Legal Q&A: Can you work under another’s license?

We’re pleased to be partnering with Ken Kirschenbaum this year to bring you some of the questions he’s asked regarding legalities with licensing and contracts. You can sign up to receive emails from him with all of the questions posed and his replies by visiting his website.


Today’s question: I have an opportunity to do some work out of state but I’m not licensed in that state. What is the best way to approach this? I know there are qualifiers that are listed on your site and is it possible to work under their license?


Ken’s Response:


You cannot work under someone else’s license. You can’t take your buddy’s driver license and go for a drive.

You can engage someone to qualify for your company, someone who can hold the license.  This is not a one time, one job, arrangement.  For a single or occasional job you have choices: engage a subcontractor who is licensed, do the job without a license [not recommended, especially for fire], pass on the job.

If you are entering into a contract with your subscriber in a state where you are licensed, but have to do work in state where you aren’t licensed, the subcontractor option works best.

If the subscriber is only in the state where you’re not licensed, you may want to pass on the job, or take your chances and do it without a license [not recommended].  Engaging a subcontractor may work, depending on the scope of the job.

If you will have sufficient work in a jurisdiction requiring a license you can engage a qualifier.  Expect the qualifier to ask for $500 to $2000 a month and want a one year contract.  There are many exceptions to these numbers and we can try and make the deal you are looking for.  The Alarm Exchange has a category for license holders looking for companies, and companies looking for license holders.  Our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda has a private list of most serious candidates and companies. Her number is 516-747-6700 x 312.

We strongly recommend that the relationship with the qualifier and company be documented, a written Qualifier Agreement.  It’s available at but will have to customize for each deal.  It will be customized for each licensed jurisdiction to meet that jurisdictions requirements.

Engaging a qualifier is a serious matter.  The license holder has his license on the line, the company has its business in that jurisdiction on the line.  The Qualifier Agreement is not a document that you want to put together yourself and a lawyer who is not familiar with the agreement is not likely going to be able to create the document properly within any reasonable time and cost.  If you can’t afford the Qualifier Agreement then you probably don’t need it because you don’t have enough work in the jurisdiction to warrant the cost of the agreement, which by the way, pales in comparison to the cost of the license holder and license application process.


To read this full post on The Alarm Exchange, click here.

To see follow-up comments posted on the original question, click here. 

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