How to confirm a business is licensed, bonded or insured:

•Licensed. Ask if the business is licensed and, if so, with whom. Then contact the licensing agency to confirm. The BBB can help should you need assistance in determining what licensing requirements exist for each industry.

•Insured. Ask the company to have its agent send a Certificate of Insurance directly to you. Typical insurance coverage includes "general liability" that protects you in the event any damage happens to your property during work performance. The other is "workers compensation" that provides for employees hurt on the job. The certificate should come from an insurance company and not the business. That way you can be sure the business is currently covered by that policy and that all terms such as payment of premiums have been met by the business.

•Bonded. Bonding is often a misunderstood and unique insurance product. Bonding is given to a business by a third party who promises to pay if a business experiences employee theft or dishonesty or does not fulfill work obligations under a contract. To find out if a business is bonded, proof should be provided directly to you from an insurance company.

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