Looking to apply for your Kentucky contractors license, but frustrated by the confusing - and frustrating! - process involved in getting it?
I get it. That's why I did the dirty work of researching government and contractor licensing websites to give you your definitive guide on how to get your Kentucky contractors license.
This guide includes all of the steps you need to take, as well as information about getting a license in Kentucky’s biggest cities. If you’re ready to get started, read on.
Do you want to work as an electrician, plumber, or with elevators or HVAC systems? If so, the Kentucky Department of Housing, Building, and Construction requires you to get a license. That’s right, folks, it’s the law.
But it’s for a good reason. The state is protecting consumers from scams and unsafe work practices. And as a contractor, there are a ton of benefits for you too. For example:
A license helps you score bigger, higher-paying jobs. Without a license, you’re limited to working on smaller handyman projects—and you can’t do specialized electrical, plumbing, HVAC, or elevator work. Plain and simple. Get a license, and you’ll earn more.
It makes your business look credible. A stamp of approval from the state looks great on your resume/CV. New clients can find you in the state’s database of licensed contractors, and they’re more likely to hire you because they know you have training and certifications.
It safeguards your business and its employees. You probably don’t want to imagine worst-case scenarios. But, when you’re starting a business, it’s important to take precautions. After all, you never know what could happen. A license requires you to carry general liability and other business insurance, like workers’ compensation, in case of an accident, injury, or loss.
Sound like a good idea yet? I think so. Now here’s how to get started.
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 $19.58/month.*Start Here >
First, take a deep breath. The paperwork might seem stressful, but it’ll pay off—literally. You can earn more with a contractor’s license. Just follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to holding a license in your hand.
To get your electrical license, send in a completed application form as well as:
A copy of your passing test results.
A notarized letter from your employer, former employer, electrical inspector, or another person you’ve worked under that proves you have the experience requirements. The letter should describe some of the work you’ve done.
A nonrefundable application fee.
A passport size color photo.
A copy of your driver’s license or birth certificate.
When you’re ready, mail your application to:
Public Protection Cabinet Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction Electrical Division 101 Sea Hero Road, Suite 100 Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-5412
To get your elevator contractor license, fill out the application form and include:
Mail your application to:
Public Protection Cabinet Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction Division of Building Codes Enforcement Elevator Section 101 Sea Hero Road, Suite 100 Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-5412
Just like the elevator contractor license, fill out the application form and include:
Then send your application to:
Public Protection Cabinet Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction Division of HVAC 101 Sea Hero Road, Suite 100 Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-5412
Last but not least, if you’re ready to be a licensed plumber, fill out the application form. Include with it:
You can mail your application to:
Public Protection Cabinet Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction Division of Plumbing 101 Sea Hero Road, Suite 100 Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-5412
Didn’t see the correct form here? Check out all of the licensing forms on the Kentucky Department of Housing, Building, and Construction's website.
Next up — if you’re a general contractor, we’ll go over getting your license with your local municipal department too. If you’re an electrician, plumber, or an HVAC contractor you might have to get a second license. And be warned: every city and county in Kentucky handles the process a little differently. To help, I’ve researched how it works in a few of the Kentucky’s biggest cities.
You can get your license through the Louisville Metro Department of Codes and Regulations. There are a couple different types of licenses to choose from (Building A and Building B). Choose a Building Type A license if you’re a contractor looking to get multiple permits for single or multi-family homes.
To apply, you’ll need:
Send your application to:
Louisville Metro Department of Codes and Regulations 444 S. 5th Street Louisville, KY 40202
The Lexington Fayette Urban County Government handles all licenses. You can apply for a general contractor’s license or to be a specialty contractor (for demolition, electrical, and HVAC work).
Send your application to:
101 East Vine Street, 2nd Floor Lexington, KY 40507
Bowling Green, KY
Live in Bowling Green? Head to the Bowling Green/Warren County Contractors Licensing Board to apply for a license. You can get a general contractor’s license or a specialty contractor’s license.
Just like other counties in Kentucky, you’ll need:
Send your application to:
1141 State Street, Suite 200 PO Box 1268 Bowling Green, KY 42102-1268
See a common thread here? Hint: It’s business insurance. Most licenses require that you get general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance These plans protect you, your employees, and your business’s property in case there’s an injury, accident, or loss.
Don’t wait until you’re ready to apply to get insurance. In fact, it should be one of the first steps you take toward becoming official. Look around and get a quote today.
*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 - March 2023 data of 10% of our total policies sold.
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.
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
*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated insurance carrier by AM Best. Harborway Insurance is a brand name of Harborway Insurance Agency, LLC, a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. California license #6004217.