Mechanics Liens– Necessity of a License
The general rule for contractors, whether as a general or sub, is that you need to be licensed as a prerequisite to making a claim for unpaid labor and materials or filing a mechanics lien. But, there are some qualifications.
First, it is highly recommended that you be licensed in all circumstances. For one simple reason: owners whether commercial or residential, love to find excuses for nonpayment. You don’t want to give them the liberties of arguing you were unlicensed as just another excuse for not making a progress draw our final payment. It also presents you in a better picture, namely being more professional.
For those that are in doubt as to what license status is required,, the first step is to go online to your states contractor state license board for the information. For example, in some states, small projects, for example under $2500, do not require a license. And there are a number of exemptions, for example if you are simply acting as a handyman.
And even if you are required to be licensed, you can apply for various specialty licenses. For example, in Georgia, subcontractors can be licensed under more limited specialty licenses as long as they are dealing with a general contractor.
In a small minority of states, the mechanics lien form itself requires that you designate your license status.
There also can states that reciprocate. For example, if you have a license in one state under the rules of reciprocity, it may also allow you to perform work in another state. To find this out, simply Google: “states that have reciprocity as to contractors licenses.”
Finally, perfection of the mechanics lien is hard enough, so the recommendation is always to be licensed. This will go a long way and prove your case and make the whole process easier.
Feel free to call us or visit our website for more information: www.NationalLienLaw.com