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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 251
I'm from Michigan. I get alot of jobs from word of mouth. A few jobs I have lost because of no insurance or ability to pull permits.

I would like to know what work I can legally perform.

I would like to get a contractors license and liability insurance. I also think I need to regester a company name to get the contractors license.

If I do all of the above. Will I be able to legally perfom any work? I've currently just did 'side jobs', or had the homeowner pull the permits, and a few instances where a friend (master electrician) pull the permits under his company.

Is there any loop holes or anything.

My current understanding is, I'm not suppose to perform any work, and If I get caught I could get my license taken away?

This is my first start to researching this besides a few phone numbers for insurance, contractors license, and where to register a business.

So please help me understand this better and let me know what I can do. Thanks.

Shake n Bake
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,064
a Business accountant, or Lawyer, in your area should have all the answers you need.

Requirements vary from state to state.

My accountant set me up with all the paperwork and a lawyer friend of his did the rest of the legal stuff.

May be worth checking out.....


Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 251
I'm still too poor for an accountant or Lawyer! [Linked Image]

My cousin is an accountant which he went to school for... but hes also about 4 other things, real estate, morgages, etc.... Everytime I deal with him, it feels like its the first time hes ever done it.

And I'm just starting... slowly... I'd like to just regester a company for tax reasons maybe, and just go slow.

But I am interested in knowing what work I can legally perfom with a journeymans license.

Shake n Bake
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Talk with the electrical inspectors (building dept. or community development) of the area you want to work in.


Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
e57 Offline
What can you do... Hmmm. Drink beer, if you're old enough.

Not sure about your state laws, but most are an easy look up on the net. Reguardless, you might want to do that anyway. If looking to skirt around the law and its boundaries, you should know what those boundaries are.

Found it:
State law requires residential builders, home improvement contractors (when labor and materials equal $600 or more), electrical contractors, mechanical contractors and master plumbers to be licensed.

Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 27
How long have you had your Michigan Class 3 license? In the State of Michigan you are required to hold the Class 3 for two years then you may apply for a Master license test which when accepted to take the test you then have to pass with 75% or better. Then you can apply for and take when accepted the Contractor License test and pass that by 75% or better. If caught doing work without the proper licensing you could be forced to reimburse the customer all the money you acqired on that job and you will have to pay a licensed Electrical Contractor to do the job even if it is only a thousand dollar job the E.C. could charge you Ten Thousand and there is nothing you can do about that. Oh remember Michigan has a Contractor Lien Fund thay every licensed Contractor has to pay 50 dollars into since the fund started I paid 150 dollars so you are getting a lot of Contractors upsrt and sooner or later you will get caught. So I believe from your statement of a journeyman card you have it longer than two years go and apply also you should know all this since you are required to take 2002 Code update it is in the state code you were given.

William Runkle
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 251
I've only had my card for 8 months. I was fairly sure I couldn't do anything but 'Drink Beer' [Linked Image] but I wanted to asked.

Guess I cant to a thing until I get my Masters.. oh wait I can't do anything then either.... without a contractors .. great rules.

I hate the rules for my situation now.. but I know in the future I will like the rules to keep cheaper compitition away.

Shake n Bake
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,445
Likes: 3
Cat Servant
The journeyman card generally only allows you to work in the trade. That is, you can work for someone else. Under some conditions you might also be able to pull permits- but local rules vary considerably here!

I understand your looking at the 'time in trade' requirements as simply trade restraint. But- and here one must be honest- one of the thing about any "skilled trade" is that is simply takes a certain amount of time to aquire the necessary experience; you just can't get it from a book!

Now, time alone will not expose you to all you ned to know. If you're working for a guy who only does restaraunts, you'll never be exposed to generators (or many other parts of the trade). At some point, it is in your interest to seek out different employers, so that your experience will be broadened.

You also ought to spend some time as a "lead", or in the you can get some exposure to those business things that the trade training doesn't cover. Believe me- (to borrow a phrase) it takes more to be a contractor than an 'attack of entreprneurship.'

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