How Angie's List verifies trade licenses

How Angie's List verifies trade licenses

In 2009, Angie's List asked all service companies to attest to their compliance with applicable licensing laws governing their trade(s). All companies wishing to advertise with Angie's List are required to attest to their compliance before their ad is published.

Alyssa Chumbley, Angie's List Trade Licensing Coordinator, says her team conducts thorough research when it learns a company may not be in compliance with licensing laws. The team finds these potentially unlicensed contractors through random audits and other reports.

"Our first step is to send them a letter when we suspect they do not hold the required credentials, and give them a deadline to respond," Chumbley says. "They're then given the chance to enter a compliance program, which gives them a finite timeframe to come in line with relevant licensing laws."

Companies that don't respond or fail to complete the compliance plan lose advertising and Super Service Award eligibility.

"Because of the lead time for the publication and the demands of some license applications, it may be a few months before a company is actually gone from the magazine or cleared to continue," Chumbley says. "We suggest that members still check out a company's licensing status themselves before hiring."


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It is important to hire someone with a trade license, because it provides consumer protection benefits. (Photo courtesy of Mark Love)
It is important to hire someone with a trade license, because it provides consumer protection benefits. (Photo courtesy of Mark Love)

A trade license typically means contractors have passed competency tests and provided proof of insurance or bonding, and often both. Even mandated registration, which is typically less stringent than licensing, usually offers at least one or more of these consumer protections.

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