Don't worry, Phil, technically, around here you need to have a business license in every city/county you work in, but the reality is that MOST businessmen don't bother with such things and I've yet to see a case where this was an issue. The biggie is that the contractor is licensed and insured, the state is more concerned with than than ANYTHING else. Stings are common to catch "illegal" contracting, regardless of the quality of work or whether it is to code. All they are really interested in is their 30 pieces of ****, once you give them that, they really don't care what you do. Which plays back to my earlier comments on the requirements of permits, it is absolutely, 100%, unequivocally NOT about safe construction practices, it is completely and totally about money into the coffers of the municipality.