Contractor’s Board Attorney Las Vegas
There are many areas of the law that involve administrative proceedings. One of these areas is the Nevada State Contractors Board. The Contractors Board has fairly broad powers in issuing licenses and administering rules and regulations governing the areas of construction and building. It is important that you have a qualified and experienced attorney representing you before the Contractors Board, as your livelihood, and in some instances your freedom, may depend on your attorney’s knowledge and experience.
According to Nevada Statutes it is unlawful for any person to engage in the business or act in the capacity of a contractor within the state of Nevada or submit a bid on a job situated within the state without having an active license, unless you meet certain exemption criteria.
Licensing and Bonding:
When is a contractor’s license required and who qualifies?
All businesses or individuals who construct or alter any building, highway, road, parking facility, railroad, excavation, or other structure in Nevada must be licensed by the Nevada State Contractors Board. This includes subcontractors and specialty contractors. You must be licensed before you submit any bids.
To qualify to become a licensed contractor you must have the experience and skills necessary to manage the daily activities of a construction business, including field supervision or you must be represented by someone else with the necessary experience and skills, who serves as your qualifying individual.
The qualifying individual must have had at least four full years of experience as a journeyman or as a foreman, supervisor, or contractor in the classification. This individual must pass a written Business and Law examination as well as a Trade examination.
There are some exceptions to the State licensing requirements, however. One exception is if you are the owner of a property who is building or improving a residential structure for your own occupancy and not intended for the sale or lease. If you sell or lease the property within 1 year after the construction is completed there is a presumption that the building was constructed with the intent to sell or lease the structure and a license would be required. An owner may apply for an exemption with the Contractors Board.
Another exception is when the value of the work involved is less than $1,000, including labor and materials, unless:
- A building permit is required to perform the work;
- The work is of a type performed by a plumbing, electrical, refrigeration, heating or air-conditioning contractor;
- The work is of a type performed by a contractor licensed in a classification that affects the health, safety and welfare of members of the general public;
- The work is performed as part of a larger project or if the contract of less than $1000 has been awarded to evade the provisions requiring a license.
There may be other exceptions to whether or not a contractor’s license is required. An experienced administrative law attorney should be consulted to assist you.
There are specific financial requirements that must be met as well, depending on the value of the type of work that will be performed under the license. These requirements can include the preparation of financial statements, balance sheets or other documents prepared by certified public accountants or bank verification forms.
There are also specific bonding requirements that must be met, the amount of which will be determined by the Contractors Board and is based on the type of license that is being applied for. In the case of swimming pool contractors, the Board also requires Consumer Protection Bonds and Payment and Performance Bonds. An attorney experienced with dealing with the Contractors Board would be able to assist you in this process.
Complaints against Contractors:
How does a complaint against a contractor proceed?
If a person is not satisfied with a contractor’s performance they should first bring it to the attention of the contractor. If the contractor fails to address the problem in a satisfactory manner the owner can file a complaint with the Contractors Board. If a person files a complaint against a contractor with the Contractors Board a copy of the complaint will be provided to the contractor and an investigator employed by the Board will examine the complaint. If a visit to the jobsite is required the investigator will advise both parties within 10 days of the scheduled date and time of the visit. The investigator will research and evaluate all information and make a decision regarding the validity of the complaint.
If the investigator determines that the complaint is valid the investigator will issue a Notice of Correction identifying the items that need to be corrected. The contractor will generally be allowed 20 to 30 days to comply with the Notice of Correction. The contractor must be allowed access to the property to perform the corrections. If the owner does not permit the contractor access to the property the complaint may be dismissed. If the contractor fails to comply with the Notice of Correction the investigator may recommend disciplinary action against the contractor. Many complaints can be resolved without disciplinary action. If a complaint has been filed against you with the Contractors Board and it does not appear that the issue can be resolved quickly you should seek the assistance of an attorney with experience before the Contractors Board.
Actions against Contractor’s:
What happens when the investigator recommends disciplinary action against a contractor?
If the investigator recommends disciplinary action the contactor will be provided a Notice of Hearing and Complaint telling the contractor the specific laws it is alleged to have violated and describing the conduct that the contractor has engaged in that violates the law. The contractor has 20 days to file an answer to the complaint.
After the contractor files an answer to the complaint the Contractors Board will schedule a formal hearing. You will typically receive about 30 days advance notice of the time and place of the hearing. The person making the original complaint against the contractor will be requested to appear at the hearing and testify.
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board or a designated hearing officer will make a decision regarding the alleged violations and may impose disciplinary action against the contractor. The disciplinary actions could include the revocation of the contractor’s license.
If you find yourself defending a complaint before the Contractors Board you should seek the help of an experienced attorney. The Wright Law Group, P.C. has more than 20 years commercial litigation experience and is well equipped to assist you in handling your case. Please call us at 702-405-0001 to schedule a consultation
Penalties for Contracting without a License:
The Contractors Board has the authority to impose fines against licensed contractors and to strip a contractor of their license. But what happens when the board determines that a person is found to be contracting without a valid license?
If a person is found to be engaging in business or submitting a bid without a license, the Contractors Board may impose an administrative fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $50,000 for each violation. The Contractors Board has the authority to determine the amount of the fine imposed and will consider the gravity of the violation, the good faith of the person violating the statute, and any history of pervious violations
In addition to any administrative proceedings, the District Attorney’s Office is responsible for prosecuting all violations of the statute. If a person is found to be contracting without the appropriate license the penalties can be severe and could, depending on whether it is the person’s first, second, or subsequent offence, involve the imposition of fines and possible imprisonment.
Being charged with contracting without a license is a very serious matter and you should seek the help of an experienced attorney. The Wright Law Group, P.C. has more than 20 years criminal defense experience and is well equipped to assist you in handling your case. Please call us at 702-405-0001 to schedule a consultation.