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GUIDANCE FOR VIRGINIA CONTRACTORS HEADING SOUTH OF THE BORDER (TO NORTH CAROLINA)

Are you a Virginia contractor doing business in North Carolina? If so, there are few things you should know about.  Before you even put a bid on a project to be a general contractor, if the project is going to cost $30,000 or more, you need to be a licensed North Carolina contractor.  If you aren’t, you run a very real risk of not getting paid. In North Carolina, the owner would be under no obligation at all to pay you for the work you performed because you are not licensed (different rules apply if you are a subcontractor).  This rule is essentially bullet proof, with no exceptions. 

Whether you are the general contractor or a subcontractor doing work in North Carolina, you better be registered to do business with the Secretary of State of North Carolina.  If not, you are generally prohibited from using the court system (there are exceptions but given how easy it is to register, you should do it).  This could impact your ability to enforce lien rights and ultimately obtain a judgement.  We have even heard of one situation where a contractor and its entire case was dismissed on the eve of trial after incurring tens of thousands of dollars in litigation expenses all because the contractor was not licensed with the Secretary of State.  Depending on the statute of limitations, that may have ended up being a total loss for the contractor.  Bottom line: register your business and get a license. 

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