The State of Alabama has separate licensing Boards for Homebuilders (residential construction of $10,000 or greater), General Contractors (commercial or multifamily residential construction of $50,000 or greater), Electrical Contractors, Plumbing and Gas Fitters, and Mechanical and HVAC Contractors. These licensing boards were formed to ensure that contractors performing work in the State of Alabama are properly licensed, certified, trained, and bonded to perform work. General guidelines to follow when hiring a contractor are:
- Request copies of State and local licenses and insurance;
- Require written, signed estimates listing exactly what work will be performed and the total cost;
- Require a copy of the building permit that was issued showing the type of work to be done and for what amount of money;
- If a contractor asks you as the owner to obtain building permits, look into any reasons they are unable or unwilling to obtain permits themselves. While not always the case, many unlicensed or improperly licensed contractors have the owners obtain permits for the project;
City of Fairhope Business Licenses
The City of Fairhope issues business licenses for anyone performing work in the Fairhope Police Jurisdiction (see attached map). In order to be issued a City business license, the Revenue Dept also checks to verify they have any requisite State licenses for the work they will performing. If you have any questions regarding the status of a City business license you may contact the Revenue Department at 251-928-2136.
City of Fairhope Revenue Department webpage: https://www.fairhopeal.gov/doing-business/business-license-sales-tax
The State of Alabama allows a property owner to obtain permits for work to be performed on their property. This allowance is granted to the legal owner of record for the property, not a leaseholder or tenant, and if the owner pulls the permits they are attesting in writing that they personally are performing the work to be done. An owner may act as their own Homebuilder or General Contractor and hire subcontractors to perform trade work, but any subcontractor must have all required State and City licenses pertaining to their work.
Please note that the only trade that an owner may not be issued a permit for is Gas fitting work. This work has to be done by a State licensed gas fitter.
Please note that per Alabama law, if any owner that obtains a permit for a new single family residence or associated structure may not sell or lease that property for 12 months from the date the Certificate of Occupancy is issued.
Any single family residential project $10,000 or greater requires an Alabama licensed Homebuilder. This includes garages and accessory buildings BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE RESIDENITAL SWIMMING POOLS. Swimming contractors are licensed through the Alabama General Contractors Board, residential or commercial.
Alabama Homebuilders Licensure Board: https://hblb.alabama.gov/
Licensee search: https://hblb.alabama.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/CC_Form_2018.pdf
Homebuilder license types: https://hblb.alabama.gov/types-of-home-builders-licenses/
The Alabama General Contractors Board licenses non-single family residential projects of $50,000 or greater. There are multiple types of license issued by the General Contractors Board, including Prime Contractors and Subcontractors.
Alabama General Contractors Board: http://genconbd.alabama.gov/Default.aspx
Licensee search: http://genconbd.alabama.gov/DATABASE-SQL/roster.aspx
Compliant form: http://genconbd.alabama.gov/COMPLAINTFORM3807.pdf
All plumbers and gas fitters in the State of Alabama are licensed through the Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board.
Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board: http://pgfb.state.al.us/
Licensee search: https://igovsolution.net/pgfbonline/Lookups/Individual.aspx
All electrical contractors in the State of Alabama are licensed through the Alabama Electrical Contractors Board.
Alabama Electrical Contractors Board: http://www.aecb.state.al.us/
Electrical licensee search: http://www.aecb.state.al.us/search.aspx
All Heating, AC, and Refrigeration Contractors in the State of Alabama are licensed through the Alabama HVAC and Refrigeration Board.
Alabama Board of Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Contractors: https://hacr.alabama.gov/
Licensee search: https://hacr.alabama.gov/consumers/
Complaint form: https://hacr.alabama.gov/hacr-complaint-form/