If you’re thinking of going into business as a contractor, it’s important to note that all states require contractors to be licensed. In addition, licensing laws are not universal across all 50 states. So, just because you’ve obtained a license in one state, doesn’t mean it would be legal to work as a contractor in another. Some states only require a license to work in specific fields such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC, or refrigeration. In these states, to be a general contractor doesn’t require a license. But, bear in mind that working in those above-mentioned fields without a license could impose a fine.
The website Contractor’s License.org can be your best tool when looking into obtaining a contractor’s license. By clicking the provided map, you can learn of the licensing requirements for every state. However, according to their website, the basic requirements include:
- The applicant must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- You must be able to prove US citizenship or legal residency.
- The applicant must have documentation on any other occupational license that they hold in the state.
- They must be able to provide two passport-sized photos.
- They must have an explanation of any citations, violations or liens resulting from construction work.
- Corporations doing business in any state must be registered with the Secretary of State.
- Bidding for work on state projects usually requires prequalification.
When applying for your license, you may have to take a written exam that includes both the laws for business, as well as for construction. You also may need to provide references, proof of the financial means that it takes to operate a contracting business, and have proof of on-the-job experience.