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How to Get a Maine Contractor License

3-minute read

Getting a Maine contractor license lets you work in clients’ homes, like this contractor installing a kitchen cabinet.
Emily Thompson

Emily Thompson

2 December 2019

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Have you been researching how to get your Maine contractor license? There’s a ton of information out there. And, it can be pretty time consuming to sort through it all.

Well, you’re in luck. I’ve done the work for you. All you need to do is read this how-to guide for navigating the licensing process in Maine. I’ll make it simple and painless to take the next step in your career.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

Why Do I Need to Become Licensed in Maine?

The truth is, not every contractor in Maine gets licensed. Unlike other states, Maine doesn’t require general contractors to be licensed—only plumbers, electricians, and contractors who do specialty work. Check out the full list of who needs to be licensed here.

Instead, general contractors need to apply for Maine business licenses. And they need written contracts jobs totaling over $3,000. It’s that easy.

Sound like good news? Well, not so fast.

There are a lot of benefits to getting a license—for you and your customers. Instead of going through the state of Maine, you can register for one through your local city or town, and there are a lot of good reasons for doing so.

A license gives you a professional “stamp of approval” that’s appealing to homeowners. It also:

  • Helps you get bigger jobs and the paychecks that go with them. If you’re an electrician or a plumber, then getting a license is the logical next step in your career. It lets you take on better jobs and earn more. If you’re a general contractor, it can make sense too. Flashing credentials in front of homeowners might win you work.

  • Shows you’re trustworthy and serious. The state warns homeowners to do their research and take a “buyer beware” approach to hiring contractors. If you have a certification with your local city or town, you’ll appear credible, which is exactly what homeowners want.

  • Protects you and your employees. Most licenses require that you get business insurance, including general liability insurance and workers’ compensation. Business insurance can help protect your company in the event of a third-party accident, injury, or property damage - all of which are risks that contractors face on a day-to-day basis.

Getting business insurance isn't just useful for getting your contractor license; it's also a great way to convince customers to hire you. Most people want to work with a licensed and insured contractor, as it gives them peace of mind that you'll handle their project with care and professionalism.

Applying for a ME 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 $19.58/month.*

Start Here >

Sold on getting a contractor license? If so, read on!

Getting a Contractor License in Maine: What You Need to Know

As you know, if you’re an electrician or plumber, you need to get licensed with the state, unlike general contractors. Let’s talk about how that works first.

Electrician Licenses

There are a few different licenses available, depending on your skills and experience. You can apply to be a:

  • Master electrician
  • Limited electrician
  • Journeyman electrician
  • Apprentice electrician
  • Helper electrician
  • Journeyman-in-training electrician

Each license carries different responsibilities, but also requires different levels of training. Learn more about it on the State of Maine’s website.

To apply, you’ll need:

  • A completed application form .
  • Proof of your work experience, including the number of hours you’ve worked in the field.
  • Proof that you passed the electrician exam.
  • A license and application fee.

You can send in your application online. If you have questions, contact the State of Maine Electricians’ Examining Board at 207-624-8603 or via email at [email protected].

Plumber Licenses

If you’re a plumber looking to get ahead, you can apply for one of these licenses:

  • Master plumber
  • Journeyman plumber
  • Trainee plumber
  • Journeyman-in-training plumber

Just like electricians, each license carries different responsibilities and requirements. You can learn about it on the State of Maine’s website.

To apply, you’ll need:

  • A completed application form.
  • Proof of your work experience, including the number of hours you’ve worked in the field.
  • Proof that you passed a plumbing exam.
  • A license and application fee.

Maine has an online application form, which makes it easy to apply. If you have questions, contact the State of Maine Plumbers’ Examining Board at 207-624-8603 or via email at [email protected].

General Contractor Licenses

Remember, even if Maine doesn’t require you to get a license, it’s a good idea. Check with your local municipal department to ask how it works. Every city and town is a little different, so be prepared.

No matter where you live, you’ll need to license your business too. If you own an LLP or LLC, register with the Bureau of Corporations at the Office of the Secretary of State. If you’re a sole proprietor or work in a general partnership, check with your local municipal department to register.

Don't Forget to Get Business Insurance

Along the way, don’t forget to buy a top-notch business insurance plan. Whether you get your contractor license or not, homeowners are likely to ask if you’re insured. Having a business insurance policy means you can give them the reassurance they need, making it more likely you'll get the job.

Plus, general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance protects you, your business, and any employees if there’s an accident or property damage as a result of your work.

The truth is, you never know what could happen, so it makes sense to be prepared. Start looking for the right insurance coverage for your business today.

Emily Thompson

Written by

Emily Thompson

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

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