Do you want to become a licensed contractor in Georgia, but aren’t sure where to start?
When you embark on applying for your contractor’s license in Georgia, there’s a lot of information available that could be confusing. If you have the wrong information, it could delay your application process. Not to mention, it can be frustrating and time-consuming to weed through all the information.
But I’ve got you covered.
This guide includes everything you need to know about getting your contractor’s license in Georgia from start to finish.
So, if you’re ready to take your career to the next level, let’s get started.
Who is considered a contractor in the state of Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, all general contractors who do work that surpasses $2,500 must be licensed.
According to Georgia law, general contractors are those who “undertake or undertakes, submit a bid or proposal, or personally or by others performs the construction or the management of the construction for an over of any building, bridge, or other structure, including a person who installs industrialized buildings.”
Licenses are separated into two categories: residential contracting work and general contracting work.
When you go to apply for your license, you must choose one of four:
- General Contractor: This license is without limits on the type of work you can be contracted for, including developments, remodeling, or other general contracting duties on both residential or commercial properties.
- Limited Tier General Contractor: This license is the same as the general contractor license, but the contracts are limited to $500,000 and under.
- Residential Basic Contractor: This license allows you to work on family homes with a two-family residence or townhome limit.
- Residential Light Contractor: This license gives you the same classification as a residential basic contractor, but you’re restricted to multifamily and multi-residential properties.
Applicants must meet the education and experience requirements before they apply.
Now that we know what constitutes as a general contractor and the types of licenses, let’s talk about how to apply.
First, you’ll have to prove your experience or education for the license you want to apply for.
Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications:
- A relevant degree from an accredited four-year university or college and one year of work experience under the supervision of a licensed contractor
- College-level courses from an accredited university or college, in addition to verifiable work experience that would be as similar as possible to four or more years of university work
- At least four years of work experience in the construction trades industry
For the first two options, you must be able to prove your education with transcripts, an official diploma, or certificate issued from the institution in a sealed envelope. You’ll send your proof of education and experience documents in with the rest of your application, which we’ll get into more detail below.
How to apply for a contractor’s license in Georgia.
The application process for obtaining your contractor’s license is pretty straightforward.
Once you meet the education and experience requirements, the process will look like this:
- Obtain your official transcripts, your diploma, or certificate from your university or college. Remember, they must be submitted in a sealed envelope.
- Complete the application, which can be found on the Georgia Secretary of State website. The application includes an affidavit that must be notarized. If your application affidavit is not notarized, your application is unable to be processed, so don’t skip this step!
- Make copies of your insurance certificates. We’ll get to the insurance requirements in a moment.
- Pay the $200 non-refundable application fee in addition to the proof of worker’s compensation and liability insurance.
- Put every document, including your application, into one envelope and send it to:
State Licensing Board For Residential and General Contractors
General Contractor Division
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217
Make sure you include all the necessary documents and components when you submit your application, otherwise it will take longer to process.
If you have any questions about the process, the documentation required, or any other part of the application, contact the Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors by calling (844) 753-7825 or via email.
Prepare for and schedule your contractor’s exam.
Next up, the exam. This portion of the licensing process comes after you submit your application. Once your application is approved, you can schedule your exam through PSI Online.
You must take both the Business and Law exam in addition to a construction exam. If you wish to apply for a specialty license, you’ll have to take a combined Business and Law trade test.
Register for your tax identification number.
All Georgia-run businesses are required to register for one or more tax identification numbers, licenses, or permits. That includes income tax withholding, sales and use tax, and unemployment insurance tax.
For more details on taxes and business registration, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue website.
Protect your business with insurance.
All licensed contractors must meet the insurance minimum, depending on their license. As part of the application process discussed above, you must be able to show workers compensation insurance and general liability insurance.
The fee breakdown is as follows:
- Residential-Basic: $300,000
- Residential-Light Commercial: $500,000
- General Contractor: $500,000
- General Contractor Limited Tier: $500,000
Be sure to run a contractors insurance quote to make sure you’re getting the best coverage.
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Renew your Georgia contractor’s license
Part of being a responsible business owner is making sure you not only have the correct license, insurance, and documentation but that you stay on top of renewing your license.
When renewing your license, the process is simple:
- Login to the Professional Licensing dashboard.
- You’ll see a summary of your license details once you log in. Navigate to the “Renew License” button.
- Choose the license you want to renew and follow the prompts. You must renew each license individually.
- Update any personal information if needed. Also, be sure to answer the renewal questions carefully, as some might require you to submit additional documents depending on the nature of the question.
- Enter your payment information and keep a copy of the receipt for your records.
Make sure you mark on your calendar when you need to apply to renew your license again, so you don’t miss the deadline.
If you have more questions about contractor licensing, the process, or the requirements, leave a comment below! After you get your license, make sure you get your contractor’s insurance quote.
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