What it Takes to Get Licensed as a Roofing Contractor in New York

how to be a Roofing License NY

Getting a Roofing License in The Empire State

For people who live in states other than New York State, “New York” is synonymous with New York City, yet nowhere in the U.S. is there a state whose biggest city so different than the rest of the territory. The fact is, New York State is a vast region of sparsely populated farmland, small towns, and expansive woodlands. The rules and business regulations that apply to The Big Apple don’t apply to Bemus Point, Brocton, or Busti, NY— towns you may have never heard of but which are far more characteristic of New York State life than Mid-Town Manhattan. Even the Capital of New York, Albany, ranks 33rd on the list of most populated U.S. capitals.

Because of the diverse lifestyles in New York— from crowded urban communities to very rural conditions— roofing contractor licensing is defined by local jurisdictions, not by the State. The only exceptions are contractors operating cranes and asbestos contractors. They must hold a license from the State of NY.

Roofing Contractor Requirements for New York City

NY roof licenses requirements

New York City may not be the state capital, but it certainly is the “capital” of business regulations! There, roofing contractors have to be licensed by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs if the work will exceed $200.

Getting a roofing company license in New York City requires that roofing pros submit the following information:

  • Basic License Application
  • Sales Tax Identification Number OR Application Confirmation Number
  • Proof of Business Address
  • Proof of Home Address
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Insurance Information
  • Proof of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification relating to safe lead practices AND/OR Signed Affirmation
  • DCWP Trust Fund Enrollment ($200 fee) OR Copy of $20,000 Surety Bond (or Third Party Bond), properly signed
  • Contractual compliance agreement
  • Home Improvement exam and $50 exam fee
  • Fingerprints and processing fee
  • Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (if applicable)
  • License Fee

For the details on each one of these requirements for a Home Improvement Contractor license for New York City, click here.

Again, in New York State, each county or municipality may require something different in order to operate as a roofing contractor. Fortunately, it’s really not that hard to get a license to be a roofing pro in most areas. While it’s not a “free-for-all,” the intent of any local rules and regulations on home improvement contractors is to protect the property owner as well as the contractor.

From East to West, New York State Roofer Requirements Vary

In comparison to New York City, another sizeable municipality in New York State, Buffalo, NY, is less restrictive when it comes to requirements of a home improvement contractor’s license. Nevertheless, contractors better comply because conducting a roofing business or doing construction work in Buffalo without a license is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine or penalty. Following is a short-list of the general requirements. Contractors aiming to pursue a license in Buffalo to conduct a roofing business should start here.

  • Copy of drivers license
  • Proof of business name
  • General liability insurance certificate
  • Proof of workers’ compensation insurance for companies with employees
  • City of Buffalo residential home improvement contract
  • Letters of reference
Roofing License requirement NY
A scenic shot of Niagara falls from the New York side.

From New York’s southeast corner where New York City sits, to Buffalo in the far western part of the state, how do roofing contractor requirements vary from the mid-section of New York, for example, Oneida County?

In Oneida County, NY where the City of Utica is located, and similar areas far from the hustle, bustle…and restrictions of The Big Apple, contractors need to contact their local licensing and permit offices to see what it takes to operate as a roofing specialist.

Again, there are no special license requirements by the State of New York for performing roofing jobs, but at the local level, there may or may not be requirements. The local government websites are a good place to start researching what, if any, requirements there are for roofers. As can be expected, not all the websites in rural NY counties have useful and detailed information online. Due to limited resources, many jurisdictions don’t have comprehensive and up-to-date content on their websites. But, in the case of Oneida County’s website, which lacks information specific to roofers, there’s a reason why… Besides a general business license, Oneida County, the City of Utica, and other locales in that area do not require a roofer to hold special licensing requirements.

How Roofing Contractor Associations Fill in the Licensing “Gap”

New York Roof License

In many areas where requirements are few or nonexistent when it comes to roofing, regional roofing contractor associations pick up the slack by offering training and certification. Not only is this a great educational opportunity in understanding how to build and install a proper roof system, but having an industry certification can be a powerful marketing benefit to contractors.

Almost all the leading manufacturers also provided training and certification programs. Property owners in New York can turn to multiple sources to find out if a contractor is listed, recommended, and certified.

The New York State Roofers and Sheet Metal Contractors Association maintains a look-up feature on their website to help homeowners and building owners and managers find “the right contractor for the job.”

Roofing Software Helps New York Roofing Contractors Bid More and Close More Jobs

You may not need a roofing license in most New York State municipalities, but having a training certificate from a roofing manufacturer like Owens Corning, IKO, CertainTeed, etc. goes a long way in differentiating your business from other contractors. Another great tool to set you apart from less-qualified roofing contractors in New York, and more importantly, a tool that can greatly improve your business efficiency, is a top-notch software solution.

iRoofing, the first and most full-featured DIY app for roofers, has been impressing contractors and their clients for a decade! The portable app harnesses the satellite and aerial imagery needed to conveniently create DIY roof takeoffs and instantly turn them into estimates. It’s the “Hi-Tech Contractor™” tool that helps NY State roofing pros bid more and close more jobs!

The Roofing App That’s Taking Over New York

  • iRoofing helps New York roofing contractors bid more and close more jobs! 
  • The app harnesses the satellite and HD aerial imagery needed to conveniently create DIY roof takeoffs
  • Integrates with drones to capture, store, and measure from property images
  • Instantly turns roof measurements into accurate estimates
  • Contains the industries most extensive catalog of roofing products
  • Creates realistic, new roof simulations using images of almost any New York roof 
  • Features an easy CRM to keep up with client appointments 
  • Stores all measurements, documents, and images within client profiles
  • The cost of the software is one flat monthly fee, good for 3 users!
  • Works on iPhones, iPads, Android phones, or tables, plus lets you measure from a laptop or desktop

iRoofing lets New York State roofing contractors perform an unlimited number of roof measurements, estimates, and realistic new roof simulations… all at a flat monthly fee applicable to 3 users, not just one! Every tool in the app, including its easy CRM, extensive roofing products catalog, and dynamic digital sales presentation feature, can be used on an iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or tablet.  The roof measurement feature can also be accessed by iRoofing subscribers online, from a connected laptop or desktop.

With roofing software, New York roofers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to beating the competition to the draw, looking exceedingly professional, and keeping property owners happy and impressed!

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