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Home improvement contractors are construction professionals who specialize in all types and sizes of residential projects. Homeowners without those skills can be prey for dishonest or incompetent contractors. To protect consumers, Westchester County, N.Y., requires all contractors to obtain a license in order to work. To get the license, contractors must pass a written test on the state and county laws regulating contractors and submit a written application and fee.
Go to the Westchester County website (see Resources). Touch "Business" in the navigation bar. Click "Licenses and Permits" in the menu below the bar.
Click the "Home Improvement Contractors Application" link in the center of the page. Click "Home Improvement Contractors Application" again in the "Contractor Application" paragraph to download a package of forms, instructions and laws. Learn the "Laws Governing the Licensing of Home Improvement Contractors in Westchester County: Westchester County Consumer Protection Code."
Call the Department of Consumer Protection at 914-995-2155 to schedule your examination. The department will send you written confirmation of the date, time and place for your test.
Print and complete the "Application for Home Improvement License" forms in the package. Include identifying information about yourself, any business partners and your company and the types of work you will perform. Complete the "Child Support Certification" in the package regarding whether you are under court order to pay child support. Sign the application in the presence of a notary public.
Prepare or gather the required documents: the Department of Consumer Protection's letter verifying that you passed the written test, legal proof of your business name, a detailed five-year written work history, liability insurance certificate, proof of workers compensation insurance, a photo of yourself and copies of your current valid driver's license and vehicle registration.
Submit the application, documents and $300 fee in person to the Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection, Licensing Division, 112 East Post Rd., 4th Floor, White Plains, NY, 10601 no later than 90 days after your test date. The office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Call the county Consumer Protection office at 914-995-2155 if you need help completing the application.
The New York State Online Permit Assistance and Licensing website can help you to apply for other licenses or permits you may need to start a new business or expand your current business.