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Out of State Consulting

Out of State Consulting

Out of State Consulting

Hi all, I need some helping thinking about this.

I'm a solo consultant now and a licensed PE in a few states. I have specialized knowledge in solid waste engineering and recycling due to my previous work experience and I focus on the manufacturing part of the solid waste operations. I work with other PEs to do any of the civil design, stormwater, electrical, structural, etc.

I have a potential client who wants me to help him in states where I'm not licensed. My recommendation for this client is to involve a PE licensed in any states where I'm not licensed to supervise/review/seal any of my work. I'd like to be paid directly by the client because this is typically faster and then I could provide other non engineering services (research, project management, etc) but I don't know if that's possible since the local PE would be the responsible in charge. Is my only option to be a sub to the local PE? I guess I could have 2 agreements, one with the local PE and one with the client clearly delineating the services.

Thanks for any thoughts on this.

RE: Out of State Consulting

I don't believe you could "prove" the EOR was in direct supervision of you if your contract was not with him, this IMO seems to be skirting the rules/laws and should something happen, it could probably land you in hot water. I wouldn't advise you going this route. Would it not be possible for you to obtain licensing in the states where there is work but you are not licensed?

RE: Out of State Consulting

I don't agree with your method. Like others said, get licensed in the states where you want to offer services.

RE: Out of State Consulting

Thanks. I could get licensed but I honestly want to limit the amount of states I'm licensed in to limit time spent on admin work keeping up with renewal dates, specific state rules, and differing CEUs. I'll clarify that by "local PE", I really meant a state licensed PE who has knowledge in my field of work, not just any PE.

RE: Out of State Consulting

I hear you on the headaches of maintaining licenses in multiple states. Been there done that. But, that is not a reasonable excuse if the business opportunity is worthwhile. If its not worth it to get licensed, then these must be crap projects that you should steer clear of anyway.

RE: Out of State Consulting

Just wondering, what is your $ threshold range to go for a project in a new state and get licensed? I'm sure it also depends on future business available in that state.

RE: Out of State Consulting

I don't have a set $ threshold. It would be a case by case analysis, and I would expect different individuals would arrive at different decisions for themselves. You will have to consider that one on your own.

RE: Out of State Consulting

Quote (rover315)

I honestly want to limit the amount of states I'm licensed in to limit time spent on admin work keeping up with renewal dates, specific state rules, and differing CEUs.

I haven't looked into pricing, but there are companies that will manage this for you. Here's one option: https://www.harborcompliance.com/compliance-solutions-engineering-architecture-firms

I only go for a new state if there's a chance of repeat work, or there's a really nice project that can handle the cost of getting the license. Some states have a method to suspend or place your license in an inactive state without being penalized, so make sure you account for a few hours of emailing and or phone calls to get that done on the back end if it's a one off.

RE: Out of State Consulting

Thanks all, this is helpful. I'll evaluate the potential and see if it's worth it for me to get licensed in that state. If not, I'll just be a sub to a larger firm and provide the "full package" since I can't probably everything that's needed.

RE: Out of State Consulting

I struggle with this. I have a very specialized knowledge of certain proprietary systems. I have a client I work with in many states, and I am licensed in all but one. The one is only because that state views these systems as structures (knowledge of soils is arguably more important than a heavy structural background for these systems), and this is a state that requires an SE licence. I am at a point in my family life where I don't want to give up a year of seeing my family to pass the SE exam... There are two SE's in the country that I know of with the knowhow to design one of these systems without significant training, and neither one is in a position to do so with their current employers.

That has lead me to prepare the drawings and design, then my client coordinates with a local SE to review and seal it. The SE does a few cursory checks and attaches them to the calc package submitted to the owner, and I spend a considerable amount of time educating the SE on each project.

I know this in not ideal. I just don't know what other option there is in this situation, other than my client just not selling their product in this state.

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