District of Columbia: Watch Out Unlicensed Architects, Engineers & Contractors

All states require those practicing architecture and engineering be licensed, and many states also require general and home improvement contractors to obtain licenses before offering services within the state. A penalty for the failure to obtain the necessary licenses in some states is a complete bar to a lawsuit in the event of nonpayment or other dispute on a project.  A recent decision in the District of Columbia held that architects who practice without a license in the District are not exempted from the well-established rule that a contract made in violation of a licensing statute designed to protect the public will usually be considered void and unenforceable.

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