When preparing to have construction done on your home – including chimney repairs – the kind of contractor you hire can have an impact on the quality and reliability of the work. In the state of Minnesota, contractors may have either a Contractor Registration or a Contractor’s License. While the two credentials may seem similar, there are several significant differences between them. Homeowners should understand the difference between the two. Also, they should know how to look up a contractor’s credentials, before hiring someone to work on their home.

What is the Difference between Contractor Registration versus Contractor License


Only have accredited contractors work on your home, including repairs to your chimney and fireplace. In Minnesota, some contractors have a Contractor Registration. This is not an actual license. It only means that the contractor is registered with the state as a contractor. People with this designation do not need to pass any tests or other certification standards and may not carry insurance. Because of this, we recommend clients look for contractors with a Residential Contractor’s License in the state of Minnesota.

A Residential Contractor’s License is a credential that must be earned through a testing and background check process. In addition, contractors need to reapply for the license every two years. To earn a Residential Contractor’s license, the qualifying person must submit proof of insurance to the state, including the ability to provide workman’s comp and liability, as well as submit to a criminal background check. A rigorous exam must also be passed, testing the contractor’s knowledge of building dynamics, codes, safety standards, and more. In order to maintain this license, contractors must take continuing education courses as well as retest every two years; this ensures that licensed contractors are up to date on the latest industry standards.

Why choose a licensed contractor

While a licensed contractor may seem like a given when building or remodeling your home, most don’t consider it an important trait when dealing with a fireplace or chimney. However, hiring someone who is both a certified chimney sweep and a licensed contractor ensures your fireplace system is in expert hands.

When looking for a licensed contractor, homeowners can use the Department of Labor and Industry website to search for licensed professionals. Homeowners can use the search tool to find unique disciplines and classifications as well. It is able to verify the credentials of the contractors before hiring them as well.

At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we are proud to have both Chimney Safety Institute of America as well as a Minnesota Contractor’s License. We are happy to have our customers verifying our License Number #BC183369; having both CSIA certifications and contractor’s licenses allows us to provide our customers with the highest quality service possible. For more information about Jack Pixley Sweeps, our services, or why licenses matters, contact us today.