Want to become a general contractor in Arizona — but have no idea how to get started? It’s easier than you might think.
If you’re passionate about home improvement and ready to make it your career, here’s your step-by-step guide.
Why Do I Need to Become Licensed in Arizona?
First, let’s talk about the benefits of getting a license. You can do handyman work without one, but getting an official contractor’s license in Arizona helps you earn more. The state requires licensed contractors to handle jobs totaling over $1,000. And in the construction industry, that’s most of them. Without a license, you’re limited to smaller, lower-paying jobs.
Getting a license also sets you up for success. A license will:
- Add a level of professionalism to your work, including the state’s stamp of approval.
- Tell customers you’re serious about what you do.
- Give you a competitive edge over other contractors.
A license also requires that you carry general liability and business insurance, such as workers compensation. These policies protect you, your company’s assets (like tools, equipment, and vehicles), and your employees in case something goes wrong.
Does getting a license sound like a no-brainer? We think so. Now, here’s how to do it.
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Getting a Contractor License in Arizona: What You Need to Know
Anyone can apply for a contractor’s license, whether you’re an individual working as a sole proprietor, or if you work in a partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation.
But how do you know if you’re actually required to get a license?
Arizona is pretty clear on this front. You’re required to get a contractor license if:
- You’re working on any project that exceeds $1,000 - and that’s with labor and materials combined. So even a “small” project could require a license if you’re using materials that hit that $1,000 threshold.
- You’re working on any project where a permit or license is required. You will encounter this a lot, as Arizona is encountering a building boom thanks to an increasing population.
To summarize, if you don’t have a contractor’s license, you could be cutting yourself off from some pretty high-paying projects. Plus, without the license, you could be putting yourself at legal risk if a customer ever sues you over your work.
So let’s take a closer look at how to get your Arizona contractor license.
First, download the application online at roc.az.gov, or get a hard copy by calling 877-692-9762, or emailing [email protected]. If you prefer an in-person visit, stop by one of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors offices to get an application. Bonus: their onsite staff can walk you through the process there.
1700 W. Washington St. Suite 105
Phoenix, Arizona 85007-2812
Telephone: (602) 542-1525
Fax: (602) 542-1599
400 W. Congress St., Ste. 212
Tucson, Arizona 85701-1353
Fax: (602) 542-1599
Flagstaff Office (by appointment only)
2501 N 4th Street #22
Flagstaff, Arizona 86004-3701
General Requirements for Licensure
First, you’ll need to identify your “qualifying party.” This is a person, and most likely you, who is over 18 and ready to apply for a license. Check out Arizona’s license classification requirements to make sure you have the years of experience required.
Arizona requires a criminal background check for any person applying for a state license. Once you complete the background check, the Arizona Registrar of Contractors receives the results.
If you have a criminal record, it could affect your ability to secure a state license. Your best bet is to read the state’s policy on licensing background checks and call 877-692-9762 with questions.
There is a test involved. You’ll need to pass the Arizona SRE Statutes and Rules Exam and your specific trade exam by at least 70% — and send in the results.
Paperwork for legal entity
If you haven’t done so already, register your business in Arizona — whether you’re a sole proprietor (an individual working on your own), or you work in a partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. You can use eCorp , the state’s web-based application to file your business with the state.
You’ll also need to send in proof of a license bond. This bond can be a surety bond or a cash bond. You can also provide your bond in cash or as a certificate of deposit from any Arizona bank.
The bond must be continuous, meaning it doesn’t have a termination date. The amount varies based on your license type and the estimated gross volume of work.
To get your state license, you also need to pay a fee. The fees below are for a two-year license:
Gather your government-issued identification and make copies to send in. Your identification can be a valid driver’s license or a passport.
Application form and signatures Once you have all of your paperwork together, sign it and add any supporting documents that are needed. Here are a few documents you might need to add in:
- Prior license disclosure form (if you had a previous license)
- License cancellation form (if you have a license that you wish to cancel when you receive your new license)
- Felony disclosure form (if you were convicted of a felony)
- Unlicensed activity disclosure form (if you were convicted of unlicensed activity)
- Solar warranty (if you are applying for a solar license)
Apply to Take the License Exam
Submit Your Application
You’ve completed and signed the paperwork. Check! You’ve passed the test. Another check! Great job. It’s time to send in your application.
To send it in the mail:
Registrar of Contractors
P.O. Box 6748
Phoenix, AZ 85005-6748
To deliver it in person:
1700 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007-2812
Get Business Insurance
As you navigate the licensing process, don’t forget to get business insurance, including general liability. A business insurance plan will help protect you, your employees, and your business if there’s an accident or loss of property. Plus, it adds a level of professionalism that complements your brand new state license.
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