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How Do I Get A Contractors License In New York

Ready To Get A Contractor’s License Ny

How Much Does General Contractor’s Insurance Cost in New York?

If you’re a little overwhelmed by all the information here, we don’t blame you. It’s a lot to take in! But you’re prepared with the info you need to apply for a contractors license in New York.

Depending on your county or city, we suggest using the info above as a checklist in your prep process. If you need a break while applying, sit back, breathe, and know that you’re taking another crucial step to building trust with future customers.

*Monthly payment calculations do not include initial premium down payment and may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on January – December 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.

Emily Thompson

I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison . After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of newsworthy crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, Ive owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When Im not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, youll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your businesss needs.

The Bottom Line: Licensing Can Protect Contractor Payment Rights

If your state has licensing requirements for your trade, get the proper license before you start work or even bid on a job. As weve outlined, the penalties for performing unlicensed construction work can be steep.

Not only could you wind up paying large fines, but you can lose a contractors most powerful payment tool: the mechanics lien. If your customer disputes your work, or simply refuses to pay, you could wind up with little-to-no recourse to collect anything.

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Biggest Cities And Counties

Unlike most states, the New York State mandates its cities and counties to regulate their general contractors licenses locally, thats why the requirements for this type of license vary. The requirements in New York City for general contractors have both similarities and differences with the requirements of Albany, Buffalo, Mount Vernon, Rochester, New Rochelle, Syracuse, Schenectady, Utica, or Yonkers. However, some parts of the State do not require contractors to be licensed, as long as they fulfill the requirements set by the city or county.

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Outside Of New York City

New York State is a bit different than other states in that there is no single way to become a licensed contractor to work anywhere in the state. There are a set of rules outside of New York City, and then there are a set of rules within New York City. For the most part, a New York contractor has to have a license for each part of the state they are working in, and each area has its own requirements.

In general, areas outside of New York City require contractors to submit:

  • The proper licensing fee
  • Proof of general liability insurance
  • A registered business certificate
  • A photograph and completed questionnaire based on the owner
  • Proof of adequate workers compensation insurance if you have employees
  • List of references from past projects
  • Documented proof of experience in the contracting industry

Additional City Or State Permits/licenses/clearances You May Need

How Do I Get A New York State Non

Sidewalk work requires a permit from the New York City Department of Transportation . Contact 311 or visit

Many home improvements require a permit from the New York City Department of Buildings . Work to raise, lift, elevate, or move a house or building requires a special inspection by DOB. Contact 311 or visit

If you plan to haul or transport waste resulting from your business operations, you must obtain a Class One Self Hauler Registration from the New York City Business Integrity Commission. For an application and more information, contact 311 or visit

This is not meant to be a complete list. See Additional Resources section.

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How To Get An Hvac License In New York

There are no statewide education or age requirements for HVAC technicians. New York has several schools where you can get additional training, if desired. The Refrigeration Institute, Harlem School of Technology, and Erie Community College offer students the opportunity to learn about HVAC systems for about $4,000 a year.

To get your EPA section 608 certification, you need to find one of the many EPA-approved testing facilities. You can find both online and in-person programs that offer optional training. Once you pass the exam, you are licensed for life and do not need to take the test again.

If you want a NATE certification, you are required to pass the exams. The

NATE organization suggests gaining one to five years of experience before taking the exam. Generally, the core test requires knowledge of HVAC safety, tools, equipment, construction, and temperature measurements. Specialty exams test your ability to install, fabricate, assemble, service, repair, and maintain HVAC systems. All NATE certificates have to be renewed every two years. You can do this by taking a 16-hour course or retaking the exam.

For most local licenses, you can start by visiting the city’s website and looking at their resources for local contractors. Then, you usually will submit an application providing proof of your experience, financial stability, education, and understanding of various laws.


How To Become A General Contractor In Ny

In New York, the only contractors that are licensed at the state level are asbestos handling contractors and crane operators. For these licenses, visit the New York Department of Labor. For every other type of construction-related work, and particularly to get a general contractor license in NY, you will have to go through the city or county agencies in which you will be working.

Home improvement contractors the license that most applies to general contractors throughout New York must be granted a license to work in the cities of New York and Buffalo, and in the counties of Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland.

Your requirements for a New York Contractors License include submitting an application and appropriate fee, proof of identity , and proof of liability insurance coverage and, if you will be employing any staff/contractors, workers compensation insurance. Some municipalities require a criminal background check. To add to these requirements, you will also have to make sure you have the proper business licensing by the state and your local jurisdiction to perform services. Most cities in New York also require contractors to obtain a surety bond prior to beginning work on any type of construction project. The exact amount required varies widely by city, so it is important to investigate the local rules for bonding before commencing a construction project.

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Checking Whether A Home Improvement Contractor Is Licensed

Home improvement contractors must be licensed in New York City, Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland counties, and the City of Buffalo. Before you hire a home improvement contractor, use these links to check whether the contractor is licensed or registered in your county.

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New York State Contractor Licenses: Search/lookup Asbestos

How to get construction permits in NYC

Making sure that you know about the relevant license rules in New York State is important no matter if youre a contractor or homeowner. This article will take you through everything you need to know with that regards, including the contact information of the different departments that you should know about.

Dont want to spend too much on your New York home improvement project? Lets help you save money by connecting you with the 4 most relevant contractors in your area, allowing them to competitively bid on it. Just fill out the form below. Well take care of the rest.

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Complete And Submit Your Application

Once you have obtained all necessary documents, the next step is thoroughly filling in the Basic Individual License Application. The form contains information about the applicant, mailing address, child support certification, as well as a list of background questions. Its important to complete the form carefully, as there are penalties for false statements.

The licensing fee is $100 for two years. Depending on the date when you apply for a license, you might pay a smaller fee as the licensing period runs from February 28th of an odd year to the same date in the next odd year.

Why All Home Improvement Contractors Need To Be Licensed: Some Useful Information For Contractors And Their Clients

Each year, residents and property owners in metropolitan New York spend more than a billion dollars on home improvements. Work ranging from the remodeling of a bathroom or kitchen to the repair of a leaky roof to the million dollar “gut” rehabilitation adds pride and vitality to our neighborhoods. The purpose of this pamphlet is to provide some vital information about the home improvement business which every contractor, subcontractor and consumer should be aware of the requirement that the contractor and subcontractor be licensed by the department of consumer affairs or other licensing authority covering the geographical area in which the contractor or subcontractor works. The license requirement is often overlooked and can result in the contractor’s or subcontractor’s inability to obtain compensation for its work, as well as the imposition of severe civil penalties and criminal liability.


In most counties and municipalities, the construction of a new home is not considered a “home improvement.” In many counties and municipalities, there is an exemption from the licensing requirement when work is performed on structures containing more than 3 or 4 units, so long as the work is not contracted for by the unit owner or occupant.





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What You Can Expect From Us

We are here to help you through every step of the process. In New York, there are three major steps you have to take to start working as a general contractor:

Submit an application and pass the appropriate contractors license examObtain proper business licensingObtain a surety bond

This process can sometimes be confusing, especially if its your first time applying as a general contractor. Our team will help you understand every step. We ensure that you know what documentation to submit to help expedite your applications turnaround.

Nyc General Contractor License

You have 1 year to get a Real ID or you can

The common term for general contractors in New York City is home improvement contractor. All home improvement contractors must be licensed by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs to do new construction, repairs, demolition, or remodeling of any building if the total cost of the work will exceed $200. Construction projects in NYC also require a Home Improvement Contractors Bond of at least $20,000, on top of your general liability coverage. This bond is intended to protect both you and the client for any project, so a given client or project may require you to obtain a larger bond for complete coverage, increasing the overall cost of a project..

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New York Contractor License Guide

In the State of New York, contractor licensing is done at the local level. If you wish to perform any type of commercial or residential work, please consult with the city or county for construction license and surety bond requirements. Heres a summary of the license process for the City of New York and Putnam County:


Licensing Registration And Certification: Whats The Difference

The terms licensed, registered, and certified float around quite a bit in the contracting world, but theyre not entirely interchangeable. Depending on where you live and work, you might need to carry a license and certification for certain projects, while other states may only require you to register your business to get to work.

The definition for each of these terms changes on a state-by-state basis, but heres the basic rundown.

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Complete The Basic License Application

The application will ask you to:

  • Identify your businesss legal structure.
  • Provide business and contact information.
  • List the sole proprietors and/or individual partners information .
  • List the businesss general partners, corporate officers, shareholders, and members information .
  • Answer background questions on behalf of all individuals named on the application.

Who Needs A Contractor License In New York

How To Get A Contractor License Without Taking The Exam

State-level licensing for contractors in New York is exceptionally straightforward. There are only two types of contractors that even need to carry a state license: asbestos contractors and crane operators. Plus, both of those licenses fall under the New York Department of Labor.

Other than that, all other contractors are scot-free from carrying a license issued by New York State. But, that doesnt make contracting within the entire state a free-for-all.

Many counties and municipalities in the state have their own contractor licensing requirements that construction businesses must meet to work legally. Here, well go over a few in detail.

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Fulfill Requirements And Obtain Required Documents

New York City Contractor License Requirements:

You will need to do the following:

  • Provide sales tax identification number or a certificate of authority application confirmation number .
  • Submit proof of a current home address: This can be done by providing either: a utility bill , rent or mortgage bill, lease, deed, drivers license or a municipal ID card.
  • Provide proof of Workers Compensation Insurance: Applicants can obtain the insurance certificate from either a private insurance carrier or the State Insurance Fund Office. The certificate must be in the name of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • Enroll in the NYC Trust Fund or furnish a bond: License applicants can choose between enrolling their business in the trust fund or submitting a $20,000 surety bond.
  • Background check: All corporate officers, general partners, members, sole proprietors and shareholders owning 10% or more of company stock must have their fingerprints taken at the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.

Putnam County Electrician License and Home Improvement Requirements:

Note: the Electrician License application process consists of three parts:

  • pre-approval
  • examination
  • filing an application for licensure
  • How To Get My Contractor License In Westchester New York

    Home improvement contractors are construction professionals who specialize in all types and sizes of residential projects. Homeowners without those skills can be prey for dishonest or incompetent contractors. To protect consumers, Westchester County, N.Y., requires all contractors to obtain a license in order to work. To get the license, contractors must pass a written test on the state and county laws regulating contractors and submit a written application and fee.

    Go to the Westchester County website . Touch “Business” in the navigation bar. Click “Licenses and Permits” in the menu below the bar.

    Print and complete the “Application for Home Improvement License” forms in the package. Include identifying information about yourself, any business partners and your company and the types of work you will perform. Complete the “Child Support Certification” in the package regarding whether you are under court order to pay child support. Sign the application in the presence of a notary public.

    Prepare or gather the required documents: the Department of Consumer Protection’s letter verifying that you passed the written test, legal proof of your business name, a detailed five-year written work history, liability insurance certificate, proof of workers compensation insurance, a photo of yourself and copies of your current valid driver’s license and vehicle registration.


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    Getting A Contractor License Ny: What You Need To Know

    So how do you know if you actually need a contractors license in New York?

    Unfortunately, the state doesnt make licensing requirements clear, as this information is handled at the city level . But to help give you a little more guidance, you should get your contractor license in New York if:

    • Youre working on projects that total over $1,000 and
    • Youre working on a project site that requires a permit.

    Now that you know the basic requirements of getting licensed in New York, lets take a closer look at what else you need to know.

    Do You Need A License To File A Mechanics Lien In New York

    REAL ID enforcement deadline pushed back to 2021

    New Yorks requirements for mechanics liens and licensing are crystal clear: If the work youre doing requires a license, but you do not hold that license, you do not have a right to a mechanics lien.

    For that reason, its best not to test the mechanics lien and licensing laws in New York. Instead, make sure you meet all of the licensing requirements wherever youre working to ensure you can protect your payments.

    Learn everything else you need to know about filing a mechanics lien in New York with New York Mechanics Liens: Everything You Need to Know + Free Forms.

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