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. Read more
Are you interested in finding out how to get a Home Improvement License NY? We’d like to make the license application process a little bit easier for our contractor friends out there, so we’ve decided to break down the applications process in the metropolitan area. Today we’re starting with Nassau County, but we’ll have Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island, Bronx, New Jersey and Connecticut covered over the next few weeks, so stay tuned!
Home Improvement Definition
According to the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs, “’Home Improvement’ means repair, maintenance, replacement, remodeling, alteration, conversion, modernization, or addition to any land or building, or that portion thereof, which is used as a private residence or dwelling place for not more than three families, and other improvements to structures or upon land which is adjacent to a dwelling, and shall include, but not be limited to, the installation, construction, replacement or improvement of driveways, swimming pools, porches, garages, sheds, central heating or air conditioning systems, vacuum cleaning systems, windows and awnings, sandblasting, power washing, waterproofing, floor refinishing, chimney cleaning, interior and/or exterior painting, carpet installation, and gardening/landscaping, when the gardener/landscaper uses his/her own equipment in the conduct of his/her business and uses his/her vehicle to transport such equipment.” Anyone who is doing any of the aforementioned work to residential property is required to have a Home Improvement License issued by Nassau County. For a more extensive list of job titles that require a Home Improvement License, please click the link above.
As a contractor performing Home Improvement work, in addition to a license, you are required to have liability, property damage, and workers compensation insurance to cover all of your bases. Contractors seeking to obtain a license in Nassau County must be 18 years of age or older, be of good moral character and have financial stability, and own a business that requires such a license. Filing an application for a Home Improvement License is not the same as having a license, and in order to actually do any Home Improvement contracting work in Nassau County, contractors must wait for their application to be approved in order to receive their license.
We understand that the application process may be difficult to digest, so we’ve gone through the official instructions and have put it in language that is hopefully easier to understand. The application process for a Home Improvement License for Contractors in Nassau County is as follows (anything in quotes is directly from there):
- You need to bring your signed and notarized application to the Office of Consumer Affairs in person.
- In addition to the white application (which must be notarized), you also need to have the blue disclosure form, which needs to be completed by “each individual, partner, officer, director, stockholder, manager, and salesperson of the business.” This form also must be notarized.
- All of the aforementioned parties must submit three passport type (2”x2”) photos that were taken within the past six months; these pictures must be professionally taken, as photos from home will not be accepted.
- All of the aforementioned parties must also provide proof of residency, in the form of a NYS DMV Drivers License or Non Driver ID Card in addition to one of the following: a current utility bill, NYS Auto registration, or a copy of a current lease. PO Box addresses are not consider acceptable proof of residency.
- If the business address is different from the filer’s home address, you will need to provide a utility bill or lease for the business to prove its location.
- The business is also required to show that it has a landline telephone number. If you’re doing work from your home, your home phone number is acceptable, but cell phone numbers and toll-free numbers are not. A copy of the business phone bill serves as proof for this requirement.
- All of the aforementioned parties are also required to document all criminal convictions, including DWI, DWAI, and DUI, and provide court documentation for the charges. Additional documentation may be required depending on the case.
- You must complete Blumberg form #X201 if you are using your own name or a trade name for your business, and need to provide a certified copy of your business certificate that is on file with the Nassau County Clerk’s Office. If you are operating a partnership, you need to complete Blumberg form #X74 and provide a certified copy of your partnership certificate that is on file with the Nassau County Clerk’s Office. If your business is a corporation, you have to provide a copy of the Secretary of State’s Filing receipt. It is important to note that “the corporation must maintain a bonafide establishment at a definite location within the State of New York.” If your corporation is using a DBA, you have to also provide an Assumed Name Certificate that you’ve filed with New York State that authorizes you to use the name in Nassau County. Any corporation is required to provide “the original and current corporate structure naming all principals, officers, directors, and stockholders including all minutes showing changes made to the corporate structure.” You’re welcome to bring the corporate book with you during your application if you’re not sure about these requirements. Lastly, if your corporation was formed more than three years ago, you are also required to provide a Certificate of Good Standing, which is issued by the New York Bureau of Corporations, who you can reach at (518) 473-2492.
- You will also need to bring a Certificate of Insurance with you, and the certificate holder must be listed as Nassau County Consumer Affairs. There is a separate document on the Consumer Affairs Office website that details coverage requirements, which you can find here.
- You will also need to bring a Certificate of Workman’s Compensation that will cover all of your employees. If you don’t have employees, you will need to complete form CE-200, the Certificate of Attestation Exemption form, from the Workman’s Compensation Board. You can obtain that form by calling (866) 546-9322.
- You will also be required to have a Federal Employers Identification number and a NY State Sales Tax number if you collect sales tax. If these numbers are not listed on your application, IT WILL BE REJECTED. To find these numbers, you can call (800) 829-4933 for your Federal Employers ID number, and (518) 457-5431 for your Sales Tax number.
- You will need to provide payment in the form of a certified check or postal money order made payable to THE COUNTY OF NASSAU. No other form of payment will be accepted, so be prepared.
The fees for a Nassau County Home Improvement License are as follows:
- $500 for the new application of a two-year license
- $50 for each new application as a restitution payment*The restitution payment MUST be made SEPARATELY by certified check or money order in the amount of $50. It CANNOT be combined with the $500 fee.
- $100 for an additional location
- $50 for a duplicate copy of license (ONLY if original is lost)
- $75 for name changes not at the point of renewal*”ANY name changes MUST be accompanied by a fully completed application in proper form, and the original current license MUST be surrendered.”
Last things to keep in mind about Home Improvement Licenses in Nassau County:
- You must put your license in a visible location at every business location
- You must also keep a copy of your license in each vehicle used for your business
- You must complete all forms in blue or black ink, or type them.
- Your two-year license will be mailed to your once your application has been processed and approved.
- Refunds are never given.
A home improvement contractor by law is defined as someone who is engaged in the construction, repair, remodeling, or addition to any land or building used as a residence. This includes the construction, replacement, or improvement of basements, driveways, fences, garages, landscaping, patios, porches, sidewalks, swimming pools, terraces, and other improvements on land that is next to a home or apartment complex. It is safe to say then that any person engaging in these types of work would need a home improvement contractor license.
H0me Improvement Contractor License
Besides obtaining a home improvement contractor license, there are several other permits, licenses and clearances which you may need. Any soliciting, negotiation or offers to negotiate a home improvement contract with a property owner requires a Home Improvement Salesperson license. Work which involves sidewalks and walkways require a permit from the NYC department of Transportation. For more information on obtaining this permit you may call 311 or visit New York City DOT. If you however, are interested in doing work which involves plumbing, electrical work, pointing, or extensions you must contact the NYC department of Buildings. This type of work often requires special inspection and as such requires more regulation. Finally, any home improvement contractor looking to transport any harmful waste as a result of work done must apply for a Class one Self Hauler Registration from the NYC business integrity commission.
These are just some of the preliminary steps necessary to be taken if you are interested in becoming a home improvement contractor but it doesn’t end here. Each and every contractor should consider multiple layers of insurance to protect themselves and their businesses. Contact us today for more information on how you can insure your newly established home improvement contracting business.