It is illegal to offer services without a contractor license, not to mention that people are looking for qualified and licensed professionals to take care of their remodeling projects, so you would not have any customers looking for your services in the first place. The license requirement was introduced to protect people from fraud and incompetent contractors. If becoming a contractor would be as easy as buying some tools and making an offer, anyone would become one and the quality of construction will falter considerably endangering homeowners. Obtaining a Virginia contractors license is not that difficult, if you have the qualifications and you take a pre-license education course. You can also choose to offer home services that do not require a license. You may not need to get licensed in a trade, if you have a handyman business for instance. However, you need to absolutely make sure the services you provide are not included in a specialty that requires a contractor license.
What are the benefits of obtaining a contractor license?
There are two main advantages a contractor license will offer: help you build credibility and apply for more profitable jobs. If given the choice, homeowners will always choose to work with a licensed contractor trusting that the authorities have carefully inspected and examined the business before releasing the license. What is more, you cannot file a complaint against an unlicensed contractor to the Board of contractors, because it is illegal to hire one. The license gains you the credibility you need to stand a chance against your competition. An official notice of approval will always fare better than your words of assurance, especially with new clients. Depending on the class of the license, you will be able to tackle larger contracts and earn more money. You cannot possibly hope to win an bid for a large construction project without an A or B license. An unlicensed handyman will also earn less than a licensed contractor by default, no matter how talented.
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Do you need contracting experience to obtain a license?
Generally, yes, you need contracting experience and business skills to make use of a contractor license. What use would you have for a license, when the most you can offer is handyman services? It is important to hone your skills, take some education pre-license courses and gain experience in getting contracts for larger projects before you will be qualified for a Virginia contractors license. If it is not lucrative, you are better off without a license. After developing some business skills and building some experience, you will be able to take better advantage of that seal of approval from the Board of Contractors.
To get, or not to get a contractor license?
It is essential to make an informed decision in any situation and especially when the decision will affect your business and life directly. You can offer a great variety of services as a handyman that accepts jobs under a monetary limit, but after you get the license and choose a specialty, you will be restricted to offer the set of services included under that specialty. This is why you should first make sure that you will be allowed to offer the services you were planning, before applying for a license. Choose the specialty and class carefully.