Are you a handyman or contractor who’s ready to move up? It might be time to get your official Nebraska contractor’s license.
Maybe you’ve been doing construction work for a while, or maybe you’re new to the business altogether. Either way, I’ve put together a guide to help you register with the Nebraska Department of Labor and get your license quickly and easily.
Ready to get started? Let’s go!
In Nebraska, it’s the law to get a license. Anyone who wants to get paid for construction work has to apply for a license through the Nebraska Department of Labor . The state makes it crystal clear on their website:
“A contractor is any person who engages in the business of construction and includes subcontractors, general contractors and any other person arranging for the performance of work on real property.”
There are a couple of exceptions. If you’re a homeowner doing a handy project, you don’t need a license, of course. If you make less than $5,000 a year, you don’t need one either. But for most contractors, a license is a must. Fair warning: if you get fined and don’t pay, the state will add you to a public list of contractors who are in violation. Yikes!
The truth is, getting a contractors license in Nebraska is a good idea. It makes you appear professional and arms you with the skills and training to do good work. A state license also helps you:
Does getting a license sound like a no-brainer? I agree! Next, let’s talk about how you can get one.
The first step—get a quote for a business insurance plan, including general liability insurance and workers’ compensation (if you have more than one employee). During the application process, the state of Nebraska will ask you about your insurance coverage.
There’s a good reason why the state is asking about your insurance coverage. A quality business insurance plan helps protect you, your employees, and your business assets, like equipment and vehicles, in case of an accident or loss. You never know what can happen. It makes sense to be prepared early on.
Get an affordable & customized policy in just minutes. So you can get back to what matters: Your business.Start My Quote
Unlike other states, Nebraska outlines the licensing process on the Department of Labor’s website. Here you can search for registered contractors and start the application process. There’s even a user manual you can download, print, and refer to along the way.
During the application process, you’ll provide:
Once you review your information in the online application, you can pay the $40 registration fee online.
If you’re a specialized contractor, like an electrician, you need to get an additional license. Most specialized contractors also need to take an exam. Here’s where you can learn how licensing works:
You can apply for your Nebraska electrical license through the:
Nebraska Electrical Division
1220 Lincoln Mall, Suite 125
Lincoln, NE 68508
It’s easy to fill out the application online. If you have questions, call the Nebraska State Electrical Division at 402-471-3507.
Any contractor who works on asbestos projects in Nebraska needs to get a license with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Division of Public Health - Licensure Unit
PO Box 94986
Lincoln, NE 68509-4986
You can fill out the application online, and then print and mail it in. You’ll also have to complete and pass an asbestos-specific course, a course that covers Nebraska law, rules, and regulations, and get medical approval from a physician.
Interestingly enough, plumbers don’t need an additional license. If you’re a plumber, all you have to do is register for Nebraska’s general contracting license.
Have the license? Congratulations! Getting certified with the state took a lot of time and effort. If you have business cards, a website, contracts, or other advertising materials, feature your license status and number. Your customers want to work with licensed contractors—give them peace of mind by sharing your credentials.
You can also advertise your insurance coverage. Customers appreciate knowing you carry general liability and workers’ compensation insurance in case anything happens.
And if you’re not happy with your current coverage - or the state tells you that your insurance plan isn’t adequate to get licensed - remember, you can always shop for a new plan!
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.
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