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Old 05-10-2017, 06:54 PM   #1
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Question Contractor's license

Hi guys!
I'm new in painting business in South Carolina. I need your advice about licensing.

What licenses are required for a commercial painting company in SC (we have about 15 employees)?

As far as I know all we need is:
1. SC contractor's license,
2. Licenses of all counties where we perform work,
3. Licenses of all cities/towns where we perform work.
Am I right?
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:01 PM   #2
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Hi guys!
I'm new in painting business in South Carolina. I need your advice about licensing.

What licenses are required for a commercial painting company in SC (we have about 15 employees)?

As far as I know all we need is:
1. SC contractor's license,
2. Licenses of all counties where we perform work,
3. Licenses of all cities/towns where we perform work.
Am I right?
You need the state license like you said and you have to deal with the whole business license bs everywhere you work.

Berkeley County doesn't require one so as long as the job is in an unincorporated city in Berkeley County you dint have to worry about it. Both Dorchester and Charleston County require business licenses but only if you are working in an unincorporated city.

For example, if you're working in the city of Charleston you don't need to worry about Charleston County.

You have to be careful because the city limits are like Swiss cheese so take note of exactly where the job is and look at the city map. For the most part the business licenses are easy to get you just need to show your contractor license, pay X amount for the first 2k worth of work (normally around $100) then a percent of the rest from there. It's basically a giant pain in the butt because there's a ton of cities/counties to keep track of.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:08 PM   #3
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Thank you for the info!

Could you give me more details about SC contractor's license please? (eg: is it on a person or on a company as a legal entity?)
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:14 PM   #4
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Thank you for the info!

Could you give me more details about SC contractor's license please? (eg: is it on a person or on a company as a legal entity?)
I have a residential specialty license so I can't speak to anything commercial. It is on a person. You're subject to a credit check and criminal background check. You'll need to be bonded for any work over 2k and I think they require you to carry liability.

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Old 05-10-2017, 10:23 PM   #5
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A residential specialty license seems to be designed so persons/individuals (only) who want to perform the services, if I take it right.
But is it the SC contractor's license? Or it's a licence for legal entities (companies)?

What I'm trying to find out is: does a painting contractor (a company) need a licence for a company to be good or the only way for a company to act legally is to hire a person with active a residential specialty license?
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:55 PM   #6
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A residential specialty license seems to be designed so persons/individuals (only) who want to perform the services, if I take it right.
But is it the SC contractor's license? Or it's a licence for legal entities (companies)?

What I'm trying to find out is: does a painting contractor (a company) need a licence for a company to be good or the only way for a company to act legally is to hire a person with active a residential specialty license?
The company does not need a license just a person. I'm incorporated and my license covers the company. The only thing I'm unsure of is whether the license holder has to have an ownership stake in the company or if you could simply hire an employee with a license.



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Old 05-10-2017, 11:42 PM   #7
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Forguve me for speaking about sonething i dont know for sure but... if you have to pay a percentage for everytging over 2k jobs as you have said- i would imagine a owner would have to have the liscwnce to pay the fees appropriately. You wouldnt be paying fees to an employees account.....
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:48 PM   #8
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Forguve me for speaking about sonething i dont know for sure but... if you have to pay a percentage for everytging over 2k jobs as you have said- i would imagine a owner would have to have the liscwnce to pay the fees appropriately. You wouldnt be paying fees to an employees account.....
The two are separate. The contractor license is for the state, the only fee is $100 every other year. The business licenses are with different counties and cities which is obtained by the company not the individual.

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Old 05-11-2017, 07:11 AM   #9
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The company does not need a license just a person. I'm incorporated and my license covers the company. The only thing I'm unsure of is whether the license holder has to have an ownership stake in the company or if you could simply hire an employee with a license.
That's interesting, thank you!

So if an office manager (never painted before) decides to open a painting company, he should create a legal entity, hire painters and... does he really need a personal licence if he is not going to ever paint (only direct his guys)?

I'm asking cause I cannot imagine a big painting contractor (with dozens or even hundreds of painters employed) where the owner has to go and get a personal painting licence..

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Old 05-11-2017, 10:44 AM   #10
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Why would a business owner need to know anything about their business?
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:16 AM   #11
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That's interesting, thank you!

So if an office manager (never painted before) decides to open a painting company, he should create a legal entity, hire painters and... does he really need a personal licence if he is not going to ever paint (only direct his guys)?

I'm asking cause I cannot imagine a big painting contractor (with dozens or even hundreds of painters employed) where the owner has to go and get a personal painting licence..
The person doing the painting doesn't need a license from what I understand just one person within the company does. I'm small and paint myself (just two guys) so I've never had to consider the type of questions you're asking. You should double check me even though I believe what I'm saying to be correct.

There isn't a test to take or anything so someone can obtain one without having ever picked up a brush in your life.
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:18 AM   #12
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I'm curious as to ago is actually running the business. From your other threads, it seems you are shotgunning your way through to a large painting firm without any foundation set up to maintain longevity.
Being in Charleston myself, I know contractors around here are quick to find someone competent to do the job and have all their ducks in a row before accepting and taking bids.

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Old 05-11-2017, 11:24 AM   #13
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I believe the owner or supervisor that is responsible for the job is the one who has to have the license. All others are simply pawns in this great game.
So if you are the owner, and you have teams on different job sites, they have to report to someone that is licensed.
I'm sure that it's different when you reach large scale corporation status as you have different members and boards and all that. But just like Rbriggs82, it's just me and some part timers when I need them.

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