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Thread: A question for seasoned contractors about business practices

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    A question for seasoned contractors about business practices

    Good Afternoon,
    I have been working as an electrician since the late 90s. I just started my own business in April and am still really trying to figure out the ins and outs of everything. Today I met with a fellow electrical contractor who has a commercial fit out he's working on, and apparently a lot of other work and prospective work. I was very excited to talk to him about sub contracting and then he asked if we could use my license for this project we were looking at, and I get the impression he may want to use it in the future. (I hold a master license, his is limited). I'm really just fishing for info. Should I be leery? Is this common practice? If so, what is the standard fee for the license holder? What kind of written agreement if any would I need signed. I would really like to form a partnership, but at the same time if I am ultimately assuming liability I don't want to get screwed or undercut. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks, DWB

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    Go talk to a lawyer.
    Never believe anyone who dangles a future job, if only you on this one...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sameguy View Post
    ....
    Never believe anyone who dangles a future job, ..
    x2

    I even quit taking IOUs from my spouse some years ago.
    Tom
    TBLO

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    "and then he asked if we could use my license for this project we were looking at,"

    Danger! Will Robinson, danger!
    Do not let him use your license.....
    Sometimes I don't know whether I'm the boxer or the bag.

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    Thanks for the responses. This is my gut instinct, as well. To dig a little deeper on the subject can anyone tell me when an agreement between a license holder and the one finding the work/ purchasing the parts becomes appropriate? I don't doubt this fellows intent but I am trying to figure the difference between getting stuck in a jackpot and common business practices. I've known quite a few folks who have held licenses for companies for the purpose of a single project.

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    It is my understanding that it's common for a licensed contractor to employ a master electrician, but no, don't use your contractor's license for his business.

    I think he should be your employee,
    Code references based on 2005 NEC
    Larry B. Fine
    Master Electrician
    Electrical Contractor
    Richmond, VA

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    Quote Originally Posted by DWB View Post
    Thanks for the responses. This is my gut instinct, as well. To dig a little deeper on the subject can anyone tell me when an agreement between a license holder and the one finding the work/ purchasing the parts becomes appropriate? I don't doubt this fellows intent but I am trying to figure the difference between getting stuck in a jackpot and common business practices. I've known quite a few folks who have held licenses for companies for the purpose of a single project.
    The better part of being a contractor is cultivating that 'little voice'

    Myself, i'd be contracting as a sub for ONE job , forward insurance vouchers , pulling the permit, and making the call as to just HOW it all gets built.

    Anything short of that would not grant my license on any job

    ~RJ~

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    If what interests you about this is volume of work,

    Go to work for him fulltime
    Dave Ruth
    Ready Electric

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    The ole “ive got plenty of work”. Card

    I’ve got plenty of work. cut me a deal on this job?
    I’ve got plenty of work. Can I use your license for some jobs?
    I’ve got plenty of work. Can you fill out an invoice so I can turn it into the insurance company to make more money on the insurance claim? Don’t need to do anything because we did the work already. This happened to me several years ago. I no longer do work for this criminal.

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    Here’s my 2 cents worth oh this topic. If you’re just going to allow someone to “use” your license to do an electrical job that ‘s generally never a good idea. Something’s bound to come back and bite you. Generally speaking, electricians are usually better at being electricians than they are at being businessmen\women. However, if you have good business sense and a good sales and administrative background, a business partnership with a fellow electrician who can handle the mechanical end could prove to be lucrative. Having said that, should you decide to go that route, heed what has already been mentioned and get a lawyer to write up a solid agreement between both of you.

    I’m not sure what the laws are like in DE but here in NJ an electrician can only do business as one entity. For instance, Joe Smith can do business as (DBA) “Joe Smith’s Electric” but he cannot also DBA as “Joe’s Electric” or “Smith’s Electric” as I understand it. Check with your State. Good luck.

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