|Click here to download all materials for a Home Improvement Contractor license application as one file.|
HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR (100)
DCA Licensing Center
42 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
For more information, call 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside of New York City).
A person or business must have a Home Improvement Contractor license if engaged in the construction, repair, remodeling, or addition to any land or building used as a residence. This includes, but is not limited to, the construction, replacement, or improvement of basements, driveways, fences, garages, landscaping, patios, porches, sidewalks, swimming pools, terraces, and other improvements to structures or upon land that is next to a home or apartment building.
This description is only a general explanation of which businesses need to have a Home Improvement Contractor license. You may not begin work as a Home Improvement Contractor until you have received your license document.
ADDITIONAL DCA LICENSE YOU MAY NEED:
- If you solicit, negotiate, or offer to negotiate a home improvement contract with a property owner, you must also obtain a Home Improvement Salesperson license.
Note: New York City businesses must comply with all relevant federal, state, and City laws and rules. All laws and rules of the City of New York, including the Consumer Protection Law and Rules, are accessible using the Public Access Portal. For convenience, sections of the New York City Licensing Law (and Rules, if enacted) are available as a downloadable handout.
Please note that businesses are responsible for knowing and complying with the most current laws, including any City Council amendments. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is not responsible for errors or omissions in the handout. The information is not legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer.
ADDITIONAL CITY PERMITS YOU MAY NEED:
- Sidewalk work requires a permit from the NYC Department of Transportation. Call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/dot
- Home improvements that involve plumbing, electrical work, pointing, or extensions to a residence require a permit from the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB). Call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/buildings. Note: Only contractors licensed by DCA can apply for DOB permits.
- If you plan to haul or transport waste resulting from your business operations, you must obtain a Class One Self Hauler Registration from the New York City Business Integrity Commission. For an application and more information, call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/bic
Before You File Your DCA License Application:
You must obtain the following required documents before filing your application. Although DCA does not require submission of these documents in order to process your application in person or online, DCA reserves the right to request and examine the documents under section 20.104 of the New York City Administrative Code.
- Applicable Business Certificates based on your Business's Legal Structure
Sole Proprietorships operating under a name other than your own must file a Business/Assumed Name Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted.
Sole Proprietorships doing business under your own name—and not under a trade or Doing-Business-As (DBA) name—do not need a Business Certificate.
General/Business Partnerships must file your Partnership Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted.
Corporations, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, or Limited Liability Partnerships must register and remain active with the New York State Department of State. Active status will be verified by DCA prior to license issuance. You can confirm the status of your business entity at NYS Web site. If applicable, you must also file an Assumed Name Certificate for your business.
Businesses incorporated out of state must obtain a Certificate of Doing Business in Good Standing from your home state’s Secretary of State and file this with an application for Authority to Conduct Business in New York with the New York State Secretary of State.
When You File Your DCA License Application:
Below are requirements when filing your license application:
- Basic License Application
Applying for the license online does not mean the license is automatically approved. A major credit card is required to submit applications online. Convenience fees apply. After reviewing application requirements, please click the Apply Online link at the bottom of this Web page to submit your application online.
For in-person application submission, applicants can download and complete the Basic License Application Form (in PDF).
Sales Tax Identification Number OR Certificate of Authority Application Confirmation Number
The Sales Tax Identification Number is the 9, 10, or 11-digit number on your New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Certificate of Authority. You must enter this number on the Basic License Application form. If you have not received your Certificate of Authority, please enter the 6-digit confirmation number you received when you successfully submitted the application for a Certificate of Authority.
To obtain an application for a Certificate of Authority, visit the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance online at http://tax.ny.gov or call (518) 485-2889. Allow four to six weeks after applying to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to receive your Certificate of Authority.
Your fingerprints will be checked for any criminal record that you may have. Note that a conviction will not necessarily prevent you from being granted a license. However, failure to reveal a conviction can constitute grounds for the denial of your application.
- Workers' Compensation Insurance
Provide a copy of ONE of the following documents as proof of workers’ compensation insurance information:
- An Insurance Certificate for workers’ compensation insurance from a private insurance carrier or the New York State Insurance Fund Office. The Insurance Certificate must name the Department of Consumer Affairs as the certificate holder OR
- A Certificate of Attestation of Exemption from the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (if you claimed exemption from the requirement to hold workers’ compensation insurance)
To learn whether you can claim exemption from holding workers’ compensation insurance, visit NYS Workers’ Compensation Board at www.wcb.ny.gov
Please note: You must provide DCA with proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance should your business cease to qualify for Workers’ Compensation Exemption.
- DCA Trust Fund Enrollment OR Copy of Surety Bond (or Third Party Bond), properly signed
- If you want to enroll your business in the Trust Fund, complete the Trust Fund Enrollment Form. The fee for joining the Trust Fund is $200 OR
- If you do not enroll your business in the Trust Fund, you must submit a copy of a $20,000 Surety Bond (or Third Party Bond), properly signed. The copy of the bond must name the Department of Consumer Affairs as the Certificate Holder. Your corporate name, Doing-Business-As (DBA) name (if any), and premises address must be exactly the same on all documents. You must also submit a copy of the bond receipt showing that the bond has been paid in full and does not expire before the end of the licensing period.
Download a list of bonding companies (in PDF)
The companies listed have provided bonds for licensees, or have communicated to the Department of Consumer Affairs an interest in doing so. The list must not be considered a recommendation of any company, or a complete listing. All applicants are advised to investigate and compare these and other bonding companies. Some companies may provide only certain types of bonds. Companies are listed in alphabetical order.
- Home Improvement Contractor Exam and Exam Fee
A sole proprietor, general partner, director, corporate officer, or shareholder owning 10% or more of company stock must visit the DCA Licensing Center, located at 42 Broadway, 5th Floor, in lower Manhattan, to take the Home Improvement Contractor Exam. EXCEPTION: The exam requirement is waived if a sole proprietor, general partner, director, corporate officer, or shareholder owning 10% or more of company stock currently holds a Home Improvement Salesperson License. The exam consists of 30 questions. The test taker must answer a minimum of 21 questions correctly to pass. The exam is given between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the DCA Licensing Center. The fee is $50. The exam fee is separate from the license fee and is non-refundable. If you fail the exam twice, you must pay the exam fee again in order to retake the exam.
You can take the exam in English or Spanish on computer. A paper exam is available in Chinese, Hindi, and Korean. Download the Home Improvement Business Examination Guide to help prepare for the exam.
IMPORTANT: Only one person (specified above) needs to pass the Home Improvement Contractor Exam. Applicants are only required to pass the exam once, even when applying for a Home Improvement Salesperson license which also has the exam requirement.
- Roster of Employees (download)
Please indicate if you are applying for a Home Improvement Contractor License and a Home Improvement Salesperson License and provide employee information on the Roster of Employees. Note: If you are not applying for both licenses, at least one person in your business must hold a current and valid Home Improvement Salesperson license issued by the Department of Consumer Affairs (e.g., sole proprietor, general partner, director, corporate officer, shareholder owning 10% or more of company stock, or employee).
- Contractual Compliance Agreement (download)
Review the Contractual Compliance Checklist to make sure your contracts meet legal requirements and complete the Contractual Compliance Agreement.
- Child Support Certification Form (download)
If your business is a SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP or GENERAL or LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, the proprietor or each individual general partner must submit a Child Support Certification Form.
- Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (download)
If this application will be filed by someone other than the license applicant, the license applicant must submit a Granting Authority to Act Affirmation.
- License Fee
The License Fee must be paid by credit card, money order, or check. Cards accepted at the DCA Licensing Center include MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card. Credit card payments are subject to a 2.49% convenience fee. Checks or money orders must be payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. The chart below lists the amount due depending upon when your license application is filed. Note: An odd year is any year ending in an odd digit; for example, 2013, 2015, etc. An even year is any year ending in an even digit; for example, 2012, 2014, etc.
Please note that convenience fees apply if you submit your license application online. A major credit card is required to submit applications online.
Home Improvement Contractor License
License Expiration Date
If You File Your Application Between These Dates:
Your License Fee is:
|2 years||June 30 Odd years||From July 1 in an odd year to December 31 in an odd year||$100|
| ||From January 1 in an even year to June 30 in an even year||$75|
| ||From July 1 in an even year to December 31 in an even year||$50|
| ||From January 1 in an odd year to June 30 in an odd year||$25|
| Trust Fund Fee: $200 |
*Note: If you are applying for the license between January 1 in an odd year and June 30 in an odd year, you can pay the prorated fee for the license period about to end ($25) PLUS the fee for the new two-year license period ($100), for a total of $125. If you pay both fees, you will not need to renew the license until June 30 of the next odd year.
Online Applicants: If you submit your license application online between January 1 in an odd year and June 30 in an odd year, you will be required to pay the combined fee totaling $125. You will not need to renew the license until June 30 of the next odd year.
APPLICATION FILING PROCESS:
Please make sure that you have reviewed and recorded the information required to submit a license application online before clicking the button below. Note: After successfully filing the application form online, Home Improvement Contractor applicants must visit the DCA Licensing Center within five (5) business days to be fingerprinted and to take the Home Improvement Contractor Exam. As outlined in the “When You File” section, applicants must submit proof of business address; proof of home address for each individual named on the application; workers’ compensation insurance information; bond information (if applicable); and a Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (if applicable). If you do not upload required documents as part of the application form submission, you must fax, e-mail, or bring documents to the DCA Licensing Center within five (5) business days after successfully filing the application form online. Applicants should follow instructions on the printed confirmation page. Your license application will not be complete without these requirements.
You will be routed to NYC Business Express.
You can file applications in person at the DCA Licensing Center, 42 Broadway, 5th floor, in Manhattan between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A home improvement contract must comply with the Laws and Rules of the City of New York. Download a Model Home Improvement Estimate and Final Contract