Consumer Helpful Tips

Q: What is the benefit to hiring a licensed landscape contractor?

  • Licensed landscape contractors are required to have a $10,000 Surety Bond or certified letter of credit.  The surety bond can provide the customer with financial help toward losses resulting from the contractor’s failure to meet the obligation.
  • Licensed landscape contractors are required to take seven hours of continuing education (including two business related hours) a year to help keep them at the top of the field.
  • The NC Landscape Contractors’ Licensing Board is responsible for administering Chapter 89D of the General Statutes of North Carolina for licensed landscape contractors; for safeguarding life, health, and property and maintaining a high professional standard for the landscape industry.
  • Licensed Landscape Contractors are held to a higher standard than non-licensed landscapers.
  • Peace of mind.

A licensed landscape contractor must meet these professional standards to attain and maintain his/her license:

  • The licensed landscape contractor must maintain a $10,000 surety bond or $10,000 irrevocable letter of credit to protect the consumers’ interests.
  • The licensed landscape contractor must successfully complete a rigorous three part licensing exam.
  • The licensed landscape contractor must follow the board established rules for design, planting, turf installation, finish grading, low voltage lighting, ornamental garden pool and retaining wall installation, maintenance, repair and management of the landscape. 
  • The licensed landscape contractor must follow a Code of Conduct in all business matters.
  • The licensed landscape contractor must keep current with safe environmental practices, technology, industry advancements and best business practices by completing a minimum of seven hours of continuing education (including two business related hours) yearly.
  • All work must be performed under the direct supervision of a knowledgeable, licensed individual.
  • Must renew his/her license annually.

Q: Is the landscaper licensed?

A: There are many types of licenses; drivers license, business license, privilege licenses, etc.   Make sure the landscaper is a Licensed Landscape Contractor and the license is current.  You can easily check the Board’s website for current licensed landscape contractors, both by individual or business (Corporate).

Q: Are there other ways to tell if the landscaper is licensed?

A: By law, every licensed landscape contractor shall display the license number issued to the contractor by the Board on all business cards, contracts, and vehicles used by the contractor in the landscape contracting business.

Ask if the landscaper is licensed by this Board and ask them to show you their license number. Licensed Landscape Contractors are pleased to promote their landscape contractors license.

Other Consumer Helpful Tips

It is not advisable to pay for services in advance. A down payment might be requested to “lock in” your quote, project date, or for the purchase of materials but such down payments should be only a percentage of the complete project cost.  If the requested down payment seems excessive, you may want to consider another option.  If a down payment is requested, ask for a detailed receipt specifying exactly what the down payment is for.

Always get a proposal, work order, agreement, or other documentation that specifies the work to be performed in writing, signed by the landscape contractor.  The work order/contract/agreement should contain the licensed landscape contractor’s individual license number or corporate license number issued by this Board, as well as the complete name address and other contact information of the individual or company you are hiring to do the work.

When in doubt, just ask.  Contact the Board office. While there are limitations to what we can do, we will be pleased to help if we can.

Additional Consumer Tips