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How to Verify a Professional's License in Fargo?
The licensure and regulation of professionals in Fargo is handled at the state level by over 150 specialized Boards. For example, the North Dakota State Board of Architects and Landscape Architects licenses architects and landscape architects, while the North Dakota Secretary of State (SOS) licenses contractors operating in Fargo. Before offering their services within city limits, professionals in Fargo are typically required to obtain a professional license from the relevant licensing agency. To confirm if your intended professional is licensed, you can contact the agency licensing the professional's occupational category or utilize the agency's online license search tool. For example, to verify a contractor's license, you can contact the North Dakota SOS at (701) 328-2900 or check this office's license inquiry webpage.
Besides verifying your intended professional's license, you should also check whether there are local regulations related to your project and whether these regulations have been followed. For instance, construction contractors cannot handle any construction-related job in Fargo without procuring the requisite permits from the city's Inspection Department. Inquiries on permit processing and construction-related requirements can be directed to this Department at (701) 241-1561.
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Fargo is locally supervised by the City Commission, which consists of the City Mayor and four commissioners. Although the City Mayor and four Commissioners are elected at large, they ensure that all the city's neighborhoods are adequately represented in government discussions and plans. The City Commission also partners with city departments to ensure pressing issues affecting the city are addressed quickly. However, the City Commission does not issue construction or building permits. Nonetheless, it may perform administrative roles that may involve construction and building projects within the city. For example, the City Commission approved the construction of a mixed-use building around Main Avenue and Broadway. The building will include residential apartments and office spaces for commercial use. Also, the City Commission approved the construction of a pedestrian bridge around the city hall. This pedestrian bridge is expected to feature bike trails and improve walking traffic in the area.
Consumer protection and other related matters in Fargo City are supervised by the North Dakota Attorney General (AG) Office. However, this office does not address all kinds of consumer complaints. If it does not have jurisdiction over a type of complaint, the AG Office will refer it to another agency or advise the complainant to seek personal redress. To help complainants determine which complaint they can submit, the AG Office maintains a comprehensive referral table outlining the best way to report various consumer complaints. For further information on whether you can file a complaint with this office, you may contact the consumer protection division at 1-800-472-2600 or by email. Residents who have confirmed that they can submit their complaints to this Office can proceed to do so online or by mail. In order to submit a complaint by mail, the complainant must get a Consumer Complaint Form, complete the form, and mail it to
- Consumer Protection Division
- Office of the Attorney General
- 1720 Burlington
- Suite C
- Bismarck, ND 58504-7736
To ensure a speedy review of these complaints, it is advisable to attach related documents, such as written contracts, correspondences, or payment receipts. Also, in instances where an unfair business complaint includes an alleged criminal act by the professional or business in question, the complainant may contact the Fargo Police Department at (701) 235-4493 for inquiries on submitting a separate report.
After submitting your complaint with the AG Office, it will be reviewed and investigated. If needful, the AG Office may sue the professional or business for violating consumer protection laws or regulations. However, you should be aware that the actions of the AG Office in addressing your complaint are in the public's interest. You may not be reimbursed for the inconveniences of the unfair practices you reported. To secure your reimbursement, you may institute a small claims court action at the Cass County District Court and request damages. Note that you cannot request more than $15,000 in small claims court actions. Lastly, before approaching the courts, you should seek legal advice from a qualified attorney.