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How to Get a Contractor’s License in Nevada

4-minute read

Kat Ambrose

Kat Ambrose

4 December 2019

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Do you want to get your Nevada contractor’s license, but you aren’t sure how? Whether you’re a general contractor, handyman, or an electrician, this guide will help you navigate the process.

There are fees to pay and exams to take. Not to mention, there are several classes of contractor licenses to choose from. Figuring out where you fall into the mix can seem overwhelming.

But don't worry. We got you! In this guide, we're going to cover everything you need to know about becoming a licensed contractor in Nevada—from start to finish.

Let's get started.

Who needs a contractor’s license in Nevada?

According to the Nevada State Contractors Board, "All businesses or individuals who construct or alter any building, highway, road, parking facility, railroad, excavation, or other structure in Nevada must be licensed by the Nevada State Contractors Board."

To be eligible to apply for a contractor's license in Nevada, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be 18+ years old
  • Have at least four years of work experience as a journeyman, foreman, contractor, or supervisor that falls within the last ten years of the date you apply

Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Well, there's more to it than that. The State of Nevada splits contractor licenses into three different classes depending on the trade or specialty.

The class types are as follows:

  • Class A (General Engineering Contractor License): This classification is on the technical side—more so for those with specific engineering training.
  • Class B (General Building Contractor License): When you think of what a general contractor encompasses, this is the license that covers those jobs. This includes construction, altering, repairs, and more.
  • Class C (Specialty Contractor License): For specialty skills like pool repairs, recycling asphalt, and industrial piping, your license falls under this class. Nevada recognizes 35+ different specialties.

For the full list of the specialty skills, check out the complete list from the Nevada Administrative Code, and to read more about the scope of work per classification reference the Nevada Administrative Code 624.140 - 642.574.

What are the requirements to becoming a licensed contractor in Nevada?

Now that we know what kinds of contractor's licenses Nevada offers let's take a look at the qualifications to apply for one.

  • All applicants must take and pass a CMS exam in addition to a trade exam. You must provide a financial statement that proves you're capable of handling any financial matters associated with running a contracting business.
  • You'll need to submit four certificates, one for each documented year of work experience you need to prove.
  • Part of the application process involves a background check, complete with fingerprinting.
  • If you plan on working on residential properties, you'll need to contribute money to a Residential Recovery Fund. The amount you're required to add will depend on the monetary limit you pick.

In addition to these requirements, there are a few fees to note:

  • A non-refundable $300 application fee upon submission
  • Once your application is approved, you'll have to pay another fee of $600 every two years.
  • Lastly, because your business needs to be bonded to operate, that additional expense will depend on the limit you pick.

Other important details you need to know

In addition to the requirements, there are a few other components to the application process you need to know. Let's take a look at each in more detail.

Register your business with the Nevada Secretary of State

Not only are all Nevada contractors required to maintain a contractor's license, but you must also have a current business license as well. But don't stress—there are plenty of resources available to you at your disposal.

The Nevada Secretary of State offers a free business service called SilverFlume that makes it easy to register. You'll need to secure your Nevada business ID to apply for your contractor's license. You can register as an LLC, LLP, corporation, or a sole proprietor.

Submit a complete the contractor’s license application

Before you can schedule your exam, you must submit your application along with the corresponding documents.

The application will ask you to provide information like:

  • The license classification you wish to apply for
  • The names of your employees if you have any
  • Any criminal history
  • A financial statement

If you have any questions about the Nevada contractor's license application or need more information, visit the Nevada State Contractors Board website.

Prepare for and schedule your contractor’s exam

To receive your contractor's license, you must take and pass the Business and Law exam and the trade exam for your classification of license. You'll schedule your test date after you submit your application and get approval from the Nevada State Contractors Board (NSCB).

You are responsible for scheduling your exam, but there are multiple testing centers, so you have a few options. All Nevada contractor's license exams are distributed through PSI Online. The Business and Law exam costs $140 when you take it with a trade exam. But if you take them separately, they cost $95 each.

For more information about the exams, visit the Nevada State Contractors Board website.

Get the proper insurance coverage

Part of the license issuing process is to get the necessary coverage for your business. In the state of Nevada, all licensed contractors must be bonded and have Workers Compensation.

According to the NSCB, "The Board determines the amount of the bond at the time of license approval. The bond can vary in amount from $1,000 to $500,000 based on the type of license, monetary limit, past, present or future financial responsibility, experience, and character of the applicant." In other words, the classification of license you apply for will determine how much you'll pay for your bond.

When it comes to Workers Compensation, all contractors who have at least one employee must have a policy in place. And unless subcontractors, independent contractors, and their employees are considered separate entities, those individuals must also be covered under your policy.

Because Nevada doesn't have a state-funded Workers Compensation fund, you must purchase coverage from a provider. To make sure you're getting the coverage you need at the right price, get an insurance quote.

If you have more questions about contractor licensing, the process, or the requirements, leave a comment below! We're happy to assist. Don't forget to request an insurance quote so you can be sure you're getting the right coverage at the right price.

Applying for a NV 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 $25.95/month.*

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* 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 Q1 2020 data of 10% of our total policies sold.

Kat Ambrose

Written by

Kat Ambrose

I’m a writer who specializes in creating value-packed blog content for eCommerce and SaaS companies and small businesses. When I'm not writing, I’m probably out running, checking out a thriller novel—or two—from the library, or trying to pet the nearest dog.

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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