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7:38 PM Tue, Nov. 13th

Guest Column: There's a reason Kingman requires business licenses

The City Clerk's Office would like to remind our local consumers to always be cautious when doing business. When in doubt, ask to see a business license.

All businesses performing any work within the city limits are required to have a Kingman business license. When a business applies for a license, it is put through our inspection process, which includes a background check of the business owner or owners

When the Kingman Police Department finds questionable information in a person's background, the information is reviewed and if it is believed that the person could present a risk to customers - anything from a history of fraud to violent crimes - no business license is issued.

The city also issues solicitor's licenses to salespeople wishing to go door-to-door in Kingman. This license also requires a background check and is not issued if there is anything questionable.

This is required for each individual going door-to-door and a new background check is required every year before the license can be renewed.

It scares me to think how easily someone with ulterior motives could go to a house pretending to be a salesperson while really gaining information to commit a crime against the residents or their property. The solicitors' license gives citizens a safeguard against that possibility.

The Kingman City Clerk's Office also receives a number of complaints regarding unlicensed contractors. Arizona Revised Statutes 32-1121 allows handymen to work on jobs up to $1,000 for minor repairs or installations. If someone is claiming to be a licensed contractor, customers can always check the Arizona Registrar of Contractor's website at www.azroc.gov.

You can also verify contractors are licensed with the city, as we will not issue a business license to a contractor unless they are registered and in good standing with the ROC.

Recently, we had an individual going door to door illegally who was wanted on felony charges in another state. The individual had been to the clerk's office earlier in the day, was informed of all of the requirements and chose to ignore them.

Thanks to a proactive police detective, the individual was stopped before commiting any crimes in the city.

The most important reason we have a business-licensing program is to protect our residents.

Residents can help protect themselves by doing the following:

• Always check to make sure a business is licensed with the city of Kingman. All businesses should have their current license posted in their primary location and be able to produce a copy or license number upon request. If the license is expired, they are not legally eligible to conduct business in the city.

• If someone comes to your door, ask to see their solicitor's license. Anyone going door-to-door must carry it at all times and present it upon request. Don't be fooled by claims that they forgot it or it's with someone else - refuse to do business with them until they produce it.

• Always check to make sure any contractors that you hire for jobs over $1,000 are licensed and in good standing with the AzROC.

• Be alert - don't give out personal or credit card information; don't give out information about you or your family's schedule and when you will or will not be home; don't allow anyone to walk in and around your home, especially without an escort; ask to see company ID cards, solicitor's licenses, and business licenses; and keep business cards should you ever need the individual's information.

Call the Kingman Police Department at (928)753-2191 to report any suspicious activity.

We want to do everything we can to protect our citizens. We work diligently to provide as many tools as we can so the public can be informed about whether or not they are doing business with licensed companies. A list of active business licenses that is updated monthly is available on the city of Kingman website at www.cityofkingman.gov.

You can also contact the Kingman City Clerk's Office at (928)753-8113 for any questions about business or solicitor's licenses and to verify if licenses are valid.