That's a good question. You might be wondering what the big deal is when a contractor doesn't hold a license. Some may see it as too much of a hassle to navigate the laws, since they vary by state. But the truth is, not being a licensed contractor can cost you - and your customers - quite a lot!
Most honest contractors avoid getting a license so they can underbid the higher-priced competitors who do have one. This can be appealing to some homeowners, especially those on the hunt for the best price. However, there are numerous horror stories out there of folks hiring unlicensed contractors who either fail to deliver what they promised or demand more money to do it. It happens every day, and some of these "contractors" aren't contractors at all. They're scam artists, swindling people out of their money before disappearing and leaving their customers high and dry.
So why do you need a license? In short, the biggest advantage is that having one offers mental freedom to potential customers, in turn encouraging them to hire you over your unlicensed competitors.
The Arizona Registrar of Contractors offers a list of what must be done to obtain a contractor's license:
- Submit the license application as well as an app for examination from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors - read the instructions carefully.
- Complete the testing requirements for your classification.
- Fill out all your forms properly, or they may be returned to you. This means proofreading the entire thing and making sure you signed and dated it. Simple mistake, but it happens.
- Submit your completed application with the required bond and fees.
Being licensed not only ensures your credibility, but it also offers higher earning potential - but not on the way you're thinking. It doesn't mean you can charge more for the same job done by an unlicensed contractor. Rather, it means you can tackle the jobs that are larger and more profitable in the first place. Customers hiring licensed contractors are generally willing to pay those higher rates and will therefore look at your business first.
A license also provides protections to your clients. Most licensing agencies require contractors to be insured in the event that they are injured on the job. This offers peace of mind to customers that they won't be sued over a freak accident that occurs during construction. This, among other homeowner protections are in place to keep the process neat and clean should a claim arise.
So what are you waiting for? If you're a contractor looking to get licensed, contact the Arizona Contractor License Center today to get started.