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How To Get an Indiana Contractor License

4-minute read

contractor working on door pane with drill tool
Kat Ambrose

Kat Ambrose

20 November 2019

Interested in becoming a licensed contractor in Indiana, but aren't sure where to start?

Look no further! You've come to the right place. There's a lot of information out there, so I've streamlined everything for you into one, cohesive guide.

Like most states, depending on what type of contractor license you're after will determine the steps you need to take as well as the requirements.

In this post, we'll cover everything you need to know about getting an Indiana contractor license, including important things like:

  • Who is considered to be a contractor in the state of Indiana
  • What the different requirements are per type of contractor
  • How to correctly apply for your Indiana contractor's license
  • How to ensure your license stays current
  • Why you need business insurance to get your Indiana contractor’s license

Ready to get started?

What You Need to Know About Contractor Licenses in Indiana.

There are several things you need to do to operate as a contractor in Indiana legally. Let's take a look at the basics.

Who is considered a contractor in Indiana?

According to the State of Indiana, a contractor is "any person engaged in converting construction material into real property on behalf of another person." This includes general contractors, electricians, plumbers, HVACR, and other trades.

Why should you get a contractor's license? Contractors that are licensed are instantly more credible—and trustworthy—than those who are not. When potential clients see that you're licensed and insured, it takes away a lot of the risk that many people worry about when searching for a contractor.

General contractors, electricians, HVACR, and wrecking contractors get their licenses at the city level.

The requirements for contractor's licenses vary from state to state. Some states require that contractors obtain their permits through the state, and some require licensure at the local level—as is the case for contractors living in Indiana.

In Indiana, all contractors must acquire a license at the city level, except for those who want to obtain their plumbing licensure. Plumbers must go through a slightly different process than all other contractors, which we'll get to later.

Because each municipality handles contractor's licenses differently in Indiana, the processes and fees will vary from county to county.

One crucial detail to note if you want to register your business: If you're going to register as an LLC, a limited partnership, or a corporation, you'll need to do so before you apply to get your Indiana contractor's license. If you know you want to get your business license, make sure you're all set with the Indiana Secretary of State before you do anything else.

But generally, it's always a good rule of thumb to contact your local government to make sure you have all your ducks in a row.

Below are links to a few local contractors licensing resources in major areas across Indiana:

Renewals are issued the same way as the licenses themselves: at the city level. Your local government can help you figure out what steps you'll need to take if you need to renew your contractor's license. Some cities can renew licenses instantly. Others may take longer to process or require a fee.

Plumbing contractors obtain licensure through the state.

As I mentioned above, those who want to obtain their plumbing license must do so through the state, not through your city.

The State of Indiana issues three types of plumbing licenses: the Apprentice plumber license, the Journeyman plumber license, and the Plumbing Contractor license. Once you know which license you want to apply for, submit your application to the Indiana Plumbing Commission via the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency.

However, before you apply for any of the licenses, it's essential to make sure you meet the requirements in Indiana. The last thing you want is to be missing a crucial piece of the puzzle!

Below are the explicit requirements for each type of license:

To keep your license current and to avoid any business-related hiccups, make sure you stay on top of renewing your contractor's license. Renewal notices are sent about 90 days before the license is about to expire, which gives you plenty of time to get it done.

You can renew your license either online, which takes only minutes to complete and is available for verification the next business day. Or you can choose to submit your renewal form via mail. You can find the renewal forms for each type of plumbing contractor license listed on the State of Indiana’s website.

For more details on how to get your plumbing license in Indiana, visit the Indiana Plumbing Commission’s website.

Taking and Preparing for The Contractor Qualifying Exam.

Just like the application process, the exam requirements vary from city to city. For the most part, you can expect a written exam and a fee to accompany it.

For some municipalities, applicants may have to take and pass the exam before applying and vice versa. Also, the minimum passing score varies, as well. As I said, it just depends on your local government.

Get Business Insurance and General Liability Coverage.

As much as we try to plan in business, the unexpected can happen. Before you start operating, make sure you get business insurance and general liability coverage.

Business insurance includes an array of coverage that business owners—like you!—can purchase to safeguard against incidents like losses and liabilities while you grow your business. Liability coverage—also referred to as general liability insurance—is insurance that covers any costs from third-party accidents, bodily injury, and property damage.

It goes without saying that without any insurance—both business insurance and liability coverage—you could be putting your business at significant risk.

Applying for an IN Contractor’s License?

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

That’s where we come in. Compare free insurance quotes for policies as low as $25.95/month.*

Start Here >

For contractors in Indiana, different cities require you to have different levels of coverage depending on the type of contract work you do. For example, if you use a vehicle to conduct your work, you'll likely be required to have auto insurance for your work vehicle. Or your city could have a minimum dollar amount required depending on the type of contractor license you want.

That's it! If you have more questions about contractor licensing, the process, or the requirements, leave a comment below!

* Monthly payment calculations (i) do not include initial premium down payment and (ii) may vary by state, insurance provider, and nature of your business. Averages based on January - December 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.

Kat Ambrose

Written by

Kat Ambrose

I’m a writer who specializes in creating value-packed blog content for eCommerce and SaaS companies and small businesses. When I'm not writing, I’m probably out running, checking out a thriller novel—or two—from the library, or trying to pet the nearest dog.

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer

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