My question involves business law in the state of: Alabama
Is and Estimate the same thing as a Bid legally?
The definitions I found:
An estimate is basically a guess as to how much something might cost. It isn't a legally binding price.
A bid price is the price somebody bids to do a job. Depending on the clauses in the contract for this bid it's a legally binding amount. The job has to be done for that price.
Reason for my question:
I have been a contractor here in Alabama for 20+ years and have given customers estimates and never have had a problem or complaint until now.
I gave and Estimate to my half brother for an insurance claim, I have done this for family members in the past. We did not try to disguise this, we have the same last name. I made sure my bid was higher than the others because I really didnít want the job.
The Estimate involved opening up a wall and repairing the duct work and repairing the wall. The family member could not find just an HVAC person to do the job because of the structural work. If for some reason I would have gotten the job I would have subbed the HVAC part out.
The insurance company sent all the estimates to the Alabama HVAC Board because they said none of the contractors that gave estimates were licensed HVAC contractors. The HVAC board said they were going to fine me $2,000.00 for bidding an HVAC repair.
I called the Alabama Home Builder Board and they were surprised because contractors bid HVAC in their jobs all of the time and never heard of this before. They told me to send them a copy of the letter when I receive it from the HVAC Board.
The HVAC board quoted me the law Alabama Section 34-31-24 which says only a licensed HVAC contractor can bid an HVAC job. I called the HVAC inspector and he said that when a home builder bids a job he has to submit the HVAC bid separately and it has to be from a licensed HVAC contractor. How in the ..Ö. can I make money on a sub contractor if I have to show the customer his bid? I have never heard of anything like this.
So now I am trying to avoid this $2,000.00 fine. I gave an Estimate and the law reads I cannot bid the job. An Estimate and a bid are two totally different things, maybe? My question is would this apply to this law?
Thanks for any help.