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How to Verify a Professional's License in Buffalo?

Professionals that wish to offer their services to residents of Buffalo are typically required to obtain either state or city-issued licenses, depending on their specific occupations. For example, the New York State Office of Professions is responsible for the regulation of more than 50 categories of professionals in Buffalo, including interior designers, architects, landscape architects, land surveyors, and engineers. Likewise, professionals like electricians, plumbers, and home improvement contractors are licensed and registered at the city level by the Buffalo Department of Permit and Inspection Services, through its Office of Licenses. Hiring a Buffalo professional that has a valid license is a necessary step to take in ensuring the success of your intended project. You can verify the licensing status of state-licensed Buffalo professionals online via the verification searches webpage provided by the state's Office of Professions. Likewise, you can also verify the licenses of city-licensed Buffalo professionals via the city's licensed contractors search webpage.

In addition to issuing licenses to certain categories of professionals, the Buffalo Department of Permit and Inspection Services also issues permits for certain types of projects that take place in the city. These permits are typically required for new building projects as well as projects that involve the alteration, remodeling, repair, and demolition of residential and commercial structures. You can contact the Building Permits Office of the city's Department of Permit and Inspection Services at (716) 851-4926 to get information or assistance on the Buffalo permitting process. Queries can also be directed to (716) 851-4972.

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Do Buffalo Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

No, block clubs, tenant councils, and other neighborhood organizations in Buffalo do not issue building and construction-related permits. These organizations are typically created by residents of neighborhoods to organize and also communicate their concerns with relevant authorities and stakeholders on matters like safety, crime, beautification, and the overall improvement of life in their respective neighborhoods. For example, in August 2021, several community groups in Buffalo came together to host a two-day cookout and give-away that saw residents receive fresh fruits, coats for the winter, school supplies, and even covid-19 vaccines for interested individuals. Likewise, the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers, in collaboration with the Rochester-based Cornerstone Group, transformed the former Westminster Settlement House and other surrounding properties at 419 Monroe Street into affordable and supportive apartments for senior residents of the area. You can contact the city's Board of Block Clubs at 716-851-6500 to get information on the active block clubs, tenant councils, and neighborhood organizations in your particular area of residence.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Buffalo?

You can file complaints concerning unfair or deceptive actions by businesses that operate in Buffalo with the Office of Licenses of the city's Department of Permit and Inspection Services locate at:

  • 65 Niagara Square
  • Room 301
  • Buffalo, NY 14202
  • Phone: (716) 851-4078 or (716) 851-6583

You may be required to complete a complaint affidavit, which can also be submitted to this office via mail to:

  • Office of Licenses: Home Improvement Contractor Complaint
  • City Hall Room 301
  • Buffalo, NY 14202

Alternatively, you can file consumer complaints with the Buffalo Regional Office of the state's Attorney General's Office online or by submitting a completed consumer complaint form to:

  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection
  • Buffalo Regional Office
  • Main Place Tower
  • 350 Main Street
  • Suite 300A
  • Buffalo, NY 14202

Queries concerning consumer complaints can be directed to this office via phone number (716) 853-8404.

Note that you are typically required to attempt to resolve your issue with the business or professional in question before filing a complaint with any of these offices. Also, neither the Buffalo Department of Permit and Inspection Services' Office of Licenses nor the New York State Attorney General's Buffalo Regional Office can act as an attorney on your behalf, give you legal advice, or represent you in court. Consequently, if you have any questions concerning your legal rights and responsibilities, or wish to pursue legal action against a business or professional to seek restitution, you should consider contacting a private attorney. You can get referrals to attorneys in Buffalo by contacting the Bar Association of Erie County's Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (716) 852-3100 or online.

Professions in Buffalo