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Home Improvement Contractor Registration
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Office of Attorney GeneralCompliance: Industry Essential
Home Improvement Contractor Registration


Office of Attorney General


Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) Registration

Anyone who owns or operates a home improvement business or who offers, performs, or agrees to perform home improvements in Pennsylvania must register with the Office of Attorney General unless they fall within two exceptions: small contractors (less than $5,000 of work in a calendar year) and large retailers (net worth or more than $50 million). All contractors, including self-employed contractors and sole proprietorships, subcontractors and independent contractors, and corporations, partnerships and all other types of business entities must be registered, unless they fall into the two exemptions above.

How Law Applies to Landscape Contractors

Landscape contractors whose work is limited solely to services performed under Pennsylvania 's Plant Pest Act do not need to register. The installation and maintenance of plants are not covered by Act 132 if a company possesses a current nursery dealer's certificate from the Pa. Department of Agriculture under the Plant Pest Act. However, landscape contractors who perform other work at private residences including, but not limited to: the placement of retaining walls, fountains or drainage systems, or the construction, replacement, installation or improvement of buildings, driveways, swimming pools, porches, garages, roofs, siding, insulation, solar energy systems, security systems, flooring, patios, non-decorative fences, doors, lighting systems, concrete walkways and windows must register and comply with the act.

Do I Have to Register?

To find out if your company has to register under HIC, just answer the questions below and follow the directions under each question.

1. Do you have a current nursery dealer’s certificate under the Plant Pest Act?

If “no” go to 2.

If “yes” go to 3.

2. Does your company perform any of the home improvement services listed below?

(A) Repair, replacement, remodeling, demolition, removal, renovation, installation, alteration, conversion, modernization, improvement, rehabilitation or sandblasting. 

(B) Construction, replacement, installation or improvement of driveways, swimming pools, pool houses, porches, garages, roofs, siding, insulation, solar energy systems, security systems, flooring, patios, fences, gazebos, sheds, cabanas, painting, doors and windows and waterproofing.

(C) Without regard to affixation, the installation of central heating, air conditioning, storm windows or awnings?


If “no” your company is not covered by Act 132. You do not have to register.

If “yes” go to 4.

3. Does your company perform any of the following home improvement services:

(A) The construction, replacement, installation or improvement of buildings, driveways, swimming pools, porches, garages, roofs, siding, insulation, solar energy systems, security systems, flooring, patios, non-decorative fences, doors, lighting systems, concrete walkways and windows.

(B) The placement of retaining walls, fountains or drainage systems?


If “no” your company is not covered by Act 132. You do not have to register.

If “yes” go to 4.


4. Does the total cash value of the home improvement work (as defined above) your company has performed in past taxable year total $5,000 or more?

If “no” your company does not have to register, but you must abide by the contract provisions of Act 132 for those contracts dealing with services covered by Act 132 that are of more than $500 in value.

If “yes” your company is subject to all provisions of Act 132.

HIC Model Contract for Fixed Price Work

PLNA's legal counsel has developed a model contact for use by PLNA members that complies with HIC requirements. This contract is in a Word format a for your company's use for fixed-price contracts. PLNA members who are signed into the site may download the contract below.

New Rules for Time and Materials Contracts

An amendment passed in 2014 to the HIC law requires that if you are working on a time and materials basis, you must provide an initial cost estimate in writing to the homeowner before any work begins.

The also bill requires that time and materials contracts contain the following language:

(A)  The dollar value of the initial cost estimate for the services to be performed under the time and materials provision.

(B)  That the cost of the services to be performed under the time and materials provision may not exceed 10% above the dollar value indicated in the initial cost estimate.

(C)  The total potential cost of the services to be performed under the time and materials provision, including the initial cost estimate and the 10% referenced in clause (B), expressed in actual dollars.

(D)  A statement that the cost of the services to be performed under the time and materials provision shall not be increased over the initial cost estimate plus a 10% increase without a written change order signed by the owner and contractor.

Update Your Registration

The new 2014 amendment also requires that contractors update their registration information with the attorney general within thirty days if any of it changes.

To Register and for More Information

Follow this link to the Pennsylvania Attorney General's website to register and for more information: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/Registrations/Home_Improvement_Contractor_Registration/ 

 

 

Home Improvement Contract

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This is the model contract for the HIC law for fixed-price work.
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