Can some contractors build decks without licenses?

last year
last modified: last year

I'm in Georgia, and I have noticed that some well-known deck contractors that have been in business for a while with many positive reviews do not show up as any type of licensed residential or general contractor in Georgia's state licensing database. Other contractors that I have checked appear both under the name of their business entity as well as the owner or key supervisor in charge.

I have scoured the database using every permutation and combination of business name, and also the last names of the key company individuals. Some contractors that appear reputable otherwise don't appear at all in any of licensing databases, even though they are legal registered business entities (such as corporations or LLCs).

So, how would this be legally possible and how would such contractors pull required permits for deck construction? I was thinking perhaps they are subcontracting through another (yet unknown) entity, which becomes known once the permit is applied for. Or are such companies resorting to getting someone else to pull the permit for them, like the homeowner or another friend who is licensed?

In these cases, I would think the only way to get to the bottom of it would be to ask the contractor for their residential or general contractor registration number. If they have one I would expect this number to appear in the state database. Appreciate any advice from anyone that could shed some light on this matter.

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