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New York Contractor License

Whether you are a general contractor or a handyman, obtaining a contractor license in New York will authorize your work giving credibility and trust to your clients. In this article, we will cover topics such as the processes of obtaining a contractor license, New York state license lookup, state-specific requirements, and more.

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

To perform home improvement services that cost more than $200, every contractor in New York should be licensed through the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). In order to verify the licensee’s authorization of operating the work and to find out the status of the contractor’s license, you can use the New York state DCA license lookup.

Does New York state require a contractor’s license?

New York State doesn’t issue a state-wide license that will apply to every city or county. To get your general contractor’s license in NY you should check the requirements and process of obtaining it with the local authority of your city. Contractors carrying out home improvement projects must hold a license to legally work in cities like New York and Buffalo. The main requirements of earning a NY contractor’s license are listed below:

  • Complete the application and pay the fee
  • Valid ID (could be a driver’s license)
  • Proof of liability and worker’s compensation (if you hire employees) insurance
  • A background check in some cases
  • Business license and surety bond in most cities

Individuals performing construction, repairs, remodeling, or similar work in New York exceeding the total cost of $200 should have a home improvement contractor’s license and contractor’s Bond of $20,000 on top of the general liability coverage. The contractor’s license is issued by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.

How do I get a contractor’s license in New York?

General contractors can obtain their licenses through the jurisdiction of their local government. We summarized the requirements of getting a contractor’s license in major cities of New York.

New York City

To get your NYC Home Improvement contractor’s license make sure to have the following documents:

  • Signed, notarized General Contractor registration form here.
  • Signed and notarized letter with the name, home address, social security number, and percent of shares in the company for all officers of the corporation and stockholders.
  • A copy of EIN from IRS.
  • Your last 3 bank account statements indicating the minimum balance of $25,000 or a notarized letter from the bank proving the same balance for the last 12 months.
  • General liability insurance for $1 million coverage, worker’s compensation, and disability insurances
  • Owner’s or chief officer’s state-issued photo ID ( or birth certificate or passport)
  • Authorized home and business addresses
  • Payment of $330 fee for background check

Buffalo

If you’re a handyman or a contractor in need of a license to work in Buffalo, NY, you can apply to the City of Buffalo Department of Permit and Inspection Services. Note that contractor’s licenses issued by the city won’t allow the work on heating and cooling, electrical systems, or plumbing.  To be a licensed contractor in Buffalo you will need:

  • Form of your registration and business name
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • Liability and worker’s compensation insurances indicating at least $2 million coverage
  • Information of all partners or members of corporations (in case of partnerships, LLCs, or corporations)
  • Payment of $750 application fee
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