Contractors, Hiring.  License Required.  Utah Code Sections 58-55-305 and 501.

An HOA can only hire a licensed contractor for any construction work, with a couple of exceptions.

Utah Code § 58-55-501 provides that it is illegal to hire a person who is not licensed to perform construction work on a project, unless the person is not required to be licensed ("construction work" is engaging in acts or practices included within the practice of construction trades). 

Utah Code § 58-55-305 provides that a license is required for all construction work, with a couple of exceptions:

  • Projects costing under $3,000 total in labor and goods (but if over $1,000, the person must report to Division and have liability insurance, and workers comp if have an employee), except the following must be done by a licensed professional:
    • Plumbing, electrical, gas appliance or combustion system (except delivery person of a replacement gas appliance if a shutoff valve is present at appliance), water-based fire protection system, alarm, HVAC system, radon mitigation system.
  • A sole owner of property who builds one residential structure per year and up to three per five years on their property for their own noncommercial, nonpublic use.

Utah Code
Title 58 - Occupations and Professions
Chapter 55 - Utah Construction Trades Licensing Act
Part 3 - Licensing
Section 305 - Exemptions from licensure

(1) In addition to the exemptions from licensure in Section 58-1-307, the following persons may engage in acts or practices included within the practice of construction trades, subject to the stated circumstances and limitations, without being licensed under this chapter:
      (a) an authorized representative of the United States government or an authorized employee of the state or any of its political subdivisions when working on construction work of the state or the subdivision, and when acting within the terms of the person's trust, office, or employment;
      (b) a person engaged in construction or operation incidental to the construction and repair of irrigation and drainage ditches of regularly constituted irrigation districts, reclamation districts, and drainage districts or construction and repair relating to farming, dairying, agriculture, livestock or poultry raising, metal and coal mining, quarries, sand and gravel excavations, well drilling, as defined in Section 73-3-25, hauling to and from construction sites, and lumbering;
      (c) public utilities operating under the rules of the Public Service Commission on work incidental to their own business;
      (d) sole owners of property engaged in building:
            (i) no more than one residential structure per year and no more than three residential structures per five years on their property for their own noncommercial, nonpublic use; except, a person other than the property owner or individuals described in Subsection (1)(e), who engages in building the structure must be licensed under this chapter if the person is otherwise required to be licensed under this chapter; or
            (ii) structures on their property for their own noncommercial, nonpublic use which are incidental to a residential structure on the property, including sheds, carports, or detached garages;
      (e)(i) a person engaged in construction or renovation of a residential building for noncommercial, nonpublic use if that person:
                  (A) works without compensation other than token compensation that is not considered salary or wages; and   
                  (B) works under the direction of the property owner who engages in building the structure; and
            (ii) as used in this Subsection (1)(e), "token compensation" means compensation paid by a sole owner of property exempted from licensure under Subsection (1)(d) to a person exempted from licensure under this Subsection (1)(e), that is:
                  (A) minimal in value when compared with the fair market value of the services provided by the person;
                  (B) not related to the fair market value of the services provided by the person; and
                  (C) is incidental to the providing of services by the person including paying for or providing meals or refreshment while services are being provided, or paying reasonable transportation costs incurred by the person in travel to the site of construction;
      (f) a person engaged in the sale or merchandising of personal property that by its design or manufacture may be attached, installed, or otherwise affixed to real property who has contracted with a person, firm, or corporation licensed under this chapter to install, affix, or attach that property;
       (g) a contractor submitting a bid on a federal aid highway project, if, before undertaking construction under that bid, the contractor is licensed under this chapter;
      (h)(i) subject to Subsection 58-1-401(2) and Sections 58-55-501 and 58-55-502, a person engaged in the alteration, repair, remodeling, or addition to or improvement of a building with a contracted or agreed value of less than $3,000, including both labor and materials, and including all changes or additions to the contracted or agreed upon work; and
            (ii) notwithstanding Subsection (1)(h)(i) and except as otherwise provided in this section:
                  (A) work in the plumbing and electrical trades on a Subsection (1)(h)(i) project within any six month period of time:
                        (I) must be performed by a licensed electrical or plumbing contractor, if the project involves an electrical or plumbing system; and
                        (II) may be performed by a licensed journeyman electrician or plumber or an individual referred to in Subsection (1)(h)(ii)(A)(I), if the project involves a component of the system such as a faucet, toilet, fixture, device, outlet, or electrical switch;
                  (B) installation, repair, or replacement of a residential or commercial gas appliance or a combustion system on a Subsection (1)(h)(i) project must be performed by a person who has received certification under Subsection 58-55-308(2) except as otherwise provided in Subsection 58-55-308(2)(d) or 58-55-308(3);
                  (C) installation, repair, or replacement of water-based fire protection systems on a Subsection (1)(h)(i) project must be performed by a licensed fire suppression systems contractor or a licensed journeyman plumber;
                  (D) work as an alarm business or company or as an alarm company agent shall be performed by a licensed alarm business or company or a licensed alarm company agent, except as otherwise provided in this chapter;
                  (E) installation, repair, or replacement of an alarm system on a Subsection (1)(h)(i) project must be performed by a licensed alarm business or company or a licensed alarm company agent;
                  (F) installation, repair, or replacement of a heating, ventilation, or air conditioning system (HVAC) on a Subsection (1)(h)(i) project must be performed by an HVAC contractor licensed by the division;
                  (G) installation, repair, or replacement of a radon mitigation system or a soil depressurization system must be performed by a licensed contractor; and
                  (H) if the total value of the project is greater than $1,000, the person shall file with the division a one-time affirmation, subject to periodic reaffirmation as established by division rule, that the person has:
                        (I) public liability insurance in coverage amounts and form established by division rule; and
                        (II) if applicable, workers compensation insurance which would cover an employee of the person if that employee worked on the construction project;
      (i) a person practicing a specialty contractor classification or construction trade which the director does not classify by administrative rule as significantly impacting the public's health, safety, and welfare;
      (j) owners and lessees of property and persons regularly employed for wages by owners or lessees of property or their agents for the purpose of maintaining the property, are exempt from this chapter when doing work upon the property;
      (k)(i) a person engaged in minor plumbing work that is incidental, as defined by the division by rule, to the replacement or repair of a fixture or an appliance in a residential or small commercial building, or structure used for agricultural use, as defined in Section 15A-1-202, provided that no modification is made to:
                  (A) existing culinary water, soil, waste, or vent piping; or
                  (B) a gas appliance or combustion system; and
            (ii) except as provided in Subsection (1)(e), installation for the first time of a fixture or an appliance is not included in the exemption provided under Subsection (1)(k)(i);
      (l) a person who ordinarily would be subject to the plumber licensure requirements under this chapter when installing or repairing a water conditioner or other water treatment apparatus if the conditioner or apparatus:
            (i) meets the appropriate state construction codes or local plumbing standards; and
            (ii) is installed or repaired under the direction of a person authorized to do the work under an appropriate specialty contractor license;
      (m) a person who ordinarily would be subject to the electrician licensure requirements under this chapter when employed by:
            (i) railroad corporations, telephone corporations or their corporate affiliates, elevator contractors or constructors, or street railway systems; or
            (ii) public service corporations, rural electrification associations, or municipal utilities who generate, distribute, or sell electrical energy for light, heat, or power;
      (n) a person involved in minor electrical work incidental to a mechanical or service installation, including the outdoor installation of an above-ground, prebuilt hot tub;
      (o) a person who ordinarily would be subject to the electrician licensure requirements under this chapter but who during calendar years 2009, 2010, or 2011 was issued a specialty contractor license for the electrical work associated with the installation, repair, or maintenance of solar energy panels, may continue the limited electrical work for solar energy panels under a specialty contractor license;
      (p) a student participating in construction trade education and training programs approved by the commission with the concurrence of the director under the condition that:
            (i) all work intended as a part of a finished product on which there would normally be an inspection by a building inspector is, in fact, inspected and found acceptable by a licensed building inspector; and
            (ii) a licensed contractor obtains the necessary building permits;
      (q) a delivery person when replacing any of the following existing equipment with a new gas appliance, provided there is an existing gas shutoff valve at the appliance:
            (i) gas range;
            (ii) gas dryer;
            (iii) outdoor gas barbeque; or
            (iv) outdoor gas patio heater;
      (r) a person performing maintenance on an elevator as defined in Subsection 58-55-102(14), if the maintenance is not related to the operating integrity of the elevator; and
      (s) an apprentice or helper of an elevator mechanic licensed under this chapter when working under the general direction of the licensed elevator mechanic.

(2) A compliance agency as defined in Section 15A-1-202 that issues a building permit to a person requesting a permit as a sole owner of property referred to in Subsection (1)(d) shall notify the division, in writing or through electronic transmission, of the issuance of the permit. 


Amended by Chapter 318, 2018 General Session

Utah Code
Title 58 - Occupations and Professions
Chapter 55 - Utah Construction Trades Licensing Act
Part 5 - Unlawful and Unprofessional Conduct - Penalties
Section 501 - Unlawful conduct

Unlawful conduct includes:

(1) engaging in a construction trade, acting as a contractor, an alarm business or company, or an alarm company agent, or representing oneself to be engaged in a construction trade or to be acting as a contractor in a construction trade requiring licensure, unless the person doing any of these is appropriately licensed or exempted from licensure under this chapter;

(2) acting in a construction trade, as an alarm business or company, or as an alarm company agent beyond the scope of the license held;

(3) hiring or employing a person who is not licensed under this chapter to perform work on a project, unless the person:
      (a) is an employee of a person licensed under this chapter for wages; and
      (b) is not required to be licensed under this chapter;

(4) applying for or obtaining a building permit either for oneself or another when not licensed or exempted from licensure as a contractor under this chapter;

(5) issuing a building permit to any person for whom there is no evidence of a current license or exemption from licensure as a contractorunder this chapter;

(6) applying for or obtaining a building permit for the benefit of or on behalf of any other person who is required to be licensed under this chapter but who is not licensed or is otherwise not entitled to obtain or receive the benefit of the building permit;

(7) failing to obtain a building permit when required by law or rule;

(8) submitting a bid for any work for which a license is required under this chapter by a person not licensed or exempted from licensure as a contractor under this chapter;

(9) willfully or deliberately misrepresenting or omitting a material fact in connection with an application to obtain or renew a license under this chapter;

(10) allowing one's license to be used by another except as provided by statute or rule;

(11) doing business under a name other than the name appearing on the license, except as permitted by statute or rule;

(12) if licensed as a contractor in the electrical trade or plumbing trade, journeyman plumber, residential journeyman plumber, journeyman electrician, master electrician, or residential electrician, failing to directly supervise an apprentice under one's supervision or exceeding the number of apprentices one is allowed to have under the contractor's supervision;

(13) if licensed as a contractor or representing oneself to be a contractor, receiving any funds in payment for a specific project from an owner or any other person, which funds are to pay for work performed or materials and services furnished for that specific project, and after receiving the funds to exercise unauthorized control over the funds by failing to pay the full amounts due and payable to persons who performed work or furnished materials or services within a reasonable period of time;

(14) employing an unlicensed alarm business or company or an unlicensed individual as an alarm company agent, except as permitted under the exemption from licensure provisions under Section 58-1-307;

(15) if licensed as an alarm company or alarm company agent, filing with the division fingerprint cards for an applicant which are not those of the applicant, or are in any other way false or fraudulent and intended to mislead the division in its consideration of the applicant for licensure;

(16) if licensed under this chapter, willfully or deliberately disregarding or violating:
      (a) the building or construction laws of this state or any political subdivision;
      (b) the safety and labor laws applicable to a project;
      (c) any provision of the health laws applicable to a project;
      (d) the workers' compensation insurance laws of the state applicable to a project;
      (e) the laws governing withholdings for employee state and federal income taxes, unemployment taxes, Social Security payroll taxes, or other required withholdings; or
      (f) reporting, notification, and filing laws of this state or the federal government;

(17) aiding or abetting any person in evading the provisions of this chapter or rules established under the authority of the division to govern this chapter;

(18) engaging in the construction trade or as a contractor for the construction of residences of up to two units when not currently registered or exempt from registration as a qualified beneficiary under Title 38, Chapter 11, Residence Lien Restriction and Lien Recovery Fund Act;

(19) failing, as an original contractor, as defined in Section 38-11-102, to include in a written contract the notification required in Section 38-11-108;

(20) wrongfully filing a preconstruction or construction lien in violation of Section 38-1a-308;

(21) if licensed as a contractor, not completing the approved continuing education required under Section 58-55-302.5;

(22) an alarm company allowing an employee with a temporary license under Section 58-55-312 to engage in conduct on behalf of the company outside the scope of the temporary license, as provided in Subsection 58-55-312(3)(a)(ii);

(23) an alarm company agent under a temporary license under Section 58-55-312 engaging in conduct outside the scope of the temporary license, as provided in Subsection 58-55-312(3)(a)(ii);

(24)(a) an unincorporated entity licensed under this chapter having an individual who owns an interest in the unincorporated entity engage in a construction trade in Utah while not lawfully present in the United States; or
      (b) an unincorporated entity providing labor to an entity licensed under this chapter by providing an individual who owns an interest in the unincorporated entity to engage in a construction trade in Utah while not lawfully present in the United States;

(25) an unincorporated entity failing to provide the following for an individual who engages, or will engage, in a construction trade in Utah for the unincorporated entity, or for an individual who engages, or will engage, in a construction trade in Utah for a separate entity for which the unincorporated entity provides the individual as labor:
      (a) workers' compensation coverage:
            (i) to the extent required by Title 34A, Chapter 2, Workers' Compensation Act, and Title 34A, Chapter 3, Utah Occupational Disease Act; or
            (ii) that would be required under the chapters listed in Subsection (25)(a)(i) if the unincorporated entity were licensed under this chapter; and
      (b) unemployment compensation in accordance with Title 35A, Chapter 4, Employment Security Act, for an individual who owns, directly or indirectly, less than an 8% interest in the unincorporated entity, as defined by rule made by the division in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act;

(26) the failure of a sign installation contractor or nonelectrical outdoor advertising sign contractor, as classified and defined in division rules, to:
      (a) display the contractor's license number prominently on a vehicle that:
            (i) the contractor uses; and
            (ii) displays the contractor's business name; or
      (b) carry a copy of the contractor's license in any other vehicle that the contractor uses at a job site, whether or not the vehicle is owned by the contractor;

(27)(a) an unincorporated entity licensed under this chapter having an individual who owns an interest in the unincorporated entity engage in a construction trade in the state while the individual is using a Social Security number that does not belong to that individual; or
      (b) an unincorporated entity providing labor to an entity licensed under this chapter by providing an individual, who owns an interest in the unincorporated entity, to engage in a construction trade in the state while the individual is using a Social Security number that does not belong to that individual;

(28) a contractor failing to comply with a requirement imposed by a political subdivision, state agency, or board of education under Section 58-55-310; or

(29) failing to timely comply with the requirements described in Section 58-55-605.


Amended by Chapter 318, 2018 General Session


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