Ways to Verify You Have a Licensed Contractor in Your State

Finding a contractor who understands your home improvement vision and does a proper job can be difficult. It is even harder to find a licensed contractor who understands what you need and does a good job. However, failure to hire a licensed contractor in your state can result in fines and a dangerous situation at your home. Moreover, knowing what’s the difference between contractor and a general contractor is also a must when considering their licenses.


General contractors and subcontractors require a license to perform professional work in Alabama. However, this is only if the project cost is a minimum of $10,000 for residential jobs, $50,000 for industrial and commercial jobs, and $5,000 for swimming pools. This cost may include labor charges.


Contractors require a license in Arkansas if the job including material and labor exceeds $2,000. Subcontractors in Arkansas when working for a licensed professional do not require a separate license of their own. However, in the event a contractor does not have license, the subcontractor would need to apply for one. Arkansas homeowners can perform home improvements and restorations without licensure.


All jobs exceeding $500 in California requires a license, regardless of whether the project is multiple jobs or single. California professionals need to take an examination to acquire a license.


General contractors in Colorado do not require a state license. Instead, they are given a county or a city license. However, certain specialty professions like plumbers and electricians are given a state-level license. All contractors require a business license, but only a few need contractors’ license.


Florida has two different license types – certified and registered. Certified license contractors can take up work throughout the state, while registered professionals can only work at local level. Irrigation contracting is considered a special line of work and requires a specific license.


In Maine, only electrical, plumbing, and asbestos professionals need licensure. General contractors who perform residential work require a business license to operate in the state.


General contractors in Massachusetts are required to acquire a construction supervisor license. This is awarded by the Office of Public Safety and Inspections. However, home improvement professionals are required to go through the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation for their license. Additional licensure is required for specific trades, like electrical and plumbing work.


License is required for almost everything in Mississippi except really small projects. Licenses are classified as per electrical, construction, Highway Street, heavy construction, bridge construction, municipal, mechanic, and public works. Certain licenses would require the contractor to pass an exam.

New Jersey

Home repair professionals and home builders in New Jersey are required to be registered with the state. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs is in charge of all licenses. Plumber, electricians, and home improvement professionals have to obtain a license before commencing work. However, home repair contractors that deal only in cash payments do not need a license if the project gets completed within 90 days.


Oregon needs contractors to obtain a license if they are performing construction activity against compensation. Exceptions include power washing and gutter cleaning for the purpose of removing debris.