I field at least a few calls every week from potential buyers for HVAC companies that I have to screen out. They may be qualified buyers; they may be motivated. But unless they’ve been in the HVAC industry before, they’re probably unaware of a big barrier to becoming an owner. If they’re not licensed, they probably won’t be able to operate an HVAC company.

Because I’ve spent so many years in the industry, I know to ask potential buyers about licensing. In many states, it can take years to obtain a license: completing a training program, passing the exam, spending years in the field and getting experience as a foreman. 

Some buyers think they’ll simply keep the current owner on the payroll and use his license until they can get one of their own. I’ve written here about the reasons that’s complicated and not an option for most buyers or sellers. (link to article.) 

If you’re wondering what it takes to get licensed, here’s a site provided by Service Titan that provides the requirements for every state.