Whether you accept a simple home improvement project or build a complex building, safety must always be a top priority as a general contractor. Implementing protocols is crucial to ensuring your workers’ and bystanders’ well-being. It can also significantly contribute to your reputation in the industry. 

Unfortunately, accidents could still happen no matter how much you prepare for the task. Besides causing significant damage, it can ruin your reputation. For this reason, you need licenses and bonds. However, no guide would be complete without explaining how to get them.

We previously discussed the significance of these documents, when to get them, and what you should purchase. This article will show how to acquire a general contractor license and how three states did it. 

How to Get a General Contractor License

The qualifications for acquiring a contractor license differ depending on the area. Local governments usually require contractors to be at least 18 years old, have the proper education or experience, and pass an examination. To apply, general contractors typically must pay an application and license fee that may require renewal. Moreover, you may need general contractor insurance, like general liability insurance and workers’ compensation. 

3 Ways States Approach Licensing and Registration

After showing how to get a general contractor license, here’s how three different states approach licensing and registration. 

1. California 

If you’re working on projects worth $500 or more in California, you must have a license and a register. Four types of documents are available, depending on what project you want to handle. Class A is for specialized engineering projects, while Class B is for projects involving multiple unrelated trades excluding framing and carpentry. In contrast, Class B2 is for non-structural remodeling projects requiring at least three unrelated building trades, and Class C is for specialized building trades with 41 separate classifications.

Applicants can get a license in California by working in their field for at least four years, passing exams, undergoing background checks, and showing proof of insurance and a surety bond or cash deposit. Unlicensed workers can face legal trouble, such as paying fines and facing jail time. 

2. Florida 

In Florida, general contractors must be licensed and registered. They can obtain certified and registered licenses. A certified license permits them to work all over the state, while a registered license lets them work only in specific areas. The Sunshine State also has three contractor licensing classifications: residential, building, and general. 

Residential contractors work on homes up to two stories tall while building contractors work on residential and commercial buildings up to three stories tall. On the other hand, general contractors have no restrictions and must have at least a year of experience constructing structures four levels or higher.

Applicants must have at least four years of relevant work experience or a combination of education and work experience, pass multiple exams, provide a financial statement, and have insurance. Unlicensed contractors may face penalties, including jail time and forfeiting mechanics’ liens rights.

3. Texas 

Although Texas doesn’t require a general contractor’s license and registration, remember that some cities and counties may need them. All businesses in The Lone Star State must have a business license. Plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians must also have state licenses and meet specific training and exam requirements. 

If you’re a contractor and don’t have a license in Texas, government officials may charge you with a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of a fine ranging from $1,000 to $3,500 and imprisonment for up to a year.

Keeping Everyone Safe and Staying Professional

Getting licenses, bonds, and insurance coverage can be daunting for most contractors, but they’re necessary to protect everyone and your reputation. You can stay professional by obtaining the proper education and work experience and complying with your local government’s requirements. 

If your construction company in Alabama needs a licensing board for general contractors, call Pascal Burke Insurance Brokerage Inc.! We help businesses nationwide get the right coverage for their needs. Contact us now at 877-893-7629 for a fast quote!