Jump to content


Photo

Requirement to have a state contractor license


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 James E. Cobb

James E. Cobb

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:12 PM

Looking for a legal case or Federal Acquisition Regulation which specifies the requirement for a Contractor who has a federal construction contract to possess and maintain a State Contractors License?

I have reviewed FAR Part 9 Contractor QUalifications and no specific requirment noted for the contractor to have a contractors license.

I have reviewed ORCA reps & certs and nothing there either as far as I have read.

I have sent SBA a question if they require a SB Contractor to possess or maintain a contractors license.

#2 Don Mansfield

Don Mansfield

    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,288 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:37 PM

Does your contract contain FAR 52.236-7, Permits and Responsibilities?

#3 jwomack

jwomack

    Copper Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 98 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:43 PM

Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but see FAR clause 52.236-7 and its prescription at FAR 36.507.

#4 Vern Edwards

Vern Edwards

    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,591 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon

Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:23 PM

The Permits and Responsibilities clause does not say that a contractor must have a state contractor's license. It says that the contractor agrees to obtain any required licenses. It may not always be the case that state law applies on government property. That can be a complicated question. See Cynkar, Dumping on Federalism, 75 University of Colorado Law Review 1261 (Fall 2004) and Castlen and Block, Exclusive Federal Legislative Jurisdiction: Get Rid of It! 154 Military Law Review 113 (Oct. 1997).

However, the government can require that a contract have such a license even if state law does not apply or does not require such a license. See Janel Tohm, 71 Comp. Gen. 314 (March 19.1992), GAO B-246577.

#5 joel hoffman

joel hoffman

    P.E., DBIA

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,892 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Following God, Family, Sailing, Motorcycling, Hunting, Volleyball; Acquisition, Source Selections, Contract Administration, Construction, Design-Build Construction, mods, claims, TFD, TFC, project controls,

Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:39 PM

I don't know whether or not state licensing law would apply. But you can ask the Secretary of State's Office or the applicable state office whether a contractor's licebnse is required to do business within a state. The contractor would normally have to maintain valid liability and workmen's compensation insurance in the jurisdiction and probably pay certain taxes for work in the state.

#6 Vern Edwards

Vern Edwards

    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,591 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon

Posted 05 February 2013 - 04:55 PM

Then you have to find out if state law governs at the site of the construction. It probably does, but who knows?

#7 brian

brian

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 252 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:CO NUS

Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:30 PM

My anecdotal input, FWIW.

I was Quality Manager on a 260-person, basewide O&M Kt, many years ago.
I was the Regional Building Official on base.
The jurisdiction of the civilian Regional Building Official off-base stopped at the fenceline.

I've also done a couple federal construction contracts. Nothing fancy.
My biggest was about $3 Million, back in 1991.
I had a GC Contractor's License in Colorado, but nowhere else.
I've done federal construction in Detroit, Duluth and the Arizona Strip, all without a license.

Here's the real hurdle that kept me from bidding on stuff that was not covered by my license -- BONDING.
Sureties tend to be real conservative.
If anyone requires a license, it's usually the folks who issue Performance and Payment Bonds.


Again, don't know if my experience applies more broadly,
but General Construction Contractor Licenses are issued by Regional Building Officials, where I'm from.
Not the State. The same folks who issue building permits.
Which also may not be required on federal projects.

#8 Vern Edwards

Vern Edwards

    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,591 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon

Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:57 PM

In Oregon licensing is done by the State of Oregon, Construction Contractors Board. However, the question is not who issues a license, but whether a state license i required to do construction work for the federal government. I doubt that there is a single correct answer to that question other than sometimes yes, sometimes no.

#9 joel hoffman

joel hoffman

    P.E., DBIA

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,892 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Following God, Family, Sailing, Motorcycling, Hunting, Volleyball; Acquisition, Source Selections, Contract Administration, Construction, Design-Build Construction, mods, claims, TFD, TFC, project controls,

Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:14 PM

Then you have to find out if state law governs at the site of the construction. It probably does, but who knows?


Vern, I agree. I meant to say that a contractor might not be able to obtain workmans compensation or liability insurance without being licensed in that state. And Brian mentioned bonding, too.

In addition, since subcontracts are generally written around state jurisdiction, state licensing law might require a prime to be licensed. I don't know. I used to ask the lawyers.

Generally, local building permits are not required for new building construction or building improvements on federal property. However, the US Government has waived federal immunity and has consented to outside regulation for certain requirements, such as Hazardous Waste, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Hazardous Substances, stormwater discharge permits, ground water protection, air pollution, noise pollution and other environmental issues. States have been delegated enforcement and administrative authoirty for many of the environmental laws. If various permits are required e.g., sewer, water, stormwater, water quality, etc.) I know that DoD usually abides by them. Some of those requirements apply to buildings.

#10 Vern Edwards

Vern Edwards

    Platinum Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,591 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Portland, Oregon

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:19 PM

When I did construction for an Air Force base, we always required a license. Any company that didn't have a license was just too flakey to do business with.

#11 joel hoffman

joel hoffman

    P.E., DBIA

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,892 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Following God, Family, Sailing, Motorcycling, Hunting, Volleyball; Acquisition, Source Selections, Contract Administration, Construction, Design-Build Construction, mods, claims, TFD, TFC, project controls,

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:35 PM

I would agree that this is a good requirement. I wonder if JAmes Cobb is discussing an existing contract or a new one.


#12 BZMANINTEXAS

BZMANINTEXAS

    Copper Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 46 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:46 PM

As stated above, construction licenses are regulated by state, not federal requirements. See the link to do a state-by-state review of what requirements pertain to your area. http://contractors-license.org/

Insurance and Bonding, in my opinion are seperate issues as well as registration of the vendor within the new SAM system.

#13 brian

brian

    Silver Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 252 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:CO NUS

Posted 06 February 2013 - 03:37 PM

Biz man,
I checked your link for Texas:


"Only specialty contractors, including HVAC, fire sprinkler systems, plumbing, electricians and well drilling/pump installation specialists, need to be licensed in Texas.

Home builders are not licensed, though it is advisable to check with your local municipality or county in areas of the state outside of municipal jurisdiction, for local requirements."


As I read that, TX is like CO.
Getting bonding is a lot tougher than getting a license. Vern relying on the license as proof of competence or sound business practices is better than nothing, but not by much.
There are plenty of licensed contractors in my jurisdiction who are flaky, despite having passed an open-book test, which is the main requirement to get licensed here where I am.


Getting licensed is only a little harder than getting registered in SAM, compared to getting Bonding.
And I've never had an insurance salesman tell me he couldn't issue coverage.
Golly, folks who sell Workers Comp don't even ask any questions, other than those needed to set a price (premium.)

But if those are separate issues to you, maybe there's more to a license in TX than I understand.
I've been turned down for bonding, more than once. Could SBA have helped ? Yes, but I have never asked for their Bonding help.
On the other hand, I've never had trouble getting licensed. That's mostly about providing an address where they can find you, and proving you have insurance. Oh, and passing a test on the ICBO Code, with it open right in front of you.

#14 James E. Cobb

James E. Cobb

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts

Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:36 AM

The contract reveals that State, County, and City permits are not required as project is on Federal land. The intent here was to save costs of obtaining and paying for these permits. As the AE and government were going ot do inspections. The P&S reveal the GC is to follow all codes and local requirments, permits, etc.

I was trying to read that this was understood to mean that if the State requires contractors to have a Contractors License, that this would fulfill the requirement within the P&S for the GC to be licensed.

I find no FAR or other federal code requiring them to be licesned. Legal reveals that the reqirement for the contracting office to make a D&F of the GC that we would not be able to D&F which would find the GC to be responnsible if they did not. I have never checked to see if a GC was licensed or not; which I am going to do from now on that is fore sre,

Legal thoughts are that we cant at one end say state county and city codes for permits & inspections are not required and at the other end say that they are required to follow laws for certain actions, ie a contractors license.

Thanks for all the input

#15 ji20874

ji20874

    Gold Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 579 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Vermont

Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:04 PM

You CAN require a contractor to have a state business license/contractor license even if you don't require local permits for your contract work on a federal reservation.

#16 GeoJeff

GeoJeff

    Copper Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 29 posts

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:13 PM

In Oregon licensing is done by the State of Oregon, Construction Contractors Board. However, the question is not who issues a license, but whether a state license i required to do construction work for the federal government. I doubt that there is a single correct answer to that question other than sometimes yes, sometimes no.


"Sometimes yes, sometimes no" is a good answer. Factors to consider include property ownership and jurisdiction, whether building permits will be required, whether local government inspections will be required, bonding and insurance requirements, etc. Regardless, be sure to specify in the RFQ/RFP/IFB whether a license will be required and when (at the time of quote/proposal/bid submission or sometime later).

I tend to err on the side of following state law, but we don't do any work on military installations. If the state requires a licensed contractor for the trade/value I'm working with, I will too. Note also that Don Acquisition mentioned the permits and responsibilities clause; often, if a building permit is required, the permitting agency (generally city) will only issue a permit to either the property owner or a licensed contractor.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users