Only One Month Left for Landscapers to Get Grandfathered Into New NC Landscape Contractors’ License

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension
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Raleigh, N.C. – With the deadline only one month away – the new NC Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board (NCLCLB) urges all North Carolina landscape professionals to apply for the new Landscape Contractors’ License before the official grandfathering period ends on August 1, 2015. “We encourage all qualified landscapers to take advantage of the licensing law’s grandfathering period,” said Calvin Kirven, NCLCLB Executive Administrator. “This is an opportunity for landscapers to show consumers that they
are qualified professionals and have the backing to help compensate the customer against losses resulting from the contractor’s failure to meet contract obligations… an important advantage that has never been available before to the consumer.”

The law requires licenses for landscape professionals who perform landscape contract work valued at $30,000 or higher for a single client, in a single year. But the law’s grandfathering period allows any person who, by December 31, 2014, met the criteria as a current Registered Landscape Contractor, a Licensed Irrigation Contractor; a Certified
Turf Professional or an individual who had three years of recognized landscape contracting experience could obtain a license without examination.

Those who qualify under the grandfather provision need to simply submit an application and license fees, and provide a surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit issued by an insured institution to the NCLCLB office.

After the grandfathering period ends, landscape professionals will not only have to complete the application process but also pass the multi-section exam to obtain their license.

“As more businesses, municipalities and consumers become aware of the license, it is likely they will choose Licensed Landscape Contractors over non-licensed, regardless of the cost of the project” said Scott Makey, current NCLCLB Chairman, and owner of Old Mill Stream Nursery & Landscaping, Inc. “Getting a Landscape Contractors’
License now – and maintaining the license with continuing education – keeps landscapers at the top of their field and ready to meet client needs.”

The NC General Assembly voted to create the new license and changed the NC Landscape Contractors’ Registration Board to the Licensing Board on August 1, 2014.
Landscape Contractors’ License
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“The number one reason the license was created was to provide consumer protection,” said Kirven. “The new Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board will have greater authority to help consumers who have legitimate complaints with work performed by Licensed Landscape Contractors that the previous Registration Board simply did not have. In
addition, Licensed Landscape Contractors must now have a specific surety bond that can help compensate the customer against losses resulting from the contractor’s failure to meet contract obligations.”

The new license also allows Licensed Landscape Contractors to install landscape projects greater than $30,000 within the definition of landscape contracting, without the requirement of being a licensed general contractor, and establishes Licensed Landscape Contractors as professionals who are responsible and adhere to high standards.
The statute does provide a number of exemptions relative to licensing. Individuals or a business engaged in lawn mowing, turf edging, debris removal services, turf management or lawn care services only, including fertilization, aeration, weed control, or other turf management or lawn care practices are just a few of the services that are exempt.

After Oregon, North Carolina has the most comprehensive landscape contractors’licensing law in the country.

Detailed information, including license applications; the complete statute; the landscape contractor code of conduct; and a complete list of exemptions may be found on the NC Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board website at

The North Carolina Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board, a state licensing board, was created by the North Carolina General Assembly by statute on August 1, 2014. TheLandscape Contractors’ Licensing Board consists of nine appointed citizens who are responsible for administering Chapter 89D of the General Statutes of North Carolina. That is, to give examinations, issue license certificates, monitor for violations, maintain records of licensees, etc. The Landscape ContractorsLaw, Chapter 89D, is a statute which regulates landscape contracting in North Carolina; thereby safeguarding life, health, and property and maintaining a high professional standard for the landscape industry. ###

Posted on Jul 8, 2015
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