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Is it legal for engineering firm to pay referral fees for business?

Is it legal for engineering firm to pay referral fees for business?

Is it legal for engineering firm to pay referral fees for business?

(OP)
Is it legal for engineering firm to pay referral fees for business? I have an engineering license and am thinking of doing this. I am pretty sure lawyers are not allowed to offer or pay referral fees.

Any ideas on where HVAC consulting engineering firms find their business? How do they find work, where do they search for projects to bid on, etc. Any feedback appreciated.

RE: Is it legal for engineering firm to pay referral fees for business?

In general, refer to your local board for licensure of professional engineers.

Note that noone can help you with this question unless you list your location!

RE: Is it legal for engineering firm to pay referral fees for business?

(OP)
California. I did email them but have not heard back.

RE: Is it legal for engineering firm to pay referral fees for business?

Read the code of ethics.

Personally I think this is not ethical. First, you need to raise your fee (or lower quality etc.) to your future client to make up for that upfront expense.
And that person referring you has an interest in talking you up to the client regardless of if you actually deserve the praise or not. At minimum that person and you should disclose that fee so the prospective client has the chance to evaluate that praise that person is giving.

And someone who was satisfied with your work, would be happy to give a good reference without getting paid.

Assuming you are talking about your newly founded firm, call up some architects if they want to consider you for future projects. and there may be bid exchanges etc. if you want to bid on designs on your own. Use Google, or chamber of commerce etc. Also talk to contractors if you are interested in design-build work.

RE: Is it legal for engineering firm to pay referral fees for business?

(OP)
Thank you EnergyProfessional. I am not really creating a newly founded firm though. I can't find a job in engineering (I have an employment gap) and know nothing about how these firms go about finding work. Talking with architects and contractors is a good idea thanks. I guess they would be the first contact that a building owner make. It would probably not make sense for me to contact building owners directly since they would most often need many services normally coordinated by an architect or contractor.

RE: Is it legal for engineering firm to pay referral fees for business?

You talk about not finding a job (as in being employed) but also a firm? are yo trying to become some sort of sub-contractor?

If someone hires you to actually design and be responsible for the design (not just being a project hourly hire or so), they typically want you to have liability insurance etc. that is a bit expensive if you just have a gig here and there. I once worked as a sort of sub to a consulting firm. but instead of hiring my firm (I have an LLC in addition to my regular employment) they decided to hire me as an hourly employee on an as-needed based. i got paid quite a good hourly rate, but had no benefits and only hot hours when they needed me. It was goon in that i didn't need to have legal responsibilities and needed insurance etc. they kind of had a longer term plan to hire me fully, but at the time I wasn't ready to leave my old (and still current) employment. (and yes, I had informed my current employer about my "2nd job" and also clarified with the attorney's office of my employer to be on the safe side). it wasn't bad to have soem extra $, but it also was that all of a sudden i had to spend some nights working to finish a project, and then didn't have work from them for a few week. Wasn't a problem since i had a full-time job, but not ideal if that is your only job.

you may want to see if someone hires you like they hired me on an hourly basis with no commitment. this doesn't' guarantee you a lot of work, but gets your foot in the door, and experience. If it works out, you may move up.

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