03 April 2008

Cost of doing business...

When we started our company ten years ago we were told that NH is the easiest state in the nation to own and operate a business. What they neglected to mention was the fact that we are desperately close to (what I believe) is the WORST state in the nation. The Common Corruption of Taxachusetts. We don't have sales tax in NH and get a large crowd from our southern neighbor as a result. Most people will put a stove in themselves to save a couple hundred bucks, but there are a few loonies that want us to do it even if it means that we have to pay tax to their state. I won't even get into the taxation without representation speech that many NH'ers rightfully do... Instead I will be focusing on their silly contractor's license maze that I have been trapped in for over a month! As of this July we will need a Solid Fuel's Appliance Specialty Contractor's License in order to install in their state. Not only this but we will have to pull a permit for each install (we used to have the customer do this), and have a meeting with the local inspector. What used to be a single two hour trip has turned into a minimum of three separate trips, and probably six to eight hours... (head shaking back and forth...)
Fine. Whatever... $125 application fee, plus $150 per person being licensed, and a list of 30 installs (Customer Name, Address, Phone number, How much they paid...) headed up by and done over the last five or more years for each person that will be permit pulling, or installing, and a letter stating we are who we say we are... So I fill out all the forms, get all the customer's stuff put together (btw-really don't think I have the right to turn over other people's info to this state...) Get the bank checks for app fee and each person.
Almost mail it when I find out I need to have a copy of my MA Home Improvement Contractor's License enclosed!?! WTF- a What?? So I download that form fill it out, get TWO more bank checks for $150, and $200 fill it out and send it in. After two weeks, I get it back- REJECTED- because I need to register as a Foreign Corporation in the state before I can apply for an HIC license.
So I call that office and get their form. $400 application fee, and $125 a year. I start to fill out the form and it asks where my office in their state will be. I AM NEVER EVER moving to that state. I call and tell them that. The guy on the phone says in his deadpan government employee drone that I need a registered agent in that state with a valid address so that when (WHEN!) people want to sue me they can deliver the court papers in their home state. WHAT??!!?? "I don't know anyone in your state," I say. "Well, you have to find someone, or hire someone." "Are you kidding?", I ask. "No, not kidding." "That's just plain stupid," I slip out. Silence. "Thank you," I say as I hang up mouth agape. So, now I have to (allegedly) hire someone in that state to sign for court papers "when" someone wants to sue me, fill out a foreign registration to the tune of $525, fill out an HIC license form for $350, so that I can submit an application form for a specialty blah blah blah license($125 plus $1000) just to install a stove???
For the record no one ever asked if we knew how to install them, or have a test to take to prove knowledge. They just want $$$$
By the time I pass on these charges to the customer they will be spending almost three times what we charge now! I keep coming around to the same conclusion about that place... Batshit Crazy!

1 comment:

Michelle L. said...

The stupidity of bureaucracy never ceases to amaze me. I am STILL arguing with my city over whether or not I need a permit to replace a roof. I replaced it without a permit and they keep sending me letters saying I have to buy the permit AND now owe fines for not having bought it to begin with. This is after my attorney, who is the judge who sits in their own court, explained to the mayor that you don't have to have a permit to replace an item, only to alter one. Gak. Good luck, and invest in some valium or just some really good booze.