Translate the page Printer this Page Email a Friend Newsletter Sign-Up Text Size: Sm Med Lg
Department of Consumer Affairs
             Facebook
             Instagram
             Twitter
             YouTube 
 
Office of Financial Empowerment
Get Adobe PDF Reader
 Adobe Acrobat Reader
(required to view PDFs)
License Application Checklist


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).
  


WHO MUST HAVE A HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR LICENSE?

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 who must have a Home Improvement Contractor license.

ADDITIONAL CITY OR STATE PERMITS/LICENSES/CLEARANCES 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.
     
  • Sidewalk work requires a permit from the New York City Department of Transportation. Contact 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 New York City Department of Buildings (DOB). In addition, DOB must be notified about work to raise, lift, elevate, or move a house or building, as this work requires a special inspection. Contact 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/buildings. Note: Only home improvement 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, contact 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/bic  

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 New York City Consumer Protection Law and Rules, are accessible using the Public Access Portal. For convenience, sections of relevant New York State Law and New York City Law and Rules are included 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 provided in this packet. The information is not legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer.

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS:

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 http://www.dos.ny.gov/corps/bus_entity_search.html. 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. If you fail to submit all documents, your application will be denied.  

  • Basic License Application (download).
    Online submission: After reviewing the application requirements, please click the Apply Online link at the bottom of the Web page to submit your application.

    In-person submission: Download 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 apply for a Certificate of Authority, visit the NYS License Center. You will need a NY.gov ID to access the application form. To request a paper application, 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.

  • Proof of Business Address. 
    Submit a copy of ONE of the following documents as proof of business address:
    • Utility bill, dated within the last 90 days (telephone, gas, electric, cable, or water) OR
    • Current lease or deed in the name of either the business or individual listed on the license application OR
    • Current rent or mortgage bill OR
    • Current license or permit issued by New York State or another New York City government agency that shows your business address
  • Proof of Home Address. 
    Each individual listed on the license application must provide a copy of ONE of the following documents as proof of home address:
    • Utility bill, dated within the last 90 days (telephone, gas, electric, cable, or water) OR
    • Current lease or deed OR
    • Current rent or mortgage bill OR
    • Driver's license

      If an individual lives at another person’s address, provide
      :
    • Letter signed by the leaseholder indicating that the individual lives at the address AND
    • ONE proof of home address (per above) with the leaseholder’s name

  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance Information
    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 New York State Workers’ Compensation Board at www.wcb.ny.gov  

Important: 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 (download). 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. The companies listed have provided bonds for licensees, or have communicated to DCA an interest in doing so. This attachment must not be considered a recommendation of any company, or a complete listing of bonding companies. All applicants should investigate and compare these and other bonding companies. Some companies may provide only certain types of bonds. The bonding companies are listed in alphabetical order.

  • 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 (e.g., sole proprietor, general partner, corporate officer, member, shareholder owning 10% or more of company stock, or employee) must hold a current and valid Home Improvement Salesperson license issued by DCA.

  • Contractual Compliance Agreement (download).
    Review the Contractual Compliance Checklist to make sure your contracts meet the legal requirements. You must complete the Contractual Compliance Agreement. 

Download a model “Home Improvement Estimate and Final Contract” 

  • Home Improvement Contractor Exam and Exam Fee.
    A sole proprietor, general partner, corporate officer, member, 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, corporate officer, member, 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. An applicant is only required to pass the exam once, even if also applying for a Home Improvement Salesperson license.

  • Fingerprints and Processing Fee.
    All sole proprietors, general partners, corporate officers, members, and all shareholders owning 10% or more of company stock must be fingerprinted at the DCA Licensing Center. EXCEPTIONS: Any person who currently has fingerprints on file with DCA does not need to be fingerprinted. DCA has fingerprints on file for anyone who provided fingerprints within the last three years and for those who provided fingerprints for an active DCA license. Each person who must be fingerprinted must visit the DCA Licensing Center, located at 42 Broadway, 5th Floor, in lower Manhattan, with photo identification (ID) and pay a $75 processing fee by check or money order, payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. Acceptable forms of ID include:

    • Driver’s license or non-driver’s license identification issued by a State Department of Motor Vehicle
    • License or permit issued by a government agency
    • Passport
    • Alien card/green card
    • City, State, or Federal employee ID card

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.

  • 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.
    Must be paid by credit card, money order, or check. Cards accepted at the DCA Licensing Center include Visa, 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, 2014, 2016, etc.

Please note that a 2.49% convenience fee applies if you submit your license application online. A major credit card is required to submit applications online.  

HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR LICENSE
License Term License Expiration Date If You File Your Application Between These Dates: Your License Fee is:
2 years February 28
Odd years
From March 1 in an odd year to August 31 in an odd year $100
From September 1 in an odd year to February 28 or 29 in an even year $75
    From March 1 in an even year to August 31 in an even year $50
    From September 1 in an even year to February 28 in an odd year $25
OR
*$125

*If you are applying for the license within three to six months prior to the end of the license period, you can pay the prorated fee for the license period about to end plus the fee for the new license period. If you pay both fees, you will not need to renew the license until the end of the next license period.

APPLICATION FILING PROCESS: 

ONLINE SUBMISSION:

  1. Please review requirements for the license and gather all materials before clicking the button below.
  2. If you haven’t registered an account with the City of New York, you will need to register an account before you can proceed to the online application.
  3. After you submit the online application, follow the instructions on the Acknowledgment of Application. DCA cannot process incomplete applications.
  4. Important: If you need to file another license application (e.g., Home Improvement Salesperson), return to the DCA Business Toolbox to read requirements and proceed to the online application.

IN-PERSON SUBMISSION:
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.
 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTORS:
DCA offers the listed publications to help contractors know their responsibilities.

  • Home Improvement Consumer Guide (download)

  • Learn Ways to Make Seniors’ Homes “Age-Friendly” (download
    Created by DCA and the Department for the Aging, this flyer offers contractors tips on working with seniors, making homes senior-friendly, and helping seniors go “green.”


Get Voter Information

Note: Whether you apply to register to vote or not, it will not affect the assistance DCA will provide to you.