Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Massachusetts Contractor HIC Registration Information

Massachusetts CSL holders who perform home improvement may also be required to register as a Home Improvement Contractor (HIC). 

What is a Home Improvement Contractor (HIC)?
A Home Improvement Contractor ("HIC") is defined as any person who owns or operates a contracting business who, through himself or others, undertakes, purports to have the capacity to undertake, offers to undertake, or submits a bid for residential contracting work to an owner, as such work is defined in 780 CMR R6 and Massachusetts General Law chapter 142A (which are the rules and regulations pertaining to the program). All HICs must be registered with OCABR.

You must register if you are an individual, proprietorship, partnership or corporation that solicits, bids on, or performs residential contracting on an already existing one-to-four unit, owner-occupied, residential building, as a contractor or subcontractor, unless you meet one of the exemptions listed here.

What is the difference between a HIC and a CSL Contractor?
A CSL is required for any work that involves a building's structural elements and the holder had to have passed an examination which demonstrates knowledge of the building code. A holder of an HIC registration is not required to pass an examination. The holder is registered with the state and must pay a fee which is deposited in to the Guaranty Fund at the Office of Consumer Affairs. These serve as protections for consumers in the event of a dispute between a homeowner and an HIC.

What is "residential contracting" for purposes of an HIC registration?
For purposes of registration, residential contracting is defined as the reconstruction, alteration, renovation, repair, modernization, conversion, improvement, removal or demolition or the construction of an addition to any pre-existing, owner-occupied building containing at least one but not more than four dwelling units, which is used (or part of it is) or designed to be used as a residence or dwelling unit, or to structures which are adjacent to the residence or building, including but not necessarily limited to: garages, sheds, cabanas, pool houses and gazebos.

Please note that the registration pertains to home improvements to existing structures; program protection does not extend to new construction.

What are the fees needed to apply for a Home Improvement Registration?
The HIC application fee is $100. Further, a contribution to the Guaranty Fund is also required based upon the size of your company as follows:

  • Zero to three (3) employees…………$100.00
  • Four (4) to ten (10) employees………$200.00
  • Eleven (11) to thirty (30) employees $300.00
  • More than thirty (30) employees……$500.00

Please make money order/bank checks only, no cash, payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and mail along with your HIC application. Please note: We do not have walk-service for HIC registrations. Your application will be processed, and if the proper papers are included, your HIC contractor registration will be mailed to the address given.

What documentation is required for HIC Registration?
You must submit documentation evidencing that your business is registered with the Secretary of State's Office or your local City Clerk's Office. Failure to submit this documentation will result in the denial of you registration.

How long does it take to process an HIC registration?
Providing you have provided all the proper papers and the appropriate fees, you should receive your HIC registration within 4 weeks.

Renewal Information:Registration must be renewed every two years. You can find the application form online at:

Requirements after HIC Registration:
  • If you are advertising your services, you need to put your registration number on all of the advertisements-including advertising by way of signs or lettering your car or truck or signs placed on a customer's property, and advertisements placed in newspapers, telephone directories, magazines and websites.
  • You must also put your registration number on all building permits and contracts for home improvement contracting. 
  • If you enter into agreements with owners for work costing more than $1,000, you need to provide the owner with awritten contract. Sample contract available at:

Further Information:

1 comment:

  1. Dear admin,

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