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Licensing Requirements – General Contractors

When planning a commercial construction project, it is important to know who will be handling your general contractor duties. A general contractor, major contractor or project manager is ultimately in control of the entirety of a construction project, from beginning to end. While it may seem obvious, there are numerous instances when an untrained individual is put in charge of this large task. This article is meant to highlight some of the most common mistakes contractors make.

One of the biggest problems you will encounter as a general contractor working on a large project is hiring and working with individuals who don’t have a very thorough understanding of proper safety practices. There are some unscrupulous individuals that will simply skip hiring appropriate employees, then go on to hire new ones that haven’t been properly trained or familiarized with the safe practices your construction company requires. For example, not having adequate insurance and/or workers compensation coverage can put contractors at risk for major losses. This type of mishap could result in tens of thousands of dollars in damages, depending on the nature of the injury. By involving a general contractor early on in the planning process, you can limit any potential financial surprises for you and your company.

Another issue that many general contractors run into is working with contractors who are from out-of-state. This can sometimes be a great benefit, as long as you keep the proper licensing requirements in mind. Some states require general contractors to pass examinations in addition to meeting other licensing requirements before they can legally operate in their particular state. If you are considering working with a contractor who is not licensed according to your state’s regulations, it is important to thoroughly research them first.

Many general contractors fail to appropriately supervise the hiring and training of their employees. Often, inexperienced or trainee general contractors will be sent into large projects without properly establishing the necessary protocols and business rules. After the project is underway, poorly trained employees may oversee substandard workmanship, which can significantly damage the finished product. By hiring adequately qualified, established, and professional prime contractors, you can limit the risk of poorly trained contractors leading to expensive mistakes and lawsuits.

The best approach to hiring a general contractor involves ensuring that the individuals you hire are licensed to do business. To verify whether or not a license is currently held by a contractor in your area, contact your state license board. Once you receive a copy of the license information, you can then contact the board for questions and/or eligibility verification. If you find one or more of these professionals to be of sufficient quality to meet all of your general contractor needs, you should hire the individual right away.

In the end, by being proactive about licensing requirements and working with qualified, established professionals, you can ensure that you’re hiring a safe contractor who will provide you the highest quality work. There are many different general contractors available throughout the state-level. Although it’s important to hire someone who is well-regarded and has a good reputation within the business community, there are also requirements that must be met in order to qualify for a new license. Therefore, it is critical to identify the types of general contractors available and select the one that will provide you with the best solution for your renovation needs.

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