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Sample Pennsylvania Contractor License

Pennsylvania Contractor License

If you decided to start your new career journey as a contractor or handyman in Pennsylvania should meet state and local criteria. Researching and finding all the required information can be exhausting and time-consuming especially when there are many unreliable sources. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about that.

This article will serve you as a step-by-step guide that will help you to start your authorized contractor work in Pennsylvania.

How do I check a contractor’s license in PA?

If you want to check the licensed contractors in Pennsylvania you can visit the Home improvement Consumer Information database. You will be able to verify a home improvement contractor’s license by entering the business name, license number, or location.

Does PA require a contractor license?

To become a contractor in Pennsylvania you likely need to register with the Attorney’s General Office and obtain a license from your local municipality. All the legal procedures including registration and contractor’s licensure in PA are handled at the local city level.

Home Improvement works may include remodeling, repairing, demolition, renovation, installation, etc. Attorney General defines the following activities “when they are done in connection with land or a portion of the land adjacent to a private residence or a building or a portion of the building which is used or designed to be used as a private residence for which the total cash price of all work agreed upon between the contractor and owner is more than $500”.

We will discuss the process of registration as well as contractor’s licensure in the largest cities of PA, separately.

The process of registration for home improvement contractors in PA

According to the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act (HICPA), any contractor who performs home improvements in PA should register with the Attorney’s General Office. The law also establishes the minimum insurance requirements for contractors in PA. If you are a handyman and you carry out home improvements in PA earning less than $5,000 per year you don’t need to register with the Attorney’s General. Any other contractor, subcontractor, or business entity earning more than $5,000 a year should register with the PA Office of Attorney General.

Now, let’s talk about the process of home improvement contractor registration.

Here are the main processes you will go through when registering with the Attorney General:

  • Create an account
  • Provide personal and business information. You need to provide information about your business entity. Additionally, you should also include your social security number and driver’s license number. LLCs, corporations, or partnerships along with the mentioned information and Federal EIN should also provide the name of every investor with more than a 5% interest.
  • Pay non-refundable $50 application fee (If you are applying online there will be an additional $1.28 processing fee)

Once you complete the registration you will receive PA Home Improvement Contractor Number (PAHIC#) to be valid for 2 years.  This number will verify your legal contractor works in Pennsylvania appearing on Attorney’s General database.

As soon you get your PAHIC number it’s time to head your local municipality and check the licensing requirements in your city. We will discuss the licensing procedures of major cities in Pennsylvania.

Contractor License in Philadelphia, PA

Any contractor in Philadelphia who earns $500 or more should apply for a general contractor license. All the application process for licenses and permits is handled by the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections. Keep in mind that contractors should have a supervisor who has successfully completed the OSHA-30 Safety Training course within 5 years.

Here are the outlined documents you will need when applying for a Philadelphia contractor license:

  • Completed application form
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Employer’s liability insurance for $100,000 for each accident
  • General Liability insurance with the minimum limit of $500,000 per occurrence
  • Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance with the minimum limit of $300,000
  • A Philadelphia Business Income and Receipts Tax Number
  • A Commercial Activity License.

You can send or deliver in person the following materials along with the $20 application fee as well as the $100 license to:

Department of Licenses and Inspection
Customer Care Unit – PSC
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Contractor License in Pittsburgh, PA

The Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspection handles the contractor’s licensing registration in Pittsburgh. Here are the main materials you will need to provide when applying for a license:

  • Fill out the contractor’s registration form 
  • Determine PLI fees based on the value of the project
  • Proof of ID showing you are at least 18 years old
  • Proof of General Liability coverage of at least $300,000
  • Purchase Worker’s Compensation Insurance
  • Fulfill all Pittsburgh tax requirements (such as city tax ID, etc.)
  • Obtain surety bond

You can mail or deliver in person all the application material to the following address:

City of Pittsburgh
Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections
200 Ross Street – Room 320
Pittsburgh, PA  15219

If you have any questions regarding the licensing procedures you can call the City of Pittsburgh’s licensing department at 412-255-2858.

Is my contractor licensed in PA?

If you want to check if your contractor is licensed or not you can visit the Home Improvement Consumer Information website. Here, you will be able to verify a contractor by entering a HIC number or other information. Remember that almost all legal contractors in PA should have a PAHIC# obtained from Attorney General’s Office.

Is my PA contractor insured?

Pennsylvania has minimum insurance requirements for almost all contractors working in this state. If you are not sure whether your contractor is insured or not you can simply ask for a copy of the Certificate of Insurance. Additionally, you can also ask to provide the name of the insurance carrier and agency to make sure your contractor has insurance coverage.

Mary H

Being a skilled creative writer and SEO content writer, with 2+ years of experience I can't imagine any other profession to fulfill my life as much as writing does. As a proud member of geek culture, I enjoy reading, writing, watching Sci-Fi gems, while also advocating the involvement of young, bright-minded girls and women in STEM research. Latter was largely the result of working at UNESCO Chair, Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center as an editor of scientific journals.

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