CAN YOU BE HIRED BY AN UNLICENSED CONTRACTOR TO PERFORM LICENSED WORK? FOLLOW UP TO JULY 9 2016 ARTICLE
You are taking what I said out of context, I did not say you could be unlicensed in NYC. You must hold a a contractors license, I was talking about the trade License. As a contractor NYC allows a licensed contractor to hire a subcontractor that is licensed for the trade Fire/Burg etc. I made this statement because NY is the only state I have had this experience, I have had these discussions with them and it was suggested by them. Maybe you should contact NYC and ask the same questions. I also don't appreciate the statement of hiding behind others peoples licensing, I don't think you will find many in the industry that hold more lic and are compliant with more states than I. If this is not the case then someone is playing games on the state level with outside contractors. The licensing hoops NYC has with other obstacles is the reason we avoid NYC, and I feel this is their intent. And I am not saying I blame them for tying to control the work performed there.
As for our company we also monitor out of state and must adhere to some special rules for several states. The only reason I single out NYC is past experience, they just make it difficult for out of state companies. They require 81 hours of training ( I am not opposed to this) but I only find three companies offering the training. The training is not offered back to back weeks, one must make four separate trips across four week-ends and at the end of the last week-end stay over Monday to take the state exam. One of the companies does offer you a package that would do this across two weeks and week-ends with someone coming to your hotel to makeup the remaining hours of instruction. Track 1, I estimated would cost around $10,000 to complete and Track 2, about $7,000 but would be quicker. I was prepared to set one of these in motion and then was suggested the Sub-Contractor way? So I stalled.
Believe me I am not trying to argue a point about licensing just very confused with the how NYC does this. I think maybe you are correct with the contractor acting as an agent? And yes NYC is the only place I have had this experience. I personally hold 23 + states and we as a company we do business in almost every state, it is consistently a challenge and something is always popping up that we must comply with. We have a department that handles just licensing. I feel for the smaller companies that have quality people that can’t afford these extra obstacles and requirements and for financial reasons they are not working in a state, or not legally working there!
If you can get clarification on NYC it would be appreciated, it would help a lot of us
A "contractor" who isn't licensed cannot contract to perform licensed work. I stick by that sweeping general proposition. The penalty for contracting for work for which you are not licensed is usually a civil fine, criminal prosecution and perhaps the most potent penalty, the unlicensed contractor cannot sue to collect money, even if the work is completed to the satisfaction of the customer [again, this may differ in different jurisdictions].
There are two scenarios that come to mind, and I admit I was thinking of only the first when I made my comments on July 9, 2016.
- First scenario: Unlicensed alarm company hires a licensed subcontractor to perform the installation or perhaps the repair service, monitoring or inspection work.
- Second scenario: General Contractor engages alarm company or fire protection company to perform licensed alarm work or fire protection system work, typically the installation of the system.
Let's discuss the second scenario because I think it will clear up some confusion. Many alarm companies or fire protection companies are engaged by a General Contractor as part of a construction job that involves various different trades. The General Contractor is not licensed to install alarm or fire protection equipment; not licensed as a low voltage contractor. So how can it contract for and engage subcontractors to perform the work? The answer is because it is licensed as a General Contractor. It is licensed precisely to engage other licensed trades. I don't think this is unique to any jurisdiction; I think it's a common practice nationwide. In fact, there is a rather informative website, General Contractors License Guide, where you can check on the law for most state jurisdictions: http://generalcontractorlicenseguide.com. It's worth a look if you want to get business from these General Contractors. How you should be contracting with these General Contractors will be covered in other articles, perhaps a webinar if we have enough interest. [anyone want to present?]
The first scenario may effect lots of alarm companies or fire protection companies. An unlicensed alarm company contracts with the customer to perform unlicensed services. Perhaps the most common scenario is monitoring services. Alarm company enters into monitoring contracts in states that require a monitoring license. The alarm company isn't licensed for alarm monitoring but thinks that because the monitoring will be performed by a licensed wholesale monitoring company the alarm company need not have it's own license. Not so. The alarm company doesn't have the alarm license nor does it have a General Contractor's license.
Licensing doesn't have to be a mystery or complicated. It might be costly, so you won't want to get licensed in jurisdictions where you do not have sufficient business to support that cost. For licensing issues contact me or our Licensing Counsel Nicoletta Lakatos,Esq., at 516 747 6700 x 311 or NLakatos@KirschenbaumEsq.com
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