor can seem like a tempting money-saving prospect. Rest assured, any potential penny-pinching you could gain from unlicensed contractors is back loaded with future costs and huge liability risks. Read more

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Why Do You Need to Hire a Licensed Contractor?

Why it is Vital to Hire a Licensed Contractor

When you need to hire a contractor to perform any sort of construction job, naturally you want to get the best deal possible. There are very important things to keep in mind, however, when shopping for the best company for the job. The single most vital of these is to be certain your contractor is licensed, bonded and certified. Unlicensed contractors are going to vie for your business by quoting you far lower prices than licensed ones, but you’ll pay the price in quality of work and risk. Here’s a look at why you want to hire a licensed contractor over an unlicensed contractor. Read more

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Four Tips on How to Start a Construction Business

Tips on How to Start a Construction Business

Starting a construction or contracting business is never easy, but for some it can be a gateway to a happy, productive and potentially lucrative life. Many entrepreneurial construction business owners cite the decision to stop being an employee and start being an employer as a turning point in their life.

The only problem is that not everyone knows how to start a construction business. There is no one way to go about it, since everyone’s process will be different based on their personal situation and local regulations. Regardless, there are some tips that can help overall, regardless of these variables.

So, to help those with the ambition and drive to start their own construction business, here are four indispensable tips to get you where you want to be:

Have a Lawyer Review Your Business Plan and Documentation

Your most important tool when first figuring out how to start a construction business will be your business plan. Here, you will structure your company, describe how it will obtain contracts and fulfill them along with any general goals, policies and procedures. On top of a business plan, you will need legal documentation like a business license, an OSHA compliance plan, tax filing arrangements and so on.

All of these documents could end up undermining your business’s success if they have any weaknesses or violations within them. Since not every business owner will be an expert in compliance, get help from someone who is. Many business law attorneys charge a small fee to review your documentation, your business’s structure and all of the legal aspects to ensure that you will not have any unanticipated setbacks from a legal point of view.

Make Friends with an Accountant

Just like you are going to need someone with law expertise to give your business plan a once-over, you will need an accountant to help you review your financial plan and get all of your paperwork in order in advance of tax season.

Many people hand off this role to a friend, a relative or an acquaintance of someone they know, but unless you have a degree in accounting, do not go the DIY route. You will likely end up biting off more than you can chew and have financial repercussions to show for it.

At the very least, ensure before filing your taxes that you have accounted for all of the exemptions that you are eligible for by having an expert review your tax return.

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Take Advantage of the SBA Programs

The U.S. Small Business Administration has a slew of programs that offer both financial support and training resources for new business owners. Review their website to see how they can help you.

Don’t Forget Insurance

No matter how confident you are in your abilities, accidents happen — as do disasters. Go beyond the needed workers’ comp and liability coverage by protecting your assets as well as yourself. Extend coverage to areas like commercial auto and truck insurance for contractors in order to prevent client disputes from toppling your success.

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Electrical License Requirements in NY

Becoming a Licensed Electrician in New York

The electrician industry is on the rise, and the demand for licensed professionals along with it. There is currently a shortage of professional electricians, so the timing is perfect to get into this rewarding and lucrative career path. Here are the steps towards electrical license requirements for becoming a licensed electrician in New York State.

High School Graduation

The first step in your electrical license requirements in New York is get your high school diploma. This applies across the board, no matter what you want your career to be. A diploma is vital to your success and career path. If you have not graduated high school, whatever the reason, you still have options. If you can go back to school, do so. Otherwise, look into getting a General Equivalency Diploma, or GED. This is accepted by most apprenticeships and trade schools.

Do Your Homework

You’re looking to get a licensure in New York. This means you will want to tailor your education to those state laws. The New York City Department of Buildings website has a wealth of information on how to become a licensed Master Electrician or Special Electrician in NY. You will want to take special note of the term of your license as well as the fees involved. Specific requirements include, but are not restricted to:

  • Being 21 years of age
  • Able to read and write in English
  • Possessing good moral character
  • 5 years of experience under the supervision of a Master or Special electrician
  • Journeyman status or a college degree in electrical plus lesser experience (instead of the above)
  • Graduation from trade school or apprenticeship

School or Apprenticeship

Attending a trade or vocational school and entering an apprenticeship is vital to getting your license. Here you will learn all the tools of the trade, including mathematics, wiring and circuitry, motors, electrical theory and other skills important to the trade. You may also learn the ins and outs of the business of being an electrician, which will help you when you strike out on your own.

Generally speaking, those seeking licensure go to trade school first, and then pursue an apprenticeship. In some cases you may find an educational program that includes an apprenticeship. The process generally lasts up to five years, after which you become a Journeyman.

Taking the Test

All of the knowledge and experience you gained during your training comes together when you take the test to become a certified and licensed electrician. You will apply what you know about the National Electrical Code and all of your New York State requirements to their fullest. When you pass the test, you can apply for your license!

Of course, before you start your own business you will want to be sure you have all the necessary contractors’ insurance, such as electrical insurance. This can protect you from the legal hassles of lawsuits, workers compensation and equipment coverage, and defend against inevitable liability issues.

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