In the aftermath of hurricanes Laura and Delta, Southwest Louisiana is faced with a widespread reconstruction project the size of which it has not seen in quite a while. While never afraid to roll up the sleeves and get to work, this time the demand for contractors exceeds the local supply. Welcoming help from each other is nothing new for our two great states in times of trouble and once again, many Texas based construction companies have begun or are considering getting involved with Southwest Louisiana’s “renovation.”
The purpose of this piece is to remind all involved that construction law in Louisiana has an important distinction from construction law in Texas. In Texas, a general contractor is not required to have a license to enter a contract for construction or to perform construction activities. With very few exceptions, the opposite is true in Louisiana.
The Louisiana contractors licensing law is found at La. R.S. § 37:2150-2192. In general, it requires all contractors performing commercial projects to be licensed by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. The statute contains different licensure requirements for different types of construction primarily based on value of the project or the relative difficulty involved. For example, a commercial license is required for all commercial projects of $50,000 or more. A residential license is required for all projects exceeding $75,000.
Within these two broad categories, there are certain subgroups that have varying dollar amount thresholds. For example, if your commercial project involves any hazardous materials, a license is required if the project value exceeds $1.00, which is to say, you must be licensed. The same one-dollar threshold is true for mold remediation, which is in particularly high demand following back-to-back hurricanes.
For our friends who are looking for contractors, we encourage you to go to www.lacontractor.org which provides a list of all licensed contractors. Understandably everyone wants to get back on their feet as fast as possible, but it only takes a second to confirm that the business you may be dealing with is in fact licensed in Louisiana.
To our friends in Texas looking to lend a hand to its neighbors to the east, we likewise encourage you to visit www.lacontractor.org to review the requirements, schedule a test, and get licensed before contracting for or performing any construction work in Louisiana.
It is our understanding that the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors has been inundated with applications from Texas based construction firms seeking licensure for some component of the South Louisiana rebuild. We understand that due to COVID-19 restrictions, the normal testing locations cannot accommodate the demand for tests and that alternative sites have been offered at various places throughout the state.
For more information on the Kean Miller Construction Law Team, click here.