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How to Verify a Professional's License in Providence?

Professionals in Providence who wish to provide services to residents in the city or other interested individuals must obtain the requisite licenses. The Department of Labor and Training Rhode Island oversees the licensing of professionals like electricians, hoisting engineers, plumbers, and irrigators in Providence through its seven licensing boards. On the other hand, certain building professionals, such as underground utility contractors, must obtain licenses from the State of Rhode Island Contractors Registration and Licensing Board. While hiring professionals in the city, it is your responsibility to confirm if they possess valid licenses obtained from the appropriate licensing agencies. You can verify professionals' licensing status in Providence by using the license search tool provided by the Department of Labor and Training and the license status lookup tool provided by the Contractors Registration and Licensing Board.

Once you have verified that your intended professionals have been duly licensed, you also want to ensure that you obtain all necessary city-issued permits for your planned projects. Usually, if your projects involve the construction, modification, or demolition of buildings within Providence, you need to apply to the Providence Department of Inspection and Standards for the requisite permits. You can contact this city's department at (401) 680-5000 to get more information about the procedures and requirements for obtaining the requisite permits for your intended projects.

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Do Providence Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

The Providence Coalition of Neighborhood Associations comprises 19 neighborhood associations created by interested neighborhood residents. The Coalition of Neighborhood Associations does not have the authority to issue building-related permits to residents or interested parties in the city. However, it works to improve and enhance life quality for the community members through community projects and grassroots efforts. The Providence Coalition of Neighborhood Associations also provides a forum for community members to generate ideas that will collectively solve their respective neighborhood's problems. In July 2021, the Fox Point Neighborhood Association (FPNA), College Hill Neighborhood Association, Mile of History Association, Providence Preservation Society, City Councilman, and other individuals in the area submitted a 1,100-signature petition in opposition of the proposed two new residence halls in Brown University. Opposition to these proposed dorms were due to the fact that they would tower over abutting properties and also displace popular local businesses in the area. Likewise, in June 2021, the Summit Neighborhood Association (SNA), with funding from the community members, commissioned its new ˜Hope' mural on the southern wall of Not Just Snacks, next to Eden Park Cleaners. You can get more information about the city's Coalition of Neighborhood Associations operations by calling (401) 400-1382 or using its agenda and meeting schedule.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Providence?

Complaints involving unfair business practices in Providence are investigated and mediated by the Consumer Protection Unit of the State of Rhode Island Attorney General's Office. You can file complaints with this office by completing an online complaint form. In situations where you and other groups of people file a complaint together, the office may file a civil investigative demand with the Rhode Island Superior Court, which has jurisdiction over civil actions in Providence.

The Attorney General's Office also has the power to initiate lawsuits against deceptive business practices. In situations where this office lacks jurisdiction over your complaint, you will be directed to the appropriate agencies with the authority to resolve these disputes. It is important to note that personal restitution cannot be guaranteed when you file a complaint with the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office. However, you can pursue a private legal action by filing an action in courts of law against the business or profession to seek redress. You can get lawyer referrals in Providence to pursue your legal action by completing a contact information form provided by the Rhode Island Bar Association. For more information on the lawyer referral services, you can contact the bar association via email. If your claim is not more than $5000, you can file a small claims action in the Rhode Island 6th Division District Court- Small Claims Division located at:

  • Garrahy Judicial Complex
  • 6th Division District Court
  • One Dorrance Plaza
  • Providence, RI 02903-2719
  • Phone: (401) 458-5401

While you do not typically need legal representation for small claims actions, it is advisable to seek legal advice from a lawyer. You can also utilize the District Court Rules of Small Claims Procedure provided by the Rhode Island 6th Division District Court to get information on how to proceed with the small claims action.