Risks of Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor

Did you know that state law in Georgia requires a valid state-issued trade license to engage in the business of electrical contracting?

Georgia Code Section 43-14-8 (a) states that “No person shall engage in the electrical contracting business as an electrical contractor unless such person has a valid license from the Division of Electrical Contractors and a certificate of competency, if such certificates are issued by the division pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 43-14-6.”

Georgia Code Section 43-14-2 (6) clearly provides the definition of “Electrical contracting” as follows: “Electrical contracting” means the installation, maintenance, alteration, or repair of any electrical equipment, apparatus, control system, or electrical wiring device which is attached to or incorporated into any building or structure in this state but shall not include low-voltage contracting.”

“Electrical contractor” is defined in Georgia Code Section 43-14-2 (7) “Electrical contractor” means any person who engages in the business of electrical contracting under express or implied contract or who bids for, offers to perform, purports to have the capacity to perform, or does perform electrical contracting services under express or implied contract. The term “electrical contractor” shall not include a person who is an employee of an electrical contractor and who receives only a salary or hourly wage for performing electrical contracting work.

Did you know that performing electrical work without a license is a violation of state law? Georgia Code Section 43-14-14 states that “Any person violating this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.”

An unlicensed contractor risks being convicted of a misdemeanor, up to a $1000.00 fine, as well as the possibility of imprisonment for up to six months!

If a contractor is willing to risk those penalties by engaging in electrical contracting without a valid license what other risks might that contractor be willing to take?

Most insurance companies will not extend coverage to contractors that do no hold a valid state-issued trade license when that license is required by law. If a contractor is not properly licensed to engage in electrical contracting it is very likely that the contractor does not have proper insurance coverage.

Hiring an unlicensed contractor to perform electrical work in your home could put you at risk of serious liability should something go wrong.

You can easily verify any state-issued professional license, including Electrical Contractor licensing, on the Georgia Secretary of State website.

Other rules and regulations regarding trade licensing requirements in the state of Georgia can be found in:

Georgia Code Title 43. PROFESSIONS AND BUSINESSES

Chapter 14. ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS, PLUMBERS, CONDITIONED AIR CONTRACTORS, LOW-VOLTAGE CONTRACTORS, AND UTILITY CONTRACTORS

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