Do you want to become a licensed contractor, handyman, or home renovator in Louisiana, but you’re not exactly sure how to get started?
Getting your contractor’s license is the next step in building a long, successful career. No matter your specialty, being a licensed contractor is excellent for business.
But with all the information that exists online today about the process, where do you start? We’ve got you covered.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about getting your contractor’s license in the state of Louisiana.
Let’s get started.
Who needs a contractor’s license in Louisiana?
Not sure if you need to get your contractor’s license, let alone what the benefit of completing the process is to your career? Keep reading.
According to Louisiana Contractor’s Licensing Laws, a contractor is “general contractors, subcontractors, architects, and engineers who receive an additional fee for the employment or direction of labor, or any other work beyond the normal architectural or engineering services.”
In other words, if what you do falls under one of those categories, you definitely need to get your license—it’s the law. But aside from it being the law, what is the benefit of getting your license?
For starters, being a licensed contractor is great for business. It makes your business official. Not to mention, it can help clients find you through the online contractor search.
Now that we know why it’s important to be a licensed contractor in Louisiana, let’s take a look at the process.
How do I get my Louisiana contractor’s license?
From paperwork to taking the contractor’s exam, there are a few boxes you must check to obtain your contractor’s license. All licenses will be approved and issued by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LCLBC).
If you know you want to start a contracting business as well, you’ll need to register your business with the Louisiana Secretary of State in addition to getting your license. You can register your business as a limited liability company (LLC), partnership, corporation, non-profit, or a partnership.
To complete that process, you’ll have to provide the right documentation, including:
- The business structure you want to apply for
- Business and tax registration numbers
- Worker’s compensation insurance
To learn more about how to register your business, visit the Louisiana Secretary of State website. Now, let’s take a more detailed look at the contractor’s license application process.
Complete the application for the license you’re applying for
The LSLBC divides contracting specialties into a few categories. Depending on the type of projects you want to take on, you may need to apply for other licenses as well.
Commercial License: If you work on commercial contracting projects over $50,000 (that includes materials and labor), you’ll want to apply for this license. For subcontractors and specialty trade contractors, you’ll need to be licensed, with the following exceptions:
- Electricians, plumbers, and mechanical trades need a license to work on projects over $10,000.
- To work on lead and paint abatement or removal, hazardous waste, asbestos, or underground storage tanks, you’ll need a license to work on projects over just $1.00.
For more details on applying for a commercial license, visit the LSLBC website.
Home Improvement Registration: If you plan on working on home improvement projects that exceed $7,500 but are less than $75,000, this is the license for you. Keep in mind, this registration does not include swimming pools, so if you know you want to take on those types of projects, you’ll have to get an additional license. For more details on obtaining your Home Improvement Registration, check out the LSLBC website.
Mold Remediation License: If you want to work with hazardous materials, you’ll need to apply for this license. For additional details on applying for this license, check out the LSLBC.
Residential License: To work on residential buildings or structures—with no more than four attached or included living units—that will surpass $75,000 in labor and materials, you will need this license. Also, for subcontractors or specialty trades, you’ll need to be licensed if the cost of labor and materials exceeds $7,500. For more information on this license, visit the LSLBC website and the Louisiana Contractors Licensing Law and Rules and Regulations.
Provide proof of good financial standing
Once you know which license you want to apply for, you must provide proof of solid financial standing. An accountant, bookkeeper, or CPA must prepare the financial statement, which needs to prove a net worth of at least $10,000. You must get the statement notarized by an independent auditor.
Obtain the proper insurance
The unexpected can happen no matter how much we try to plan. That’s why the next step to becoming a licensed contractor in Louisiana is to get the proper insurance. You must obtain General Liability insurance and Worker’s Compensation ($100,000 for residential and $50,000 for mold remediation).
Before you take out any insurance, make sure you [g]et a quote](/business-insurance/general-liability/) to ensure you’re getting the best coverage at the best price.
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Get approved by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors
After you’ve completed the application and provided the necessary documents, send your application to:
Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors
2525 Quail Drive,
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Once your application is approved, you’ll be notified that you are permitted to sign up to take the licensing exam, which we’ll cover in more detail below.
Take and pass the contractor’s exam
Once you submit your application, you’ll be notified by the LSLBC about the mandatory exam. Every contractor will have to take and pass the Business and Law exam. Specialty trade contractor exams vary depending on the trade.
Does test-taking make you nervous? No fear. The Business and Law exam is open book, which you can take online. The classification exams, however, are done at testing centers. You must score at least a 70 to pass the exam.
Make sure you bring the following with you to the test:
- Valid ID
- Social security number
- Approval letters
- Registration confirmation
For more details on the license exams and classifications, visit the LSLBC website.
Have you got questions about contractor’s insurance in Louisiana? Our team can help you figure out what you need to make sure you’re good to go. You can also check out our guide on How to Start a Handyman Business for more helpful advice.
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