The U.S. restaurant industry continues to grow each year, meaning that brick and mortar is still big business in the food sector. With this level of expansion, it’s only natural that restaurateurs would seek to save money at every opportunity in order to maximize profits and competitiveness.
But, there’s one place where penny-pinching definitely isn’t a wise business move, and that’s construction. If you’re looking to build a restaurant or refurbish an existing one, getting a fully licensed contractor is definitely worth the money.
In this piece, we’ll detail the reasons why you should be using contractors for your restaurant construction. Then check out the requirements for contractors in states like New York or Maryland for example.
The Reasons To Use Licensed Contractors
For those in Maryland, being fully licensed means that your contractor has taken and passed the Maryland Home Improvement Contractor (MHIC) Exam. This exhaustive examination is usually prepared for through a comprehensive training course.
The MHIC Exam ensures that a contractor is registered properly within the state and that they have the necessary experience to perform construction work on someone else’s property. Hiring someone who has passed the exam means you can be certain that you’re hiring someone with the proper credentials and the proper know-how to take care of your construction job.
Anyone can do construction work on a property, but do you really want just anyone working on your restaurant? After all, it’s your livelihood, a business that you’ve worked hard on and have big plans for, so getting the best help for your refurb or building job is a no-brainer.
With a fully licensed contractor, you can be assured that you’re getting a firm that is reliable, credible and trustworthy.
Approval By the State
After a contractor has passed the MHIC Exam they are required to submit an application to the State of Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Review and approval by the state is a process that normally takes around 8 weeks.
In addition to the application, they are required to submit a credit report and proof of liability insurance. This ensures that the state has done their due diligence on a contractor and that they are fully approved and reliable.
Up-to-Speed and Compliant
Contractors that have been approved by the state will be fully up-to-speed with all the relevant laws required of someone undertaking a construction job. This includes home-improvement laws, labor laws, safety regulations and estimating laws.
With all the existing hoops that you already have to jump through as a restaurateur, the last thing you want to have issues with is the construction team you used. With a contractor, you’ll be certain that you’re getting a professional, with all the know-how and credentials to do your construction job properly.
What Else Does a Professional Contractor Need?
Aside from passing the MHIC Exam and gaining the state’s approval, contractors must meet certain requirements in order to be licensed. However, this can vary by state.
Insurance and Experience
All contractors must have a General Liability Insurance Policy of $50,000. Moreover, they are required to show proof of 2 years of experience in home improvement, construction or renovation.
To ensure the stability and legitimacy of their venture, contractors must prove their financial good standing of an amount depending on the size of the contracts they hope to work on. If they are a corporate entity, they must also submit articles of incorporation alongside their application.
Display Their Number
Finally, once approved, a contractor must always display their license number on all vehicles, cards, and advertisements.