3 Requirements for Earning Contractor Licenses

You need a license to operate as a contractor, but you can’t just apply for one on a whim. Much like a driver’s license, you need to prove your capabilities and file the proper paperwork. Here are three requirements for earning contractor licenses.

1. Licensing Exam

Each state has its own licensing exam. So, if you want to earn a Connecticut contractor license, you’ll need to take the Connecticut licensing exam. You can’t transfer over a license from another state. Exam material varies by state and is set by the state’s licensing board. You can find information about testing center locations, common questions and how to apply to take the exam on the state board’s website. Some states require that you attend one or more training sessions before sitting for the exam.

2. Documentation

You can only apply for a contractor license if you’re over the age of eighteen and have a valid ID. An individual applying for a license must have a qualified professional representing him or her, or be able to provide documentation proving prior construction experience. Businesses may apply for licensure as well. If you’re applying on behalf of a business, make sure that the business is registered with the state’s Secretary of State.

3. Fees and Bond

After you pass the exam but before your license is finalized, you’ll need to fill out some final paperwork and pay some fees. First, you’ll need to pay a state licensing fee and possibly agree to be fingerprinted. Then, you’ll need to present proof of insurance coverage, typically worker’s compensation and general liability insurance. Finally, you may be required to pay a surety bond, which is a monetary promise to operate responsibly and within legal bounds. Bond amount varies by state.

Keep in mind that a contractor license is not something you earn once and then keep forever. You’ll need to renew it periodically.