How to Get a Mississippi Contractors License

Getting a contractor’s license in Maine lets you work in clients’ homes, like this contractor installing patio doors.

Being a contractor is a great gig. I mean, what other job lets you learn new tools, meet people, and work a flexible schedule? Very few.

If you love construction or handyman work, I’m here to help you get your Mississippi contractors license. There’s a lot of information on the web, and it can be pretty confusing. This guide will help you get through the steps, quickly and easily.

Ready to get started?

Why Do I Need to Become Licensed in Mississippi?

I’m not a fan of paperwork. Who is? And getting your license requires filling out a lot of paperwork. So you might be wondering, is applying for your contractors license even worth the effort?

Trust me, it is.

In Mississippi, you can earn much more if you’re a licensed contractor. A license opens the doors to commercial and residential projects that are worth over $50,000 in value. Say goodbye to small jobs and hello to big contracting work—and big bucks.

Plus, a license:

  • Tells homeowners you’re trustworthy. It takes time and effort to get the state’s stamp of approval. Taking the time to get your license shows you’re serious about what you do and you won’t cut corners. As a result, homeowners look for contractors who are licensed. A license shows you have the skills needed to do the job well.
  • Protects your business financially. To get your license, you’ll need to prove you have business insurance, including general liability insurance and workers’ compensation if you have employees. If you haven’t had insurance before, now’s a great time to look for a plan. Business insurance protects you and your employees if there’s an accident, injury, or loss.

Does a license sound like a good idea yet? I hope so. Now, let’s talk about how the process works.

Applying for a MS Contractor’s License?

You may need to show proof of business insurance to get your license in Mississippi.

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Getting a Contractor License in Mississippi: What You Need to Know

Remember, not everyone needs to get licensed with the state. You only need a license if you work on:

  • Commercial projects over $50,000, fire protection systems on public projects that are over $5,000, or private projects over $10,000.
  • Residential projects over $50,000, residential remodeling over $10,000, or residential roofing over $10,000.

Who Doesn’t Need a License?

If you work on smaller jobs, like handyman projects, you don’t need a license at the state level. You also don’t need a license if you do electrical, plumbing, or HVAC work that is less than $10,000.

That being said, many cities and towns in Mississippi require you to get a local license. Call your local municipal department to ask first. You don’t want a hefty fine.

General Requirements for Licensure

First off, the Mississippi State Board of Contractors’ website has a quick video that explains the process of getting your license and helps answer questions. I suggest watching it first.

Then decide if you’re applying for a commercial or residential license. Remember, the two licenses let you work on different types of projects. To apply for either license, you’ll need:

  • A completed and notarized commercial or residential application form.
  • Proof that your business is registered with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office (for LLCs and corporations).
  • A sales tax number from the Mississippi Department of Revenue.
  • Proof of general liability insurance with a minimum of $300,000 per occurrence and $600,000 aggregate.
  • Proof of workers’ compensation coverage if you have five employees or more.
  • Three letters of reference, including one from the bank.
  • A description of your work experience and skills.
  • A reviewed or audited financial statement from a certified public accountant.
  • An application fee ($400 for commercial licenses and $50 for residential licenses).

Do You Need Additional Contractor’s Licenses?

Possibly, but it depends on your line of work and where you live. For example, if you’re an electrician or plumber, you’ll want to ask your local municipal department about licensing. Each city and town in Mississippi handles it a little differently.

If you’re a general contractor, it makes sense to call your city or town too. Make sure they don’t have special requirements (like taking an exam) before you can work.

Apply to Take the License Exam

Once you complete the application form and gather materials, it’s time to take the licensing exam. The state requires that you take a Law and Business Management exam as well as your trade exam.

Once the state receives your application, they’ll send you the PSI Candidate Information Bulletin and exam registration instructions. It’s as easy as that.

Time to start studying!

Get Business Insurance

Even if you don’t get your license, explore buying business insurance. In the construction industry, you never know what can happen. Just imagine if there was an accident or injury, or if something happened to your equipment.

Having Mississippi business insurance can benefit your business in a lot of ways. Securing liability coverage can help you:

  • Gain the trust of potential customers
  • Fulfill obligations set by landlords or vendors
  • Assist you in landing larger, higher risk jobs
  • Protect you in lawsuits regarding third party accidents, property damage, injury, etc.
  • And more!

Be prepared by getting a general liability insurance plan and workers compensation if you have employees. Investing in workers compensation insurance can help protect you and your employees in the event they get injured or become sick while on the job.

While walking through the steps to get a Mississippi contractors license takes time, effort, and maybe even an exam–its an investment in your business that’s well worth the sweat. With your contractors license in hand you can move forward doing what you love while knowing your hard work is protected.

Emily Thompson

I earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison (go Bucky). After realizing my first job might involve carrying a police scanner at 2 am in pursuit of “newsworthy” crimes, I decided I was better suited for freelance blogging and marketing writing. Since 2010, I’ve owned my freelance writing business, EST Creative. When I’m not penning, doodling ideas, or chatting with clients, you’ll find me hiking with my husband, baby boy, and 2 mischievous mutts.

Emily writes on a number of topics such as entrepreneurship, small business networking, and budgeting.