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Unusual request to pull a permit... #156552 05/15/05 08:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,143
D
DougW Offline OP
Member
Got a call from a buddy from many years back. Seems he fled the auto repair field and became a spark, and after finishing school had been working with my old foreman up until recently for a mid-sized shop doing resi and commercial work.

He left to open a remodeling company.

He called me up wondering a few things...

1) When my AHJ was holding the license exam (last week in May, 1st week of June);

2) If I'd be interested working as a foreman for his crew... seems a friend of his is a developer, and if his condo plans get approved, he'd get the gig to wire all 250 units over the next 2 years or so... he'd be picking up several employees, and wanted to know if I'd run a crew for him.

3) In the meantime, if one of his several pending bids are accepted, if I would pull permits for him under my business name, and perform some of the work, but have him and his current employee do the rest. He said he'd be more than willing to compensate me for the cost of "managing" the permit process, and also would give me full inspection rights since my name is on the permit.

Not sure how I feel about this, without making them employees of my business - even if only for the few weeks until he gets his own ticket - especially for insurance purposes.

Just figured I'd throw this up here for some feedback. I talked to my old foreman, and he says this guy's work is solid, but it's still a little out of my day to day experience.

Thanks,

Doug

Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
Re: Unusual request to pull a permit... #156553 05/15/05 11:13 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 265
D
dmattox Offline
Member
Remember, there are two ways this can go bad: the quality of the work and the quality of the finances.

You touched on the quality of the work, but you didnt address the financial issues. First he is a startup, running an established company is hard, running a startup is even harder. If he underbid the project, you will be responsible for finishing it if he doesn't have the ability to eat the loss. Are you willing to donate your time to finish the contract if he goes belly up?

If you really like/know the guy, I would suggest more of a partnership. It seems like with the setup he wants, you are taking a lot of risk with little chance for reward.

Re: Unusual request to pull a permit... #156554 05/16/05 12:30 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 53
H
highvoltageguy Offline
Member
A permit is just a permit to work on the project, not a contract to be responsable for finishing the work, at least where i'm from thats how it works, True you are responable for the quility if (IF) the final inspection is finished on the permit you pull, and any work done is the same as if you did the work yourself.
My example of pulling permit for someone else.
I pulled a permit for a aquintance to do some work on a rented farm house that he was living at, and he would do the work, right off the bat the power pole was a small long fence post basicly(for a loop over a driveway)and when I got there and was able to wiggle the pole and bear huge it and pull it out of the ground, needless to say I didn't call for a inspection on the permit number that I pulled. Also the Inspector did contact me about the job and I told him the story and another permit would have to be pulled bye some one else, just let my permit exspire. my point is that a permit is not a contract.

[This message has been edited by highvoltageguy (edited 05-16-2005).]

Re: Unusual request to pull a permit... #156555 05/16/05 12:48 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 265
D
dmattox Offline
Member
By pulling permit, I assumed the friend was doing the work under DougW's license. If the work is being done under someones license here in California, that person is responsible for completing the work. Least thats the way I understand it.

Re: Unusual request to pull a permit... #156556 05/16/05 03:00 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 52
K
kd Offline
Member
If you get the permit under your license, it is your job. Anyone working on the job is your employee, your worker's comp,payroll taxes.Make sure the bid is high enough and the contract is bulletproof.Then hire the future contractor and electrician for about $20 per hour. Get a company like paychex to do the payroll. Deduct all expenses.IF there is a profit at the end of the job, pay yourself your normal rate, say 70 /hr. Then you could split the "excess profit" between yourself and the guys who got you the job by paying them a bonus check thru paychex.Write down the agreement before you start.This is all legal to do and protects everyone.

Re: Unusual request to pull a permit... #156557 05/16/05 03:04 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 52
K
kd Offline
Member
If you get the permit under your license, it is your job. Anyone working on the job is your employee, your worker's comp,payroll taxes.Make sure the bid is high enough and the contract is bulletproof.Then hire the future contractor and electrician for about $20 per hour. Get a company like paychex to do the payroll. Deduct all expenses.IF there is a profit at the end of the job, pay yourself your normal rate, say 70 /hr. Then you could split the "excess profit" between yourself and the guys who got you the job by paying them a bonus check thru paychex.Write down the agreement before you start.This is all legal to do and protects everyone.

Re: Unusual request to pull a permit... #156558 05/16/05 09:21 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
A
Active 1 Offline
Member
Hay Doug,

The simpelest sulution would be for you to be an employee for your friends company. As their company forman electrician than you can pull permits under you friends company name. You are no more responcable than just an emploiee. If things go bad just make a call to the building departments to let them know you quit and the job was pulled with your liciance. I would make him collect taxes and provide workers comp insurance on you. Make sure you get proof. Just so it does not look like your a subcontractor for him.


That said it sounds like your friend is tring to start too fast. To bid and plan electrical work with out a liciance is a joke. If he does not have a EC liciance what's to say he has the proper insurance or even set up the company properly. If he does not have an established business how does he know his expenses? What are the chances that he underestomated each unit? On a job like that is he comes out short $1,000 a unit he will be in the hole $250K. Does he have the $ to back a project and crew like this? Or is he planing on working off the payouts and up front $$?

On top of all this you said he wanted to run a remodeling company not just an EC. Does he have any experiance as a GC or bidding as a GC? What deos he know about framing, foundations, roofing, plumbing, heating, etc..? Did he win 1 job yet? Has he ever managed people or a job?

It sounds like a person that looks at someone elces biz & says that's easy, I can start my own Co. and do that too. He has 1 contact the developer that could make or break him. Odds are the developer is wants your friend because he is under priced and can take advantage of his 0 biz exp.

If you want to work for a guy like this make sure he takes all the risk. Get a good hourly pay rate. Make sure he does not have too much of your $$. If things go out of control walk away.

Tom

Re: Unusual request to pull a permit... #156559 05/16/05 10:46 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 53
H
highvoltageguy Offline
Member
Active put it all in good words, your friend has the cart ahead of the horse

Re: Unusual request to pull a permit... #156560 05/16/05 11:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 65
G
growler Offline
Member
Around here that is not an unusual request at all. You get plenty of remodelers and maintenance types that try to get someone to permit for them. My reply is that you can hire a Master Electrician ( full time) to sponsor your company. He sends a letter of intent to the state and an electrical contracting company is formed ( with all the responsibilities & liabilities ). When thinking about permiting for others remember that you are responsable for the job forever. Passing an inspection only satisfies the AHJ. Any hidden faults can come back on the contractor ( if there are injuries it can get nasty ). Remember that these people don't have to be electricians to be electrical contractors but they must have a master on staff ( 1 master = 1 Company in all the states I'm familiar with ). If your friend doesn't wish to do this he should work for you until he is licensed and he definatly should not be bidding work. I get tired of seeing all these people that are not in the trade competing with the people that are. You don't get to drive down to take the driving test. Maybe on the way home.

Re: Unusual request to pull a permit... #156561 05/16/05 01:47 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 94
T
tkb Offline
Member
Quote by Active 1
--------
The simpelest sulution would be for you to be an employee for your friends company. As their company forman electrician than you can pull permits under you friends company name.
--------

I dont know what the laws are where you are but, in MA you cannot do that.
You must be an officer of the company to use your license for the company and the company name must be on the license.

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