Suffolk County, NY
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The County Legislature hereby finds and determines that the health, safety and general welfare of the consumers of Suffolk County will be enhanced if provision is made for the licensing of persons engaged in the occupations regulated by this chapter.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUSINESS
Includes occupation, profession, trade, craft or any other calling for hire.
COMISSIONER or DIRECTOR
The Commissioner of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003; 4-25-2017 by L.L. No. 12-2017]
CONSUMER
An individual who buys or leases or agrees to buy or lease consumer goods or services or credit, including a co-guarantor or surety.
[Added 3-6-2007 by L.L. No. 6-2007]
CONSUMER GOODS, SERVICES, CREDIT AND DEBTS
Those which are primarily for personal, household or family purposes.
[Added 3-6-2007 by L.L. No. 6-2007]
CONTRACT
An oral or written agreement contained in one or more documents for the performance of work and includes all labor, goods and services.
DECEPTIVE TRADE PRACTICES
Any false, falsely disparaging or misleading oral or written statement, visual description, or other representation of any kind, which has the capacity, tendency or effect of deceiving or misleading consumers or the consuming public and is made in connection with a contract, preparation of or performance of a work estimate or invoice, in the extension of consumer credit, or in the collection of consumer debts. Deceptive trade practices include but are not limited to:
[Added 3-6-2007 by L.L. No. 6-2007]
A. 
Representations that:
(1) 
Goods or services have sponsorship, approval, accessories, characteristics, uses, benefits, or quantities that they do not have.
(2) 
The seller has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation, or connection that he/she does not have.
(3) 
Goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, or secondhand.
(4) 
Goods or services are of a particular standard, quality, grade, style, or model, if they are of another.
B. 
The use, in any oral or written representation, of exaggeration, innuendo or ambiguity as to a material fact.
C. 
Failure to state a material fact if such failure deceived or tends to deceive.
D. 
Disparaging the goods, services or business of another by false or misleading representations of material facts.
E. 
Offering goods or services without intent to sell them.
F. 
Offering goods or services without intent to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the offer disclosed the limitation.
G. 
Making false or misleading representations of fact concerning the reason for, existence of or amounts of price reductions, or the price in comparison to prices of competitors or one's own price at a past or future time.
H. 
Falsely stating that a consumer transaction involves consumer rights, remedies or obligations.
I. 
Falsely stating that services, replacements or repairs are needed.
J. 
Falsely stating the reasons for offering or supplying goods or services at sale or discount prices.
K. 
The failure by any person engaged in the delivery, pickup, inspection or repair of consumer goods and/or services in the home to keep an appointment to perform the delivery of consumer goods and/or services on the day agreed upon with the consumer unless the consumer has received written or verbal notice of delay or cancellation before the end of the preceding business day. This provision shall not apply to the sale or delivery of utility services, home improvement contractors working under a contract, requests by consumers for same-day emergency service, cancellations of appointments by the consumer, delays caused by the consumer or failures to keep an appointment caused by strike or natural disaster. If unexpected circumstances, such as a mechanical breakdown, preclude notification by the end of the preceding business day, then no violation shall occur if actual notice is given to the consumer as soon as practicably possible.
DEPARTMENT or OFFICE
The Department of Labor, Licensing and Consumer Affairs.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003; 3-23-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010; 4-25-2017 by L.L. No. 12-2017]
ENGAGES
The undertaking, offering to undertake, solicitation or agreement to perform a contract.
LICENSEE
A person permitted to engage in a business licensed pursuant to the provisions of the appropriate article of this chapter.
PERSON
Includes the definition contained in § 37 of the General Construction Law of the State of New York, as well as an individual, partnership or other entity.
TEMPORARY LICENSE
A license issued to a person for a period of time to perform work in accordance with the conditions as specified by the Director, provided that the holder thereof pays the required license fee.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
UNCONSCIONABLE TRADE PRACTICE
Any act or practice which unfairly takes advantage of the lack of knowledge, ability, experience, or capacity of the consumer or which results in a gross disparity between the value received by a consumer and the price paid by the consumer. "Unconscionable trade practice" shall include any acts or practices which unfairly take advantage of a sudden disaster, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, blizzards, explosions, airplane crashes, earthquakes, nuclear war, radiological emergencies, war, civil unrest or disobedience or acts of God and comparable acts which result in gross disparity between the value received by a consumer and the price ordinarily paid by the consumer in the absence of one of these above occurrences. The existence of such a disaster shall be established, for the purposes of this chapter, by a written declaration by either the County Executive or a majority of the entire membership of the County Legislature. The Director shall initiate investigation of such unconscionable trade practices immediately after any one of the natural disasters or other acts of God described above.
[Added 3-6-2007 by L.L. No. 6-2007]
A. 
It is unlawful for any person, other than those exempt under the provisions of § 563-4, to engage in any business in the County regulated by this chapter without obtaining a license therefor from the Office in accordance with and subject to the provisions of this chapter.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
B. 
A license issued pursuant to this chapter may not be construed to authorize the licensee to perform any work or engage in any business which is reserved to qualified licensees under separate provisions of state or local law or subsequent articles of this chapter.
[Amended 3-23-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
The following are exempt employees or operations:
A. 
Employees of any federal, state or local government, or any agencies thereof, or of a state or local authority, as that term is defined in § 2 of the New York Public Authorities Law, provided that such employees are performing the work on behalf of a government entity or public authority. This exemption shall not apply to any work performed by a person, as that term is defined in this article, who is not an employee of any federal, state or local government or any agencies thereof or of a public authority even if such work is performed on behalf of or pursuant to an agreement with a governmental entity or public authority.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. IV).
B. 
Employees of and on behalf of any gas or electric corporation, waterworks corporation or telegraph and telephone corporation, provided that such employees are performing the work on behalf of a gas or electric corporation, waterworks corporation or telegraph and telephone corporation. This exemption shall not apply to any work performed by a person, as that term is defined in this article, who is not an employee of a gas or electric corporation, waterworks corporation or telegraph or telephone corporation, even if such work is performed on behalf of or pursuant to an agreement with a gas or electric corporation, waterworks corporation or telegraph and telephone corporation.
C. 
Maintenance work by bona fide employees in an industrial, commercial, institutional or other such establishment within the building or property limits of the employer unless provided otherwise pursuant to this chapter or regulations promulgated hereunder.
A. 
All applications for licenses shall be submitted in writing on forms furnished by the Office and shall be accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee in the amount set forth in the appropriate article of this chapter.
[Amended 6-21-1994 by L.L. No. 13-1994]
B. 
The license application shall be filed by an actual owner or partner of a business and shall be signed under oath. Where a corporation is an applicant or a participant in an application, the application shall be signed under oath by an officer of such corporation.
C. 
All applications shall include the residence address of the individual who subscribes his name to the application.
D. 
The Director may require the names and residence addresses of any employees or officers of the applicant, in addition to any other information which he may deem advisable and proper.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
E. 
Except as otherwise provided in this article, an individual applicant must be at least 18 years of age, of good character and financially responsible. A licensee must maintain good character standing and maintain financial responsibility during the term of the licensee's license(s) and/or certificate(s).
[Amended 3-23-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
F. 
The Director shall investigate such applicant as to good character before he shall issue the applicant a license.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
G. 
Applicants shall meet such further qualifications as may be prescribed by this article and any other appropriate article of this chapter.
H. 
The Office shall issue a license or temporary license to each applicant who has submitted satisfactory evidence of his qualifications and who has complied with all of the requirements of this article and any other appropriate article of this chapter.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
I. 
No applicant for a license or license renewal shall have any outstanding judgment for child support against him or her, or be in arrears in child-support payments as determined by official court records or official government records, at the time an application is filed for such license or license renewal. If an applicant has such a judgment against him or her, or is in such arrears, but is current in payments on a judicially approved, or Child Support Enforcement Bureau sanctioned, payment schedule to pay off or reduce such judgment or arrears, then such individual shall not be deemed ineligible for a license or license renewal on the grounds of such judgment or arrears. At least 30 days prior to the expiration of a license, the Office shall send a written notice to a licensee informing said licensee of his or her obligation to comply with the provisions of this section pertaining to compliance with child-support obligations. If necessary, a second written notice shall be sent by the Office to a licensee 60 days after the license has lapsed, informing said licensee of his or her obligation to comply with the provisions of this section pertaining to compliance with the child-support obligations. In addition, the County Department of Social Services, through its Child Support Enforcement Bureau, shall notify all current noncustodial parents of the obligations contained herein.
[Added 6-21-1994 by L.L. No. 13-1994; amended 6-6-2000 by L.L. No. 11-2000]
J. 
All license applications or renewals shall include a Federal Tax Identification Number or New York State Sales Tax Identification Number, as applicable. If such information is not provided, a license will not be issued.
[Added 9-8-1995 by L.L. No. 31-1995]
K. 
All license applications shall include a representation by the applicant that he or she is in compliance with 8 U.S.C. § 1324a, with respect to the hiring of employees. If such representation is not made, a license shall not be issued. An applicant shall be obligated to continue to comply with the requirements of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a during the term of his or her license, and his or her failure to so comply, as determined by the Director after an investigation by the Suffolk County Department of Labor or based upon a finding of a federal court, agency or administrative law judge under the procedures set forth in 8 U.S.C. § 1324a, shall constitute grounds for the imposition of a fine or the suspension or revocation of a license or the denial of an application for the renewal of a license, in accordance with the applicable provisions of this chapter.
[Added 5-13-2008 by L.L. No. 16-2008]
L. 
All applications shall include a representation by the applicant that he or she is making all required payroll tax payments for his or her employees, including Social Security taxes, Medicare taxes, and state and federal unemployment taxes. If such representation is not made, a license will not be issued. The applicant's failure to make required payroll tax payments during the term of his or her license, as determined by the Director after an investigation by the Suffolk County Department of Labor or based upon a finding of a federal or state court, administrative law judge, hearing officer, or agency of competent jurisdiction, shall constitute grounds for the imposition of a fine or the suspension or revocation of a license or the denial of an application for the renewal of a license, in accordance with the applicable provisions of this chapter.
[Added 5-13-2008 by L.L. No. 16-2008]
[Amended 12-22-1987 by L.L. No. 1-1988; 6-6-1989 by L.L. No. 19-1989; 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
A. 
All licenses, except temporary licenses, shall be for a period of two years from the date of issuance thereof at the discretion of the Office and shall expire on the last day of the 24th month of such issuance. Subsequent renewals shall be for periods of two years.
B. 
No license issued hereunder shall be assignable or transferable.
C. 
Failure to make application and pay the required fee for a license renewal prior to the expiration date of said license shall render the license null and void on the expiration date. Compliance with the provisions of this section shall entitle the licensee to the renewal of his license, provided that such license has not been suspended or revoked by the Director prior to the expiration date.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. IV).
D. 
If an individual licensee enters the Armed Forces of the United States, his license shall continue in force after the date of his entrance into the Armed Forces until six months after the date of termination of his first enlistment. If such licensee does not apply for renewal within this period, his license shall terminate without any notice or action by the Office.
E. 
The death of an individual who holds a valid license issued pursuant to this chapter shall terminate such license.
F. 
A license issued in the name of an individual may be assigned or transferred for the remainder of the license period to a partnership, corporation or other entity, provided that the individual holding such license is a general partner of such partnership, the owner of not less than 25% of the outstanding voting shares of such corporation or the holder of not less than a twenty-five-percent interest in any other entity at the time of the assignment or transfer. The application for such transfer or assignment must be accompanied by evidence satisfactory to the Director that the above set forth requirements have been satisfied. No assignment or transfer shall become effective until proper endorsement evidencing said transfer or assignment has been made on the face of the license by the Director and such license, so endorsed, has been returned to the assignee or transferee. All such endorsements shall be made by the payment of a fee of $25.
G. 
A license issued pursuant to this chapter shall be conspicuously posted in the place of business of the licensee.
H. 
Each individual licensee shall, within seven business days after a change of control of ownership or of management, apply for the assignment or transfer of a license specified in Subsection F, or such license shall terminate. Every other licensee shall, within seven business days after a change of control in ownership or management, notify the Office in writing of such change.
I. 
No licensee shall authorize or permit the use of his license by or on behalf of any other person.
J. 
Each licensee shall, within seven business days after a change of address or trade name, notify the Office, in writing, of such change.
K. 
A licensee may utilize his license for more than one entity in the same business with the issuance of a supplementary license pursuant to the provisions of § 563-7B, provided that the licensee holds more than a fifty-percent interest in each additional entity to be so licensed. Evidence satisfactory to the Director must accompany the application for such supplementary license.
L. 
A licensee who determines not to engage in the business regulated herein may make application to the Office to inactivate temporarily his license issued pursuant to this article for a period not to exceed three years. The licensee will submit with the application for shelving said license a fee of $50 for each annual period of inactivity sought. Each shelving application shall be considered by the occupational licensing board which has jurisdiction over said license, and the Board shall recommend to the Director such action as it deems appropriate.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
A. 
A duplicate license may be issued for a license which has been lost, destroyed or mutilated, upon application therefor on a form prescribed by the Director and the payment of a fee of $25. Each such duplicate license shall have the word "duplicate" stamped across the face thereof and shall bear the same number as the one it replaces.
B. 
A licensee shall obtain a supplementary license for each additional place of business maintained by such licensee within the County of Suffolk upon application therefor on a form prescribed by the Director and the payment of a per-annum fee of $50. Each such supplementary license shall have the word "supplementary" stamped across the face thereof, shall bear the same number as the original and shall be conspicuously posted in each additional place of business.
A contract entered into after one year after the effective date of the appropriate article of this chapter by a person who engages in a business regulated by this chapter, who on the date of the contract does not possess a valid license to engage in such business, is unenforceable by him and voidable at the option of any other party to the contract rendered or to be rendered to such party. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to prevent any other party to the contract from enforcing its terms.
[Amended 6-21-1994 by L.L. No. 13-1994; 6-6-2000 by L.L. No. 11-2000; 10-3-2000 by L.L. No. 27-2000; 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
A. 
In addition to any other penalties provided pursuant to this article or pursuant to any provisions of any County local law, County resolution, or County ordinance pertaining to consumer affairs, consumer protection, or any matter subject to the jurisdiction of the Department, including, but not limited to, Chapter 387, Consumer Protection, of the Suffolk County Code, the Director shall have the power to impose a civil penalty upon a person not to exceed $750 for a first violation and $1,500 for any subsequent violation or to suspend or revoke a license or to deny an application for a license or the renewal of a license for any one or more of the following causes:
[Amended 3-6-2007 by L.L. No. 6-2007; 3-23-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
(1) 
Fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or bribery in securing or attempting to secure a license.
(2) 
The making of any false statement in an application for a license.
(3) 
Violation of any provision of this article or any rule or regulation promulgated thereunder.
(4) 
Violation of any provisions of any County local law, County resolution, or County ordinance pertaining to consumer affairs, consumer protection, or any matter subject to the jurisdiction of the Department, including, but not limited to, Chapter 387, Consumer Protection, of the Suffolk County Code.
(5) 
Engaging in prohibited acts as defined in § 563-10 of this article.
(6) 
Conducting a business regulated by this article without a valid license.
(7) 
Failing to maintain good character standing during the term of the license(s) and/or certificate(s).
(8) 
Failing to maintain financial responsibility during the term of the license(s) and/or certificate(s).
B. 
The Director shall have the power to suspend or revoke a license or to deny an application for renewal of a license based on a violation of Chapter 433, Dumping and Littering, of the Suffolk County Code or a violation of any state, town or village law, ordinance or regulation prohibiting dumping on public lands.
[Added 11-18-2008 by L.L. No. 45-2008]
C. 
No license shall be suspended or revoked nor a fine imposed until after a hearing has been held before the Director upon at least seven business days' notice to the person. Such notice shall be served either personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the person and shall state the date and place of the hearing as well as enumerate the grounds constituting the allegations against such person. The person may be represented by counsel and may produce witnesses in his/her/its own behalf. A record of the hearing shall be taken and preserved. For purposes of such hearing, the Director may administer oaths, take testimony, subpoena witnesses and compel the production of books, papers, records or other documents deemed pertinent to the subject of the hearing.
[Amended 3-23-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
[Amended 3-6-2007 by L.L. No. 6-2007; 5-13-2008 by L.L. No. 16-2008; 3-23-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
In addition to any prohibitions contained in this article or in any other County local law, County resolution, or County ordinance pertaining to consumer affairs, consumer protection, or any matter subject to the jurisdiction of the Department, including, but not limited to, Chapter 387, Consumer Protection, of the Suffolk County Code, the following acts are prohibited:
A. 
Abandonment or willful failure to perform, without justification, any contract engaged in by a licensee.
B. 
Willful deviation from or disregard of contract specifications or estimates in any material respect without the consent of the contracting party.
C. 
Engaging in deceptive or unconscionable trade practices in the solicitation or procurement of a contract, or in the preparation of or performance of a work estimate or invoice, or in the collection of debts incurred for consumer goods and services.
D. 
Directly or indirectly publishing any advertisement relating to goods or services offered by the licensee which contains an assertion, representation or statement of fact which is false, deceptive or misleading, provided that any advertisement which is subject to and complies with the then-existing rules, regulations or guides of the Federal Trade Commission shall not be deemed false, deceptive or misleading.
E. 
Advertising or purporting to offer the general public any contract with the intent not to accept said contract for the particular work at the price which is advertised to the public.
F. 
Conducting a business in any name other than the one for which the licensee holds a license except pursuant to the provisions of § 563-6K.
G. 
Failure to comply with the provisions of § 563-6H and J.
H. 
Offering, as an inducement to enter into a contract, a promise or offer to pay credit or provide any compensation or reward for the buyer's procurement of a contract with another.
I. 
Willful failure to comply with any lawful order, demand or requirement made by the Director or the office or the local authorities having jurisdiction over the work being performed.
J. 
Discrimination against any employee or applicant for employment with respect to the recruiting, hiring or discharge of such employee or applicant for employment, because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, military status, or marital status or, in the case of a citizen or national of the United States or an alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent or temporary residence, or a refugee or an individual who is granted asylum, because of such individual's citizenship status.
[Amended 6-27-1975 by L.L. No. 12-1975; 5-10-1983 by L.L. No. 9-1983; 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
A. 
In addition to the powers and duties elsewhere prescribed in this chapter, the Director shall have the power to:
(1) 
Keep records of all licenses issued, suspended or revoked and all fines adjudged.
(2) 
Issue temporary licenses as may be necessary.
(3) 
Promulgate such rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter as may be necessary with respect to the form and content of applications for licenses, reception thereof, investigation of applicants and their qualifications, the conduct, including advertising, of occupations regulated by this chapter and other matters incidental or appropriate to his powers and duties as prescribed by this chapter and for the proper administration and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter; and to amend or repeal any such rules and regulations.
(4) 
Require any applicant for a home improvement contractor license or a home appliance repair contractor license, or any such licensee, as evidence of financial responsibility, to post a surety bond, in an amount to be set by the Director, but in no event to exceed $100,000, and/or to furnish certificates of public liability and property damage insurance in the amount of $500,000 per occurrence combined single limit.
[Amended 3-6-2007 by L.L. No. 6-2007]
(5) 
In addition to the requirements of § 563-11A(4) above, any home improvement contractor who is performing home raising/elevating services, as those terms are defined in Article II of this chapter, shall obtain insurance coverage for those services, which coverage shall include a riggers liability extension endorsement or similar endorsement to insure against damage to a homeowner’s movable and immovable property. The amount of insurance coverage required under this § 563-11A(5) shall be a minimum of $500,000 per occurrence, including bodily injury, property damage and contractual liability, with an aggregate limit of at least $2,000,000.
[Added 7-30-2013 by L.L. No. 36-2013[1]]
[1]
Editor’s Note: This local law also renumbered former Subsection A(5) as Subsection A(6).
(6) 
Require reasonable information of an applicant or licensee, including the production of books, papers, records and other documents.
B. 
No rule or regulation may be promulgated pursuant to Subsection A(3) herein unless a public hearing is held by the Director. At least seven business days' prior notice of such public hearing shall be published in the official newspapers of the County. A copy of all rules and regulations promulgated and any amendments thereto shall be filed in the office of the Clerk of the County Legislature.
C. 
Whenever in this chapter the Director is empowered to or charged with the responsibility to do or perform any act, he may deputize, in writing, any officer or employee of the Office to do or perform the act in his place and stead.
D. 
Disposition of moneys received. All fees received by the Office pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be remitted to the County Comptroller for deposit in the general fund of the County within 30 days after they are received.
[Amended 6-17-2014 by L.L. No. 32-2014]
E. 
Liability for damage. This chapter shall not be construed to relieve from or lessen the responsibility of any person licensed under the provisions hereof for any loss of life or damage to person or property, nor shall the County of Suffolk be deemed to have assumed any such liability by reason of the issuance of any license.
[Amended 7-2-2004 by L.L. No. 22-2004; 3-23-2010 by L.L. No. 7-2010]
In addition to any civil penalties imposed by the Director pursuant to this article or pursuant to any provisions of any County local law, County resolution, or County ordinance pertaining to consumer affairs, consumer protection, or any matter subject to the jurisdiction of the Department, including, but not limited to, Chapter 387, Consumer Protection, of the Suffolk County Code, any person who shall conduct a business licensed by this article without obtaining a license therefor or who shall continue to engage in such licensed business after having had a valid license suspended or revoked shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. Each such violation shall be deemed a separate offense.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003.]
Upon application of the Director, the County Attorney or the District Attorney may commence an action in the name of the County to restrain, prevent and enjoin a violation of this chapter or any rule or regulation promulgated hereunder or any continuance of such violation.
A license issued by any governmental agency prior to the effective date of the appropriate article of this chapter shall continue to remain in full force and effect until its expiration or termination unless sooner revoked or suspended for cause.
[Amended 12-17-2002 by L.L. No. 4-2003]
The action of the Director in adjudging fines or suspending, revoking or refusing to issue or renew a license may be reviewed by a proceeding brought under and pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules of the State of New York.