Unlicensed Contractors

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What Is an Unlicensed Contractor?

An unlicensed contractor is someone who does repairs or makes improvements to your home without the appropriate license to do business in your state. Typically, unlicensed contractors work for less than licensed contractors because they avoid worker's compensation and liability insurance requirements.

What Are the Risks of Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor?

While an unlicensed contractor may provide you with a low price, there are many risks involved in dealing with one:  

How Do I Tell If My Contractor Is Unlicensed?

There are some signs that may suggest your contractor is unlicensed.  They include:

Protect yourself by asking about a contractor's license before hiring him.  Ask to see the license and his worker's compensation and liability insurance.

What Happens If I Hire an Unlicensed Contractor and There Is a Problem?

Problems may occur during your construction project. Work may be low quality, the contractor may abandon the job, or you may refuse to pay the contractor. States handle such disputes with unlicensed contractors differently: 

Should I Contact a Lawyer About my Problem with an Unlicensed Contractor?

Because the law varies from state to state, it may be helpful to contact a lawyer to determine your rights and remedies. A lawyer can defend you if an unlicensed contractor sues you for payment, and a lawyer can also help you sue an unlicensed contractor if they breached your agreement.  

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Last Modified: 01-28-2014 12:17 PM PST

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