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Question How many of you are running into commercial contractor license requirements to pull permits?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by Robbie Moore, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. Robbie Moore

    Robbie Moore New Member

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    Aug 14, 2018
    Louisiana
    We keep selling signs all over our state of Louisiana. I recently hit a snag pulling a permit. Parish says I need a contractor license. Any of you hav one?
     
  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Most cities around here I have to pay a fee to be a licensed sign contractor in that particular town....just to do any type of work, permitted or not.
     
  3. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    Yep, every township here requires a contractor license. What makes it even better is if you are a "regular" contractor - one who works on homes (like roofing), you also need a state license. We get hit in every possible way here as township license fees aren't uniform..
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. unclebun

    unclebun Very Active Member

    Our locality recently started requiring a contractor's license to get a sign permit because they moved sign permits into the same department that does building permits. Really kind of stupid when you are talking about swapping sign faces in a sign, or putting up a 4x8 on 4x4's. And when you do a pylon sign, the city guy doesn't really know anything about signs or engineering. But the hard part is that to get a contractor's license they require workman's comp, which for a one-man show is kind of impossible.
     
  5. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    Where I live there are probably 15 municipalities within 20 miles of me, they range from $100 to $400 a year. Total scam
     
  6. Robbie Moore

    Robbie Moore New Member

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    Louisiana
    Yea if I have to go thru the trouble of getting a commercial contractor license I will be building buildings not signs.
     
  7. Rocco G

    Rocco G Member

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    Feb 27, 2014
    Pennsauken NJ
    In any year I might have 20-25 or more contractors licenses. Consider it a tax, which IMO it really is. Whenever I quote a job I include the line "permits, licenses, fees, etc. will be billed at cost". We do electrical signs mostly but even for small things, we need sealed plans from an engineer at least in NJ. Recently a 24" x 36" X 42" OAH non-illuminated freestanding sign required sealed plans, a footing inspection, wind load calculations, etc. No I am not kidding at all. Just having to buy a license isn't that big a deal, at least most of the places around here. We walk in, give them a COI (with all the bells and whistles including workers comp) pay the tax, er um "fee". and walk out with a license. Sometimes we have to list three recent projects or other towns where we have licenses.

    And please don't lump me in with home contractors because in NJ there is a separate $300/year "home improvement contractors registration" tax, um "fee" to be paid each year.

    And I would LOVE to have a statewide sign/contractors license. Each and every dinky town in NJ can hit me up for a license tax/fee if they chose.
     
  8. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Best town I dealt with was the busy metropolis of Vernon, TX. Walked in with a hand drawn layout of a 4x8 and walked out 10 mins later with a carbon-copy, hand written permit.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    Middleburg, Florida
    If you're not not a licensed contractor in our area, no permit. State license will do. Now there is a county south of us that we all just stay away from. Rich idiots looking to get richer running it. A few years back I entertained the thought of going down there and qualifying. They wanted me to go to college for two more years studying all kinds of silliness. I've only been doing this about 37 years now all over the rest of the state. Full contracting not just signs. Funny county. Now if you want some real fun try opening a distillery. Just got surety bond today for state license. Had fed license almost a year now. Will be making legal rum very soon I hope.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. asd

    asd Member

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    yes, most of the towns we do work require us to have a contractor license, other than collecting taxes from you is to make sure you have insurance and if anything was to go wrong with you sign you will be able to cover the cost of damages of materials and/or dead in a worse case scenario
     
  11. originalsigns

    originalsigns New Member

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    Venice Florida
    Yes. I live in FL and had to get a contractor Lic. to make ANY change to a sign. I have to register separately for each city I work in and the permits are outrageously high. When I first started my company I was focused on vehicle graphics and real estate signs. I had to diversify when the economy took a dive and didn't have a choice but to get the Lic. The upside is, you can charge well for pulling permits and you won't have to worry about fines and code enforcement. Just bite the bullet and get it or make buds with a contractor to pull them for you.
     
  12. petepaz

    petepaz Major Contributor

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    not sure if this is good or bad but most of the time i am able to get the customer to get the permit. saves me time and money.
    on the few times i had to get the permit my self the only thing i was asked for once was proof of insurance. never had any issues with contractor license.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    The requirements vary from town to town. Most require proof of comp & liability insurance. Some require engineered drawings for anything. There is no "Sign Contractors" license in this state. But a few years ago some of the big players in the market snuck in a new license for Electric Sign Installation. No one knew about it till one company was arrested. You have to have the license to install any electric sign, even if you bought a UL listed box and aren't doing the electric hookup.
     
  14. Hero Signs

    Hero Signs If they let me make it, they will come

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    I am not sure about yall shops but if we were not pulling permits we wouldn't be growing, print is good but installs are never going to be on Amazon or Bannersonthecheap.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Southpaw1

    Southpaw1 Member

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    I went to the state workers comp office and paid a fee (I think it was $50) to decline workers comp for 2 years. I was working as a sub for a contractor during a mural project when I did this so you may be able to do the same for a GC workers comp requirement imposed.its worth checking out...
     
  16. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    How many companies would actually hire you without w/c? Theyre crazy if they do.
    If you hire someone without it and they catch it in an audit, you will end up getting a bill for your subs lack of comp too.
     
  17. Southpaw1

    Southpaw1 Member

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    Arkansas
    It was through the state Workers comp, who does the audit so that wouldn't be possible. As a sole proprietorship I had that option, as we all should have the ability to choose to do so. It also depends on the overall amount of your portion of the job. The GC accepted it and all is good, that way if there is an audit they can show it, and we are both in compliance.
    The job was to hand paint a logo on a wall. Since then I have acquired more general liability which includes workers comp.
     
  18. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Yeah usually I have to sign a waiver but even then, some won't give me the job.
     
  19. Southpaw1

    Southpaw1 Member

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    Arkansas
    Depending on the job I sometimes request a indemnification of liability. Because you never know who was there before you, and the overall condition of the sign including how it was installed (especially ones involving neon). That's smart business... if you don't get the job it's better than getting tired up in an ordeal where you can't get paid anyways
     
  20. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    I know that its legit, it is here too. I meant the comp audit by your insurance co, not the state. It wouldnt affect you but it would hit the person you are working for.
    Its just a big liability and potential expense to hire someone without it.
     
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