The Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) implements and enforces state law related to home improvement contractors. The MHIC has established a set of requirements for licensing home improvement contractors to ensure that consumers can be assured that their jobs will be completed by competent and qualified individuals and firms.
There are a number of requirements an applicant must satisfy before obtaining a license. To qualify for a license as home improvement contractor in Maryland, they must prove they have at least two years of construction or home improvement experience and/or education. If applying as a corporation, the contractor must submit their Articles of Incorporation and Certificate of Good Standing. Applicants are expected to check with MHIC to ensure a specific trade name is available.
Additionally, the MHIC requires that applicants show financial solvency, based on their net worth, credit rating and size of their business. If financial solvency is not met, MHIC allows a two-year $20,000 surety bond for this requirement. Documentation required includes a copy of the last three months of bank statements, copies of vehicle titles and a printout of the Kelly Blue Book to show value. If real estate is listed as an asset on the financial statements submitted, an appraisal of the property values is required. A current and original credit report less than 90 days old must also accompany a license application.
Third, contractors must submit a certificate of liability insurance for $50,000 or more of general liability insurance that includes the name of the individual applicant and the company name, and designate the Maryland Home Improvement Commission as the certificate holder.
A contractor with any felony convictions or drug offenses committed after January 1, 1991, or any misdemeanors related to home improvement transactions must provide copies of all conviction records, a letter of explanation for each conviction and a letter of completion from the designated parole or probation officer. The MHIC will review this information as part of the application process.
Contractors must also pass the home improvement examination with a passing score of at least 70% to obtain a license. The examination includes questions on home improvement laws, safety regulations, payroll taxes, estimating and applicable Maryland laws. Test results are valid for two years.
A Maryland home improvement contractor license is valid for two years from date of issue.