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How to Get a Georgia Contractors License

5-minute read

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Kat Ambrose

Kat Ambrose

23 December 2021

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Do you want to become a licensed contractor in Georgia, but aren’t sure where to start?

When you embark on applying for your contractor’s license in Georgia, there’s a lot of information available that could be confusing. If you have the wrong information, it could delay your application process. Not to mention, it can be frustrating and time-consuming to weed through all the information.

But I’ve got you covered.

This guide includes everything you need to know about getting your Georgia contractors license from start to finish.

So, if you’re ready to take your career to the next level, let’s get started.

Do You Need a License to be a Contractor in Georgia?

In the state of Georgia, all general contractors who do work that surpasses $2,500 must be licensed.

According to Georgia law, general contractors are those who "undertake or undertakes, submit a bid or proposal, or personally or by others performs the construction or the management of the construction for an over of any building, bridge, or other structure, including a person who installs industrialized buildings."

Licenses are separated into two categories: residential contracting work and general contracting work.

When you go to apply for your license, you must choose one of four:

  • General Contractor: This license is without limits on the type of work you can be contracted for, including developments, remodeling, or other general contracting duties on both residential or commercial properties.
  • Limited Tier General Contractor: This license is the same as the general contractor license, but the contracts are limited to $500,000 and under.
  • Residential Basic Contractor: This license allows you to work on family homes with a two-family residence or townhome limit.
  • Residential Light Contractor: This license gives you the same classification as a residential basic contractor, but you’re restricted to multifamily and multi-residential properties.

Applicants Must Meet the Education and Experience Requirements Before They Apply.

Now that we know what constitutes a general contractor and the types of licenses, let’s talk about how to apply for your Georgia contractors license.

First, you’ll have to prove your experience or education for the license you want to apply for.

Applicants must meet one of the following qualifications:

  • A relevant degree from an accredited four-year university or college and one year of work experience under the supervision of a licensed contractor
  • College-level courses from an accredited university or college, in addition to verifiable work experience that would be as similar as possible to four or more years of university work
  • At least four years of work experience in the construction trades industry

For the first two options, you must be able to prove your education with transcripts, an official diploma, or certificate issued from the institution in a sealed envelope. You’ll send your proof of education and experience documents in with the rest of your application, which we’ll get into more detail below when we cover applying for your license.

How to Apply for a Contractor’s License in Georgia

The application process for obtaining your Georgia contractor’s license is pretty straightforward.

Once you meet the education and experience requirements, the process will look like this:

  • Obtain your official transcripts, your diploma, or certificate from your university or college. Remember, they must be submitted in a sealed envelope.
  • Complete the application, which can be found on the Georgia Secretary of State website. The application includes an affidavit that must be notarized. If your application affidavit is not notarized, your application is unable to be processed, so don’t skip this step!
  • Make copies of your insurance certificates. We’ll get to the insurance requirements in a moment.
  • Pay the $200 non-refundable application fee in addition to the proof of worker’s compensation and liability insurance.
  • Put every document, including your application, into one envelope and send it to:

State Licensing Board For Residential and General Contractors General Contractor Division 237 Coliseum Drive Macon, GA 31217

Make sure you include all the necessary documents and components when you submit your license application, otherwise it will take longer to process.

If you have any questions about the process, the documentation required, or any other part of the application, contact the Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors by calling (844) 753-7825 or via email.

Prepare for and Schedule Your Contractor’s Exam

Next up, the exam. This portion of the Georgia contractors licensing process comes after you submit your application. Once your application is approved, you can schedule your exam through PSI Online.

You must take both the Business and Law exam in addition to a construction exam. If you wish to apply for a specialty license, you’ll have to take a combined Business and Law trade test.

Register for Your Tax Identification Number

All Georgia-run businesses are required to register for one or more tax identification numbers, licenses, or permits. That includes income tax withholding, sales and use tax, and unemployment insurance tax.

For more details on taxes and business registration, visit the Georgia Department of Revenue website.

Protect Your Business With Insurance

All licensed contractors in Georgia must meet the insurance minimum, depending on their license. Beyond the Business and Law exam, as part of the application process discussed above, you must also be able to show workers compensation insurance and general liability insurance.

The fee breakdown is as follows:

  • Residential-Basic: $300,000
  • Residential-Light Commercial: $500,000
  • General Contractor: $500,000
  • General Contractor Limited Tier: $500,000

You can run a contractors insurance quote to make sure you’re getting the best coverage.

Regardless of what type of contracting you do and on what scale, why does it benefit you to have insurance? Besides it being required, having a business insurance policy can help you to:

  • Secure trust in potential customers looking to work with you
  • Protect you in lawsuits around third party accidents, property damage, and person injury
  • Adhere to the requirements of landlords, project managers, or vendors
  • Gain access to grants, loans, or other types of financial assistance
  • And more!

We know that you may be trying to just check a Georgia contractor's license off of your to-do list as quickly as possible, but taking the time to get business insurance is a huge investment in your business's future.

Let's think this through:

Say you're working at a site and your client, who wasn't expected to stop by, comes around to ask you some questions about the project plans. While you're talking, the client's child trips over an extension cord and breaks their wrist in the fall.

Having a general liability insurance policy could help to pay the medical bills resulting in getting the client's child's wrist properly cared for.

When it comes to workers compensation insurance--well, think back to the last time you worked for someone else (even if it was a while back!). Would you be more or less likely to work with someone who had a plan in place to protect you, should things go wrong?

Accidents on the job happen, and most employees understand that risk. Having workers compensation coverage signals to potential or current employees that you take their well-being while on the job seriously, and that you're prepared against potential accidents.

Just as having a current contractors license in Georgia can help your business, business insurance is also likely to benefit you. They work very well together towards investing in your business's future and overall success.

Applying for a GA 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 >

How Do I Check a Contractor's License?

The Secretary of State’s office enables you to check contractor licenses online.

Renew Your Georgia Contractor’s License

Part of being a responsible business owner is making sure you not only have the correct license, insurance, and documentation but that you stay on top of renewing your license.

When renewing your license, the process is simple:

  • You’ll see a summary of your license details once you log in. Navigate to the "Renew License" button.
  • Choose the license you want to renew and follow the prompts. You must renew each license individually.
  • Update any personal information if needed. Also, be sure to answer the renewal questions carefully, as some might require you to submit additional documents depending on the nature of the question.
  • Enter your payment information and keep a copy of the receipt for your records.

Make sure you mark on your calendar when you need to apply to renew your license again, so you don’t miss the deadline.

If you have more questions about contractor licensing, the process, or the requirements, leave a comment below! After you get your license, make sure you get your contractor’s insurance quote.

*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.

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.

Kat writes on a number of topics such as small business administration and business license requirements.

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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