Why would my roofing company ask me to pay its employee?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ April 17, 2013 ~ No Comments

A roofing contractor gave us an estimate for a new roof. One of the stipulations was that payments are to be made to one of the employees of the company personally and not the company. Please comment.

Jean F.

Brett Kulina

Jean, although it may seem reasonable to pay a roofing contractor directly for work he has completed, it is probably in your best interest to only submit your payment to the actual roofing company that is identified on your written work agreement, as well as on the company's liability insurance policy and business license. All too often, those contractors who insist on irregular payment practices are doing so to avoid some past problem or working "under the table."

Unsuspecting homeowners might go along with these types of payment practices because there appears to be no risk to them when paying for work that was completed as agreed. Unfortunately, the risks usually appear only after payment is made, and unforeseen issues like warranties, workers' comp, or lien releases from material suppliers enter the picture. After all, if your roofing contractor is unwilling to bill you and accept payment in his company's name, then you should ask yourself (and him) why?

Even though I can think of one instance when submitting payment to an individual instead of a contracting company might be okay (a one-man company doing business as an LLC), in general, you should write your check to the company whose name appears on your work agreement. If a roofing contractor is unwilling to do business as usual, then I would recommend hiring another contractor who will.

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