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How to Verify a Professional's License in Columbus?

Over 200 different departments, boards, bureaus, and commissions provide licenses to eligible professionals in Columbus. Ensuring that a professional is adequately licensed by the relevant agency to carry out a service before hiring them is a very important responsibility that should not be taken lightly. You can verify the license of a Columbus-based professional online via the eLicense Ohio Professional Licensure System.

Similarly, obtaining permits before commissioning a professional for certain jobs is a requirement in Columbus. For example, any construction and home improvement project that is to be carried out within the city requires a permit issued by the Columbus Department of Building and Zoning Services. Note that certain historic districts and commission areas in Columbus, outlined in the city's zoning map, may require an initial review of the design before a permit can be issued. Clarifications on permits in Columbus can be made by calling (614) 645-7433.

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Do Columbus Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

Columbus has a Department of Neighborhoods through which dedicated members of the community work together to build a more functional and fair Columbus. The department seeks to attend to the demands of the residents, preserve their rights, and provide them with access to city services. This is typically done through Neighbourhood liaisons and you can glean the contact details of your neighborhood liaisons online via the Neighborhood Liaisons webpage provided by the city. While the Columbus Department of Neighborhoods' Area Commission does not issue building or construction-related permits, it's Area Commission section issues special permits for certain matters such as the locations of amusement parks, drive-in theaters, animal kennels or animal shelters with outdoor runs, crematories, and cemeteries. You can reach the Area Commission of the Department of Neighborhoods for information on these special permits at (614) 645-5181. In 2014, the Department of Neighborhoods established the My Brother's Keeper Village in Columbus as a hub for work in the city. Similarly, the Hilltop neighborhood was chosen in April 2021 for a house building competition to see if a new house with a minimum of 800 square feet in size can be built on a vacant lot in Columbus for less than $170,000.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Columbus?

Residents of Columbus who have complaints concerning unfair or exploitative business experiences can file their complaints with the Consumer Protection Section of the Office of the Ohio Attorney General. Columbusites can call in their complaints to (800) 282-0515, file their complaints online, or complete a downloadable consumer complaint form and mail the completed form to:

  • Consumer Protection Section
  • 30 E. Broad Street.
  • 14th floor
  • Columbus, OH 43215-3400

The Consumer Protection Section encourages parties that believe that they have been treated unfairly to contact the business in question and request a resolution before filing a complaint. After it receives a complaint, the section tries to resolve it through an informal dispute resolution process, which is also available to non-profit organizations and small businesses. A specialist will handle the process and help you and the business to resolve the conflict. Depending on the nature of your dispute, the Consumer Protection Section may either recommend that your complaint be referred to another agency for appropriate action or push for further investigations and possible prosecution. In situations where a resolution could not be reached by you and the business or professional in question, you can proceed to file a complaint at the Small Claims Division of the Franklin County Municipal Court located at:

  • 375 S. High Street
  • 16th Floor
  • Columbus, OH 43215
  • Phone: (614) 645-7381

Note that this division only handles civil matters where the amount in question does not exceed $6,000.