How to File a Complaint Against a Contractor

As the agency responsible for licensing contractors, the Secretary of State’s office accepts the filing of certain complaints against contractors.  The accepted complaint types are listed below:

  • Abandonment of Contract – A deposit or other consideration is provided to the contractor and the contractor fails to start or complete the work required within the time periods provided below (unless the failure is due to circumstances beyond the control of the contractor):
    • Failure to substantially begin work either within:
      • 60 days of the starting date agreed upon in writing; or
      • 90 days of the contract date if no starting date is agreed upon in writing
    • Failure to complete any work agreed upon in writing either within:
      • 90 days of the completion date agreed upon in writing; or
      • 180 days of the contract date if no completion date is agreed upon in writing
  • Diversion of Funds or Property – A contractor uses funds or property received for a specific contract for purposes other than those identified in the contract or for purposes to defraud or deceive creditors or the owner.

  • Fraud – A contractor engages in fraudulent or deceptive acts, or practices or misrepresents themselves as a contractor; and the conduct results in damage to one or more people, which exceeds a combined total amount of $3,000.

  • False Statement or Legal Issues – A contractor makes a false or misleading statement on an application for a license or renewal; or the contractor violates contractor law or is convicted of an offense and this office determines that the violation or conviction has a direct bearing on the applicant’s or licensee’s ability to act as a contractor.

  • No Trade or Professional License – A contractor performs work without the trade or professional license that is required to perform such work, such as a license issued by the State Electrical Board or State Plumbing Board.

  • Failure to Refund Advance Payment – When requested by a customer, a contractor fails to fully refund an advance payment made by the customer, and evidence exists that abandonment of contract by the contractor has occurred and the contractor has not proven otherwise or has admitted to abandonment of contract.

NOTE: Complaints related to workmanship and the quality of work performed by a contractor are not filed with this office.  This office does not have the authority to investigate these complaints and any complaints related to workmanship or the quality of work that are submitted to this office will be returned.  Legal counsel may be required for these types of complaints.

To file a contractor complaint, please complete the Complaint Against Contractor (SFN 16999) form and submit it to this office.  When a complaint is received by this office, it is reviewed to determine whether this office has authority to handle the complaint.

If it is determined that the complaint falls under the authority of this office, a preliminary investigation will be conducted to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to schedule an administrative hearing at which it would be decided whether the contractor is guilty of one or more of the alleged acts or omissions.  As a part of the investigation, a copy of the complaint will be forwarded to the contractor for their review.  The contractor then has three weeks to provide a written response to the complaint.  The contractor is also encouraged to contact the complainant to attempt to resolve the issues in the complaint to the satisfaction of both parties.