Property owners should make sure that contractors have:
- Proper licenses and registrations.
- A good reputation.
- The required permits before starting work.
Contractors are licensed by the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I).
Choosing and working with a contractor
Licenses and registrations
Property owners should make sure that contractors have required licenses or registrations before hiring them.
- Plumbers, electricians, fire suppression contractors, and complete demolition contractors must have a Philadelphia trade license.
- Unless they work only on existing one-or-two-family residences, other contractors who do construction, demolition, and repair work need a contractor license.
- Contractors who only work on existing one-or-two-family dwellings and are not plumbers, electricians, fire suppression workers, or complete demolition contractors must register as Home Improvement Contractors with the PA Attorney General’s Office.
Property owners should ask contractors for references and do additional research. The recommendations from the Attorney General’s Office include:
- Checking contractors’ references.
- Getting more than one bid for the job.
- Checking for complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.
Once you hire a contractor, make sure that they have the required permits from L&I and have posted those permits on your property before they begin work.
Find a licensed contractor
Contractor lookup tool
You can find a licensed contractor using L&I’s online tool. The tool contains a listing of all actively licensed contractors in Philadelphia and any licensing violations they have.
- Find a registered Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor by searching the PA Attorney General’s database or calling 1 (888) 520-6680.
- Look up which contractors have had their licenses revoked or suspended.
Look up a contractor's permits
Permit lookup tool
After you hire a contractor, you can check that they’ve obtained the required permits by using L&I’s permit lookup tool.
- Use the City’s Atlas tool to find information on the permits and violations associated with an address.