Checking contractor’s license, insurance

I’m about to hire a contractor to do a substantial amount of work. I found a very professional company I like a lot. I consider checking their license and insurance a formality that I’m going through now.

The thing is, I asked someone in their front office to send me their license and insurance, and the certificate of insurance looks good. More insurance than any other company I’ve ever used.

But for their license, what they sent me was their business license with their local city that they use for tax purposes. The kind of business license every business has. Like if you walk into a gas station, they’ll have one of these business license.

I think the problem is the front office guy I spoke to just didn’t know what the right stuff to send was. Because I didn’t know specifically what to ask for,

What I’ve been told is this company is a general contractor. So I was expecting something saying they are licensed to be a general contractor.

But I was just reading a Clark.com article called “6 Tips for Hiring a Contractor” and it only says to ask for their insurance. It doesn’t say to also ask for their license.

Anybody can tell me what I’m missing here? I’m thinking about emailing the worker back with more specific information abiut what license I’m looking for,

Also, I’ve seen it mentioned to ask for information about the company being bonded. How necessary is that? I’ve never done it in the past. But I’ve never hired someone to do this much work before where the contractor is going to have to pull multiple permits, etc… I have already talked to them about the permits. They will pull those.

I doubt they would be able to have the right insurance and pull permits without being a licensed contractor. Ask again and be more specific if that will set your mind at ease. There is probably a state contractors website you could check too.

Ask for their contractor’s license number, and verify it with the state. Also ask for references, and check them as well