loading Loading, please wait...

How to Verify a Professional's License in Philadelphia?

Professionals in the City of Philadelphia get licensed at both the state and city levels. At the state level, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs offers 29 different types of occupational and professional licenses to Philadelphia professionals. Likewise, the state's Attorney General's Office requires home improvement professionals to undergo a separate licensing and registration process. At the city level, certain building professionals, such as general contractors, are required to undergo licensing and registration with the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections. When you hire a professional, you must verify that this professional's license is valid and issued by the appropriate agency. You can verify a Philadelphia professional's license by utilizing the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs' online License Verification Service tool. You can also use the Registered Contractors platform to confirm Philadelphia professionals registered in The Attorney General's Office. Finally, you can confirm the city-level licensing and registration status of your intended professional by submitting an online request or by calling 311.

Note that specific city regulations require you to apply for permits when taking on specific projects. These permits are typically obtained from the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections, which offers various types of permits for projects such as new construction projects or additions of fixtures to existing structures and projects involving the repair of electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems. You can contact the Department of Licenses and Inspections to resolve any queries on the city's permit requirements and procedure online or by calling 311. You can also contact your registered community organizations for information on regulations peculiar to your locality.

Do Philadelphia Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

No, the registered community organizations in the City of Philadelphia do not issue permits. Nonetheless, these organizations all work towards the physical development of their respective neighborhoods and they ensure that their neighborhood residents are well informed about policies that affect the development of the community. Usually, when there is a proposed development project, these registered community organizations get an advanced notice from the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. This enables them to conduct meetings where residents of the neighborhood can express their opinions and ideas on the project. For instance, in May 2021, the Cedar Park Neighbors finalized an agreement on an application for 20% of the proposed multi-family living units to be designated as affordable at 40% AMI and remain deed-restricted for 50 years. Likewise, the Beech Community Services Incorporated maintains the Beech Business Bank (BBB), making loan facilities accessible for the community development of economically distressed areas in north, west, and northwest Philadelphia. There are currently 281 registered community organizations in Philadelphia, and you can access information on their meeting days, locations, and other relevant information via the city's Map of RCOs platform.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Philadelphia?

You can file an unfair business complaint against Philadelphia professionals with the Consumer Protection Bureau of the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office by completing a Consumer Complaint form online. Queries concerning the complaint filing process can be directed to the Attorney General's regional office in Philadelphia via phone number (215) 937-1300 or in person at:

  • 7801 Essington Avenue
  • Philadelphia, PA, 19153

If your complaint alleges that the professional has committed a criminal offense, you can file a complaint at the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office, or the Philadelphia Police Department. Upon reviewing the complaint, these agencies may take necessary steps such as prosecuting the subject of the complaint in a criminal court where there is a credible case for this action. However, if your complaint is strictly a civil matter, then you have to approach a Philadelphia civil court to seek compensation for a loss or injury caused by the professional or business in question. You can file civil claims at the Philadelphia Municipal Court Civil Division, which has jurisdiction over small claims action not exceeding $12,000. Note that even though you do not require a lawyer for the small claims process, it is always in your best interest to get good legal advice on how to proceed with your claim. You can do this by contacting the City of Philadelphia Bar Association for a lawyer referral at (215) 238-6333.