NJ Office of the Attorney General Division of Consumer Affairs
25. Does the law apply to out-of-state contractors?
Any contractor who sells or makes improvements to homes or non-commercial properties in New Jersey must register with the Division — regardless of whether the contractor is based in New Jersey or some other state.
26. Are there penalties for not registering?
Any contractor who fails to register as required by the Contractors’ Registration Act but who continues to sell or make home improvements or who violates any other section of the law is subject to civil monetary penalties of up to $10,000 for the first offense and up to $20,000 for each subsequent offense. Also, anyone who knowingly violates the Act is considered guilty of a crime of the fourth degree and faces additional fines as well as possible jail time.
27. I was convicted of a crime in the past. Am I ineligible to become registered?
Not necessarily. No individual will be disqualified from registration or have his or her registration revoked on the basis of any conviction if that person can demonstrate to the Division clear and convincing evidence of that person’s rehabilitation. The Division, in determining whether someone has demonstrated rehabilitation, must consider the following:
the nature and responsibility of the position the convicted individual would hold;
the nature and seriousness of the offense;
the circumstances under which the offense occurred;
the date of the offense;
the age of the individual when the offense was committed;
whether the offense was an isolated or repeated incident;
any social conditions which may have contributed to the offense; and
any evidence of rehabilitation including, among other things, good conduct in prison or in the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received.
What are some other regulatory requirements under the Act?
The Act requires home improvement contractors to:
register annually with the Division;
secure and maintain commercial general liability insurance of at least $500,000 per occurrence, providing for notice to the Division prior to cancellation or non-renewal of the policy;
use written contracts for home improvement jobs that cost more than $500;
inform consumers of their right to cancel contracts within three days of entering into the agreement; and
prominently display their registration numbers within their places of business, in all advertisements, on business cards, on their commercial vehicles and on all business documents, including contracts.
Is there a “cooling off” period for consumers who enter into agreements with contractors?
The Act gives consumers three days to cancel a home improvement contract. The consumer must provide the contractor with a written notice of cancellation within three days of receipt of a copy of the contract. Within 30 days of receiving the written notice of cancellation, the contractor must refund to the consumer any money paid under the contract.
30. Do I have to display my registration number?
Yes. The Act requires contractors to prominently display their registration numbers within their places of business, in all advertisements, on business cards, on their commercial vehicles and on all business documents, including contracts.