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Trade licenses

Trade workers must carry Philadelphia licenses specific to their work in order to do business in Philadelphia.

Trade license requirements

Some trades have more than one license type depending on experience level and the specific types of work being performed. Contractors working in Philadelphia must follow specific contractor requirements.

Many trades licenses require a Commercial Activity License.

Below are trade licenses available through the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I).

One-or-two-family residences and condos

Under state law, contractors don’t need a Philadelphia trade license for most work on one-or-two-family residences and condominium units. However, contractors must register with the Pennsylvania Attorney General as a Home Improvement Contractor to do this work.

Contractors still need a trade license to do:

  • Plumbing work.
  • Electrical work.
  • Fire suppression work.
  • Construction work on the exterior of condominium units or elsewhere in the building.
Home improvement contractors will require an Excavation Contractor License to perform excavation work under permits submitted on or after January 1, 2023.