contractor license requirements
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Different U.S. states set different regulatory requirements for professions. One commonly regulated profession is general contracting. A general contractor is responsible for supervising a construction project. General contractor license requirements may vary from state to state, and the requirements may change considerably with new legislation.

Common Contractor License Requirements

If you’re considering getting a general contracting license, check with your state’s licensing board for the most up-to-date licensure requirements. You should also be aware that, as a rule of thumb, a license in one state will not permit you to work in another state. You may also need to be licensed locally, even if no state-level license is necessary, so check with the county or municipality.

contractor license requirements

Individual States’ Requirements

Several states feature similar requirements to one another. One common contractor license requirement, for example, is an exam on building code requirements. Many states require you to be bonded or insured, and some will also request fingerprints for a background check. You will also generally have to pay a processing fee.

Here are license requirements for some notable states:


  • You’ll need an initial licensing fee of $150, as well as a contractor’s bond or cash deposit equal to $12,500, and a bond of qualifying individual or cash deposit equal to $12,500.
  • California also requires proof of worker’s compensation insurance or proof that you do not need to meet this requirement. You must also pass an open book examination about asbestos rules, and submit fingerprints.


  • To work as a general contractor building new homes in Connecticut, you must provide a $120 processing fee, as well as guaranty fund fee of $480.
  • Provide proof of insurance, a credit report and three reference letters to prove your experience.


  • Florida requires either registration or certification to be a general contractor.
  • The precise requirement differs based on the county.
  • Certification is provided by the state, and you must pass an exam and meet educational and experience requirements.
  • You must also provide proof of worker’s compensation insurance and a credit report.

New Jersey

  • To build new homes in New Jersey, you must fill out an application in which you give information about your company (including any fraud or bankruptcy proceedings), and you must pay $200.

New York

  • The state of New York does not require a license for general contracting.
  • However, if you are building homes for one, two or three families, you will need to get a new building permit.
  • Asbestos abatement also requires a license.



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