Spotting an unlicensed contractor

How to verify a licensed contractor

 Avoid Unlicensed Contractor

Original publish date by America’s Service Repair  Saturday, 04 June 2011

Many people on Craigslist are saying they are licensed contractors in fact they are actually an Unlicensed Contractor.
Sad to say almost all of them are lying about it.
As a licensed contractor in the state of South Carolina
I will attempt to help you learn to spot the Unlicensed Contractor.

The easiest way first is that most of them list no license information at all.
As a licensed contractor I am proud of my license and don’t mind boasting about it.
I run a great business and am proud of it. So why would they hide it?
Easy enough answer is they really are not licensed.
The next thing to look for is; those that say they are licensed but only hold a EPA license
for freon. This is in no way at all a valid license to practice in the field of HVAC in this state.
This is a card that anyone must hold to handle freon that is it, IT IS NOT certification
that they know how to install or repair HVAC equipment.
They know this but, they are preying on the fact that you don’t know this. Shame on them.

There is only one true way to check to see if you have a REAL licensed contractor or a fraud:

This works not just for checking HVAC and other professionals but Electricians, Plumbers
and many other professions as well. Be fair with the contractors they might be listed with either
the Residential Builders board or the Commercial Contractors board.
Here is the South Carolina Laws regarding the right to practice in any field that is regulated by the LLR

SECTION 40-1-30. Authorization to practice. It is unlawful for a person to engage in a profession or occupation regulated by a board or commission administered by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation without holding a valid authorization to practice as required by statute or regulation. An authorization to practice issued pursuant to this title is valid for up to two years and is renewable on renewal dates as established by the Director of Labor, Licensing and Regulation with the consent of each applicable regulatory board.

SECTION 40-1-200. Unlawful practice. A person who practices or offers to practice a regulated profession or occupation in this State in violation of this article or who knowingly submits false information for the purpose of obtaining a license is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than one year or fined not more than fifty thousand dollars.

Don’t hire an Unlicensed Contractor not only is it illegal, it is also what is killing the trade. Every time you hire an Unlicensed Contractor you are taking away work from someone that does deserve it, and you are creating a situation where the honest, and good contractors won’t be around due to not having enough work to stay in business. Be honest, and do the right thing, and make sure you hire only State Licensed Contractors.