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Zickgraf Enterprises, Inc. v. Yonce – Case Brief Summary (North Carolina)

The Court stated in Zickgraf Enterprises, Inc. v. Yonce, 63 N.C. App. 166, 303 S.E.2d 852 (1983):

The failure of a general contractor to be licensed does not render "void" the contract between the contractor and the owner.

The nature of the transaction is still extant, with the proviso that in an action brought against the owner by the general contractor, the owner may assert against the general contractor the affirmative defense of failure to be properly licensed.

This fulfills the purpose of the licensing statute which is the protection of the public against incompetent builders.

The licensing statutes should not be used as a shield to avoid a just obligation owed to an innocent party. Our courts will not impose penalties for the failure to comply with licensing requirements in addition to those specifically set out in the statute. Id. at 168, 303 S.E.2d at 853.