A Home Improvement Contractor is defined as any person who owns or operates a contracting business who, through himself or others, undertakes, purports to have the capacity to undertake, offers to undertake, or submits a bid for residential contracting work to an owner and is liscenced through the Maryland Home Improvement Commission.

“Applicants for a contractors license in Maryland must provide proof of a least 2 years of experience in home improvement work, construction or related education.Applicants must provide proof of financial solvency based on the scope and size of their business in relationship to their total assets, liabilities, a full credit report and net worth. Applicants who don’t meet these guidelines may purchase a surety bond or obtain an indemnitor. Proof of current $50,000.00 liability Insurance must be filed with the application.” From the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Salespersons must also be licensed to represent up to 2 licensed contractors in the selling of home improvements. Each state has their own licensing requirements. Licenses are not transferrable – ie. in order for a contractor to work in the District of Columbia, the contractor must apply and be tested throught the Licensing commission in D.C.

An unlicensed contractor may not have liability insurance, be financially stable, be willing to provide warranties for work completed, or have the experience necessary to tackle projects that required advanced expertise. They may not provide contracts with realistic estimates of costs start and finish times, and arbritration remedies. Licensed contractors in addition to being registered with the state, may also have completed Criminal Background Checks, and are members of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland. Maryland citizens who have experienced damage due to an unscrupulous contractor can contact the Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing to register a complaint, or check on the license status of their contractor.