Maybe you’re someone who’s always been good with your hands and dabbled in minor projects around your home and helped family members with small issues in their homes… Well, with taking on such small projects, it’s time you consider getting licensed as a contractor in the contractor area of your choice.
True enough, as easy as it was to fix those minor issues in your own home and for friends and family, it can be pretty tempting to cash-in on your talents and start taking on projects on your own and accept payments for the work you’re doing… As tempting as that may be, don’t do it; there are dire consequences you’ll face if you get caught.
But people hire unlicensed contractors all the time. In fact, it’s actually very common, and it’s mainly because unlicensed contractors perform the work of licensed contractors but at a much lower rate (because they’re not licensed to charge higher prices). But if you’re going to work on difficult projects, wouldn’t you want to be fully-paid for the type of work you’re performing?
At the end of the day, there are just too many risks involved in working without a license, for you and anyone who hires you. According to the Department of Defense, in 2018, over 15 million contracts with contractors ended up getting indicted for contracting fraud; Those contracts totaled over $334 billion… You definitely don’t want any parts of that.
Obtaining your license isn’t as hard as you might think either. For example, if you want to obtain your Georgia contractor’s license, passing a single exam is required if you want to go into plumbing or conditioned air; For general contracting, an additional exam is required. Indianapolis Plumbing Pipe Repair Contractors – Plumbing Tips
The point is that getting your license isn’t an impossible feat. Once you get your license, you can start taking on big projects, overseeing them, and ensuring your construction team is safe. But if you still choose to operate “under the table,” here are the consequences you’ll potentially be facing if you get caught.
Consequences of Performing Contracting Work Without a License
Every state has a different criminal sanction for contracting without a license but is typically very similar in the overall realm of it all. If you’re caught working without a license, you can get a misdemeanor charge upwards of $1000 and jail time or probation for a year. If you’re charged with a felony, you can get charged upwards of $5,000 or more and jail time or probation for up to five years.
When working without a license you can expect to receive administrative sanctions in addition to the criminal sanction you’ll be receiving as well. These sanctions, of course, also vary from state to state, but depending on where you live, you can be charged as much as $10,000 if you receive an administrative sanction in Florida.
Clients Can Sue You
If you trick a client into thinking you’re a licensed contractor and something goes wrong, and they decide to sue you, those clients can file claims against you for unfair and deceptive practices, and they can file for restitution, among other damages.
All of these charges and sanctions can be avoided if you simply get your contractor’s license. So don’t even put your life or talents at risk so unnecessarily; Legitimize your skills and talents so that you can legally profit from them.