New York City home improvement contractors must be licensed in order to operate within the five boroughs. If you are opening a new company or interested in renewing a license, this basic guide will tell you all you need to know.
What is a Home Improvement Contractors License?
The license is valid for many different types of contracting work on any building or piece of land to be used as a residence, including:
In addition, these types of installations qualify as home improvement work:
- Central heating/air conditioning
- Central vacuum cleaning system
- Storm windows
- Communication systems
New construction, painting, decorating and any type of work performed on a residence owned or controlled by the state or a local municipality is not considered to be “home improvement.”
How to Obtain or Renew a License
In order to obtain a license or renew an old one, you must submit an application to the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. A separate license is required for all your places of business.
You can apply online at www.nyc.gov/consumers or in person at:
DCA Licensing Center
New York, NY 10004
The Requirements for Filing an Application
Those applying to become licensed NYC home improvement contractors must have these documents in order to file an application:
- Basic license application
- Sales tax identification number or certificate of authority application confirmation number
- Proof of business address
- Proof of home address
- Workers’ compensation insurance information
- NYC Department of Consumer Affairs trust fund enrollment ($200 fee) or copy of surety bond (or third party bond), which is properly signed
- Roster of employees
- Contractual compliance agreement
- Home improvement exam and $50 exam fee (if applicable)
- Fingerprints and $75 processing fee per person (if applicable)
- Granting authority to act affirmation (if applicable)
- License fee
You must also pass the NYC home improvement contractors exam within 30 days of the date from which you submit your application or else you will be denied.
How to Display your License
If approved, you must post your license in your office in a place where all consumers can see it. You must also show it to any consumer who requests to view it.
The Penalties for Operating without a License
Any individual who owns or operates a home improvement business without a valid New York City license is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be prosecuted criminally. Guilty parties may be subject to up to six months in jail and/or $1,000 in fines for each violation. Individuals who violate this law may be prosecuted civilly and face fines of up to $100 per day. In addition, the Department of Consumer Affairs reserves the right to close down and confiscate tools and trucks used in connection with unlicensed home improvement work.
For more information, visit the Department of Consumer Affairs website.