Reminder: Know Your Contractor Licensing Rules

In the course of my construction law practice, I have the pleasure of speaking with and talking to contractors and subcontractors that are based in Virginia and also based in other states. With the more nationalized construction landscape due to the constricted construction economy, I have more and more interaction with the latter category.

When I get a call from an out of state contractor (often when that construction company has an issue), one of my first questions is always whether that contractor has obtained its contractors license here in Virginia. In most cases, the answer is “Yes” and we can move on. However, in some instances, the answer is no and we have to discuss the potential consequences.

Among the consequences for failure to obtain the proper contractor license prior to performing work in Virginia are as follows:

1.  Inability to record a mechanic’s lien
2.  Possible criminal charges
3.  Possible inability to collect for construction work performed

These are but three of the possible consequences for failure to properly keep up with licensing requirements. Others can include breach of contract and breach of local regulations leading to fines and possible debarment from performing work for the Commonwealth of Virginia or the federal government.

In short, it behooves all construction professionals that seek to do work in Virginia to discuss the licensing requirements with a local construction attorney. You can also find the contracting regulations through the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) and specifically here. I encourage all of you that do work in Virginia to get familiar with these regulations.

Of course, this advice works for any contractor seeking to perform work in a state aside from that in which it is headquartered. Knowing the landscape ahead of time can only help to avoid future issues.

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