Fences provide privacy and security and add an aesthetic element to a property. When putting up a fence around your residential or commercial property, you may wonder if fencing companies need licenses to install them legally. Here are a few things you need to know about licensing when putting up a fence:
Licensing in the Fencing Industry
Licensing shows that fencing companies have the necessary skills and knowledge to safely and efficiently complete projects. It can also protect consumers from fraudulent and illegitimate contractors who may disappear after taking payment. A licensed fencing company can get the job done right and be accountable to you should anything go wrong.
Licensing Legal Requirements
In most states, fencing companies need licenses to operate legally. Specific requirements vary from state to state. A contractor’s license is required for any construction work or improvement involving structural components, such as fences. This license signifies that the individual or company has met the minimum standards outlined by the state licensing board. Contractors can face severe penalties for working without licenses, including fines, legal action, and damage to their reputation.
Types of Licenses for Fencing Companies
There are two main types of licenses for fencing companies: the general contractor’s license and the specialty contractor’s license. A general contractor’s license is required for any construction project that costs over a certain amount, typically around $500. It covers all aspects of construction and allows individuals or companies to build, remodel, or repair any structure.
A specialty contractor’s license is for contractors focusing on specific trades, such as fencing, roofing, or plumbing. These licenses have lower cost thresholds than general contractors’ licenses and are ideal for smaller projects.
Individuals or companies need to complete an application process and meet specific requirements to obtain a contractor’s license. These requirements often include a minimum amount of education or experience in the relevant field, passing an exam, and providing proof of insurance and bonding. Some states also require a criminal background check.
Compliance Considerations for Fencing Companies
Each state sets its requirements for licensing and insurance coverage. Fencing contractors need to have general liability insurance and workers’ compensation coverage. These insurances are required as they protect the clients and employees. Failure to have the needed coverage can result in penalties.
Insurance companies can refuse to provide coverage for any damages resulting from the work of an unlicensed contractor. Operating without a license shows negligence from the contractor, which can lead to distrust from potential clients.
Maintaining Valid Fencing Licenses
Most states require contractors to renew their licenses annually or bi-annually, depending on the state’s requirements. The renewal requires paying a fee and providing proof of continuing education. Some states also require contractors to get additional certifications and specializations beyond the initial license. As a fencing contractor, it helps to stay current with industry standards and laws to keep the license valid.
Additional Certifications for Fencing Contractors
A fencing company can specialize in commercial fences or automated gate installations. Certifications in such areas may help improve the company’s image and competitiveness. Various organizations, such as the American Fence Association or the Associated Builders and Contractors, offer certifications. These certifications require additional training, education, and testing. When you get these certifications, your fencing company can better set itself apart from the competition.
Contract Licensed Fencing Companies Today
Contracting a licensed fencing company can safeguard you from fraudulent or unscrupulous contractors and see to it that the job is done correctly. Specific licensing requirements differ from one state to another. It helps to double-check that any contractor you hire has the required licenses. Find a reliable, licensed fencing company to help you get started on your next fencing project.