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How to get NYC Home Improvement Licenses

How to get NYC Home Improvement Licenses

In order to run a home improvement contracting company in NYC you will be required to obtain the proper NYC home improvement licenses.

Who is required to have NYC Home Improvement Licenses

As described by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, “A person or business must have a Home Improvement Contractor license if engaged in the construction, repair, remodeling, or addition to any land or building used as a residence. This includes, but is not limited to, the construction, replacement, or improvement of basements, driveways, fences, garages, landscaping, patios, porches, sidewalks, swimming pools, terraces, and other improvements to structures or upon land that is next to a home or apartment building.”

Application Requirements for NYC Home Improvement Licenses

There are a few things you need to do before you even apply for your NYC Home improvement license.  Even though you don’t need these documents in order to process your application online, the DCA reserves the right to request and examine them.

Anyone who owns a sole proprietorship operating under a name other than your own must file a business/assumed name certificate with the clerk of the county.  For those who do business under a name other than your own and not under a DBA (doing business as) there is no need for a business certificate.  If you are in a partnership, you must file for a partnership certificate with the county clerk where you do business.  For Corporations, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, or Limited Liability Partnerships you must register with the NY Dept. of state.  If you would like to check the status of this you may check at this website: If you happen to be doing business out of the state which you incorporated in you need to get a Certificate of Doing Business in Good Standing from your home state’s Secretary of State.

Once you take care of the previously mentioned requirements you may file for your license. The following documents are required by the state as outlined by the licensing website.

The first form to be filled out is the Basic License Application.  This can be done online or in person.  Second, you will need to have your Sales Tax Identification Number OR Certificate of Authority Application Confirmation Number.  The Sales Tax Identification Number is the 9, 10, or 11-digit number on your New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Certificate of Authority.

You will then add this number to the Basic License Application form. If you have not received your Certificate of Authority, enter the 6-digit confirmation number you received when you submitted the application for a Certificate of Authority.  A certificate of authority can be filled out online at  If you are more comfortable filling out a paper application then reach out to the organization via telephone at (518) 485-2889. It takes up to 6 weeks to receive this certificate.

Next you will need proof of your business address.  To do that you can use a Utility bill, dated within the last 90 days, a Current lease or deed in the name of either the business or individual listed on the license application, Current rent or mortgage bill, Current license or permit issued by New York State or another New York City government agency that shows your business address.  In addition, you will need to provide Proof of your Home Address.  This can be proven in a similar way by providing either a Utility bill, dated within the last 90 days, a Current lease or deed, a Current rent or mortgage bill a Driver’s license.

Workers compensation documentation is also required.  Proof of this can be in the form of an insurance certificate from a private carrier or the NY State insurance fund office or a certificate of Attestation of Exemption from the NY State Workers’ Compensation Board.  In addition to Workers Comp, you must find a company to provide bonds for licensees.

Following these documents, a roster of employees and a contractual compliance agreement will be needed.

Home Improvement Contractor Exam and Exam Fee

If you wish to get a home improvement license in NYC you need to pass the home improvement contractor exam and pay a fee.  The test is 30 questions and of them, 21 must be answered correctly.  The fee is 50 dollars.  You have 2 chances to pass.  Only one member of your organization needs to pass.

Fingerprints and Processing Fee

All sole proprietors, general partners, corporate officers, members, and all shareholders owning 10% or more of company stock must be fingerprinted at the DCA Licensing Center. The fee is 75 dollars and you must provide either a drivers licence, a government id, passport, green card, or federal employee ID card.

License Fee

The last step would be to pay your license fee.  Depending on when you file, your cost will vary.

License TermLicense Expiration DateIf You File Your Application Between These Dates:Your License Fee is:
2 yearsFebruary 28
Odd years
From March 1 in an odd year to August 31 in an odd year$100
From September 1 in an odd year to February 28 or 29 in an even year$75
From March 1 in an even year to August 31 in an even year$50
From September 1 in an even year to February 28 in an odd year$25


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Unlicensed Contractors Busted After Bidding on Homes Destroyed by Sandy

Homes Destroyed by Sandy

Unlicensed Contractors were busted after bidding on Homes Destroyed by Sandy.

It was a difficult time for many families last fall after super storm Sandy hit the east coast.  Some families were lucky enough to escape the wrath of Sandy, while others lost everything.  Recently, Governor Cuomo, of NY, extended FEMA funding in an effort to support struggling families during their time of need.  For those who were in a position to rebuild, their first step was to reach out to a general contractor and get a quote on how much it would cost to repair their home.

And handful of contractors proceeded to quote jobs, some as low as $9,000 dollars, and went on to find out that these struggling homeowners were in fact undercover investigators whose main goal was to weed out improperly registered general contractors who were looking to exploit people’s needs after the storm.  The investigation managed to single out 8 home-improvement contractors, who are now facing criminal charges.  Their offense: not registering with the state they had claimed to be insured under.

The investigation began once homeowners started filing complaints.  State officials are now stating that this situation will only continue as time progresses, and work which was performed starts to fall apart.  State laws require that a home improvement contractor register with the division of consumer affairs and in addition to that, provide proof that they have at least $500,000 dollars in liability insurance coverage.  To prevent getting tricked, take into consideration where you find your leads on contractors.  Sites such as craigslist or the yellow pages should provide information on their registration as a licensed contractor.  If you are still skeptical, ask for their registration number and look into it yourself.  Whether you are a homeowner looking for the proper insurance coverage for your property, or a contractor who is still unsure about licensing and liability insurance, be sure to contact one of our professional insurance agents today.  It’s unfortunate that the many homes destroyed by sandy had to deal with other complications, so if there is anything we could do to help, we would be more than happy to assist you.

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Becoming a Home Improvement Contractor

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.

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Why Plumbing Contractors Need Workers Comp Now

If you’re hoping to become a respectable Plumbing Contractor, you need to first understand that you will desperately need workers comp.  Workers comp is required by law in most states, particularly for companies which have W2 employees or 1099 contractors.  In addition to this, even if by law you aren’t required to have workers comp, your client’s will most often request that you do.  In order to become a big player in the game, makes sure you go through the trouble of purchasing workers comp insurance.  Even if your business is a one man show, you will still most likely be required at some point to pick up a policy of some sort.  Even when your state doesn’t require it by law, the homeowner who you do work for is still allowed to request that you get insured.

Being knowledgeable in workers comp laws will also play out to your advantage.  Whether it’s just for the state you do business in, or a state that you travel into, you must learn to abide by the rules and regulations for each individual state.  These regulations are enforced by each state’s department of industrial regulations, department of labor, department of insurance, department of employment, bureau of workers’ compensation or a similar agency type. If you are unsure about laws in a particular state be sure to research each states requirements, before you even think about stepping foot into the client’s home.

There are very few exceptions to whether or not you really will need workers comp for your plumbing business.  Some contract employees, work for hire situations, and leased employees, might not need coverage, but again, this is rare.  In order to safeguard your plumbing business, have each independent worker carry their own coverage.  If you fail to do this, you might end up covering costs if they get hurt or injured.  The only time we would even tell someone to consider not having a workers comp policy is if they have good health and disability coverage, and the risk is very low.

Lastly, you might be audited throughout the duration carrying workers comp, and this will depend on the varying number of employees, the type of coverage and the amount paid into premiums.  Sometimes, the level of risk involved can change and premiums can either go up or down.

We want all of you plumbing contractors to thrive in this economy.  Hopefully this article will leave you well equipped to deal with finding the right policy for your business.  Be in the know, get contractors insurance today.