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Home Improvement Contractor Registration in New Jersey

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The State of New Jersey regulates their construction industry through the NJ Contractor’s Registration Act.  This law requires anyone working on or selling home improvement projects to register with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

The Division asks all contractors to complete an application and familiarize themselves with the Statues and Regulations for Home Improvement contractors working in the state.  Home Improvement Contractor Registration is essential for contractors to obtain the building permits they need to complete a project.  The Division defines home improvements as:

  • Altering
  • Remodeling
  • Repairing
  • Renovating
  • Restoring
  • Constructing
  • Demolishing
  • Installing

In order to engage in this type of construction work, contractors are required to register with the Division.  The State of New Jersey does not have an education or examination requirement to become registered.

*The Division of Consumer Affairs is very specific about contractors referring to their status as “registered” and not “licensed.”  The Division feels that referring to the “registration” as a “license” is a misrepresentation of the credential.  They ask contractors to use the word “registration” on all business materials, advertisements and documents.  Do not use the word “license.”  

Process to Obtain a Home Improvement Contractor Registration in New Jersey

  1. Contractors must obtain a copy of the Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) Application Packet.
  2. Applicants must fill out the HIC application including the Disclosure Statement Page.
  3. Applicants must attach any additional documents that the Division requests, and pay the HIC registration fee.
  4. Applicants must prove that they hold General Liability Insurance in the minimum amount of $500 per occurrence.
  5. Applicants must submit the application, documents and fees to the Division of Consumer Affairs and wait for the Home Improvement Registration certificate.

Preparing to Submit an Application

For a copy of the HIC Application Packet, please visit:

http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/HIC/hicpacket.pdf

Applications are also available by calling the Division of Consumer Affairs at: 1-888-656-6225

Construction officials in some municipalities may also have copies of the application packet.

The application packet contains instructions and frequently asked questions related to HIC registration.  It is important to read all instructions and information in the packet before filling anything out.

All applicants should also read and familiarize themselves with the Home Improvement Contractor Statues and Regulations in the State of New Jersey.  Click the link below to view these laws:

http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/HIC/HIC_stats.htm

When filling out the application, print clearly in blue or black ink.  Be sure to answer all questions.  If the question does not apply, print “N/A.”  The Division does not accept applications with skipped questions and missing information.   All information provided on the application must be accurate and truthful.  Information provided on the application is also considered a matter of public record.

The Division asks all applicants to choose their business type and provide the following documentation:

  • Sole Proprietorship- copy of the Business Trade Name Certificate
  • Partnership- copy of the Business Trade Name Certificate
  • Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)- copy of the Business Certificate of Formation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)- copy of the Business Certificate of Formation
  • Corporation- copy of the Business Certificate of Incorporation
*Sample copies of these documents are found on page 7 through 10 of the HIC Application Packet.  

The business name provided on the application must match all documents and insurance certificates exactly.

All contractors are required to complete the Disclosure Statement Page, on page 5 of the HIC application packet.  All contractors are also required to submit proof that they hold a general liability insurance policy in the minimum amount of $500,000 per occurrence.  Proof of the insurance certificate is submitted along with the application.

Submitting an Application

Be sure to gather all the required documents before submitting the application to the Division.  There is also a $90 registration fee which must be submitted along with the application.  The Division accepts payments in the form of check or money order made payable to the “Division of Consumer Affairs.” Registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Applicants may submit their registration application, documents and fee by mail or in-person to:

State of New Jersey
Division of Consumer Affairs
Regulated Business Section
Home Improvement Unit
124 Halsey Street, 7th Floor
P.O. Box 46016
Newark, NJ 07101

Applications are accepted in-person on Mondays and Thursdays between the hours of 9am and 4:30pm.

It takes up to 6 weeks for the Division to process applications.  Applications are processed in the order that they are received.  Applicants are able to check the status of their application online, by visiting:

http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/HIC/

The application status should appear as “pending”, “active” or “expired.”  If the application status is “active” but the contractor has not received their registration certificate in the mail, contractors should call this number and ask them to fax a License Verification Letter:

(973)-273-8090

The registration certificate and verification letter contain the contractor’s registration number, which allows the contractor to begin performing work.

If it has been longer than 6 weeks and the contractor’s status still appears as “pending.”  Call the following number to speak with a representative: (888)-656-6225

Once the contractor receives their Home Improvement Contractor Registration Certificate, they are required to hang the certificate in their place of business.  The contractor is also required to include their registration number on the following:

  • Advertisements
  • Business Cards
  • Business Vehicles
  • Business Documents, including contracts

New Jersey law requires contractors to draw up a written contract for all projects worth $500 or more.  Written contracts must include the following information:

  • Contractor’s name, business address and a copy of their registration number.  Contractors must also provide the name and address of any sales representatives
  • Copy of the contractor’s insurance certificates, proving that they hold a general liability policy in the minimum amount of $500,000 per occurrence.
  • Description of the project and all work being performed.  Contractors must also provide details about the materials and products they plan to use or install
  • Statement of guarantee or warranty associated with any of the products the contractor intends to use or any of the work being performed.
  • Description of any mortgage or security interest that is connected to the financing or sale of the project
  • The total price of the project, including finance charges
  • The signatures of the contractor, client and any other parties involved

The written contract must also include, in writing, the client’s right to cancel and be fully refunded if they cancel within 3 days before the start of the project.  More information about project cancellation and the exact language the contractor needs to include on their written contract, may be found inside the HIC Application Packet:

http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/HIC/hicpacket.pdf

How Long is New Jersey Home Improvement Contractor Registration Valid?

Home Improvement Contractor Registration is good for one year in the State of New Jersey.  Registration expires each year on December 31st.  To keep an “active” registration, contractors must renew/reinstate their registration before this date.

The Division mails out renewal reminders during the month of October.  The reminder contains instructions for renewing.  All contractors must complete a reinstatement application, provide proof of general liability insurance and pay the fee in order to renew their registration.

There is a $125 renewal fee.

To get a copy of the reinstatement application and instructions, please visit:

http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/HIC/reinstate.pdf

*The Division began using reinstatement applications for renewal as of Feb, 2010.  

Be sure to fill out the reinstatement application with plenty of time before the registration expires in December.  It takes approximately 3 weeks for the Division to process reinstatement applications.

Table of Fees

FEE WHAT IS IT FOR? WHEN IS IT DUE?
$90 Registration Fee Upon submitting the Home Improvement Contractor Registration Application
$125 Renewal Fee Upon submitting the Reinstatement Application