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How do I Get a Painting License in NYC?

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A painting license in New York City falls under the same category as a Home Improvement Contractor License which can be obtained through the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). This license allows a person or business to engage in any type of construction including repair, remodeling, and painting. When thinking of doing construction, such as painting of homes, basements, apartment buildings or other buildings, a license is mandatory and helpful.

Obtaining a Home Improvement Contractor License

Visit the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs website or the Licensing Center in Manhattan for all necessary forms and applications. It would be helpful to ask beforehand, either in person or by calling 311, which of the following steps are required, since it varies for each individual.

DCA Licensing Center 42 Broadway, 5th Floor New York, NY 10004 311

Find out if you also need a Home Improvement Salesperson license, if you solicit or negotiate home improvement contracts with property owners.

Obtain a Sales Tax I.D. number or Certificate of Authority application confirmation number if you haven't already. The Sales Tax I.D. contains 9, 10 or 11 digits and can be found on your NY State Department of Taxation and Finance Certificate of Authority. You can find the application online.

Collect a proof of business address and a proof of home address. This can be a utility bill, current rent or mortgage bill, or any license or permit showing one of these addresses.

Visit the Department of Consumer Affairs Licensing Center for fingerprints. Find out beforehand if you are required to do this. Bring photo i.d. and a $75 processing fee.

Obtain a copy of Workers' Compensation Insurance unless you qualify for Workers' Compensation Exemption. You can get this insurance through a private insurance carrier or through the NY State Insurance Fund office.

Take the Home Improvement Contractor Exam if you are a sole proprietor, general partner, director, corporate officer or shareholder owning at least 10 percent of the company stock. This exam can be taken at the DCA Licensing center.

Download online and print, or obtain from the DCA in person, all necessary forms including the roster of employees, Contractual Compliance Agreement, Child Support Certification Form (if applicable), and Granting Authority to Act Affirmation. Fill out the forms and double-check everything.

Fill out the License Application online or in paper form, and gather all documents which you should have ready by now.

Submit your license application online and pay the license fee using a credit card, or visit the DCA to do this in person. The application includes all above listed documents.

Print out the confirmation page after submitting the application. Supply any missing information such as fingerprints or the exam at the DCA, if you haven't done so already.


It helps to make a checklist of everything you need, and check things off as you complete them. This way, you'll know if you're missing anything. Don't wait until the last minute. Some applications, such as the form for the sales tax ID number, take a while to process.


Make sure you are submitting exactly what you need to submit. If you have any doubts, visit the DCA in person or call 311 for further information relating to your personal case.