Can You Legally Hire An Unlicensed Contractor In California?

The short answer is: no. California, just like other states, have implemented strict laws which prohibit home- and property owners from hiring unlicensed contractors for any kind of construction work. Should somebody try to circumnavigate these laws, both the property owner and the unlicensed contractor may be met with quite the unpleasant consequences when they are caught.

Furthermore, it should be noted that even the most experienced of unlicensed contractors are highly unlikely to provide you with the same quality services as licensed contractors. That alone should be enough to discourage property owners. But it clearly isn’t, which is why laws have been implemented. But why is California so against unlicensed contractors in the first place?

The negative impact of underground economy

In California, you are partaking in devious underground economy when you are hiring a contractor who hasn’t been licensed by the licensing board. The reason for this is that a contractor without license is not obeying the regulations of the state since they have not been sufficiently trained to perform the type of work they are being hired to carry out. As a result, they could make devastating mistakes that cause more damage than they are being hired to fix. That is why even though they may be cheaper to hire, it turns out more expensive in the end. Thus, don’t fall for these low prices but look for experience and skill so that you get the right repairs done without any long term damages.

The state of California is overrun by unlicensed contractors who are regularly thrust into debt and lose precious weeks of time each time they finish a job, simply because their payments were withheld due to their contract being nothing but spoken words instead of legally binding writing. These contractors will also be unable to sue their clients and take them to court since they are working without license.

Ultimately, being an unlicensed roofing contractor in San Jose is living with the constant risk of being left unpaid and thrust into debt by immoral clients. It would be much better for these contractors to go out and get their license, so they can begin a life of profitable work with certainty of payment.

The legal consequences of being an unlicensed contractor

When a contractor is caught working without a license, the state of California will punish them with fees and jail sentences on the basis of misdemeanor. In general, the charge will get them a $5,000 fine, together with a six months jail sentence. Additionally, fines could pop up in the form of administrative fines which can range anywhere from $200 all the way up to $15,000.