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How to get general contractor license in Connecticut

Aug 28, 2023 · 7 minutes to read

Does the prospect of starting a contractor business call out to you? If so, securing a contractor license is your first step towards achieving that success. This certification enhances your credibility with clients, enables access to business insurance options, and streamlines the process of obtaining permits for various construction projects in Connecticut.

A contractor inspects the structure road construction work at road construction

Why do general contractors need a license in Connecticut?

In the state of Connecticut, getting a contractor license is more than just a formality. It’s an essential step that carries significant importance for several reasons.

Legal requirements

Connecticut law mandates that contractors working on commercial, industrial, or institutional projects or multi-family residential buildings secure a major contractor’s license. For those working on single-family homes and smaller multi-family units, a minor contractor’s license is required.

Enhances trust and reliability

Getting a contractor’s license reflects a commitment to professionalism and adherence to state regulations. Clients are more likely to hire licensed contractors who have demonstrated their qualifications and dedication to following legal and industry requirements.

Acquiring necessary permits for projects

Having a contractor’s license smoothens the process of obtaining the required permits for various construction projects. Without the proper credentials, obtaining these permits can become a complex and time-consuming process.

Major contractor licensing in Connecticut

For those with their sight set on substantial building projects in Connecticut, you will be required to get a major contractor license. This license authorizes professionals to manage diverse residential, commercial, and institutional projects. This includes the construction of new office buildings, healthcare facilities, or multi-unit condominiums.

How to apply for a major contractor license

  1. Download the Major Contractor Registration Application Form and fill it out accurately.
  2. Gather the following reference letters:
  • One from a bank or financial institution you are associated with.
  • One from a supplier or subcontractor you have worked with.
  • Three from people who can speak to the quality of your work, such as previous employers or clients.
  1. Provide evidence of your current General Liability coverage.
  2. Disclose details pertaining to your company’s legal structure.
  3. Share a record of past and current contracting projects undertaken within the last five years.
  4. Submit the completed application form along with an application fee either by mail or online.

Cost and renewal procedure

Your major contractor license will be valid for one year. At the end of the year, make sure to renew your license. The renewal can be carried out online or by emailing your name, license type (Major Contractor), license number, and email address to [email protected].

As you prepare your documents for getting your contractor license, here are a few handy tips. First, establish and maintain good rapport with your banks, suppliers, and subcontractors. Their references play a significant role in your application.

Second, keep a detailed record of your contracting projects. They could come in handy during the application process or renewal.

Minor contractor licensing in Connecticut

Connecticut’s minor contractor licensing can be broken down into two types: New home construction and home improvement.

A new home construction contractor refers to someone who engages in the construction, erection or modification of a new home before it is sold.

A home improvement contractor carries out changes to existing homes. This may include remodeling kitchens, renovating bathrooms, or adding extensions. If a project’s value exceeds $200, or the total cost of such projects in a year surpasses $1,000, home improvement construction license registration is necessary.

How to apply for a minor contractor license in Connecticut

The application process for both the new home construction license and home improvement license is fairly similar to one another. It begins with downloading and filling out the appropriate application forms.

After filling out these forms, ensure they are notarized. Then, send the completed applications to the Department of Consumer Protection via mail. Once the applications are sent, expect a wait time of approximately three to four weeks to receive your official registration.

For both types of minor contractor licenses, you will need to submit proof of General Liability insurance when you apply.

Cost and renewal procedure

Your new home construction license is valid for two years. The license will expire on September 30th of every odd-numbered year (for example, 2019, 2021 and 2023). If you want to continue as a contractor in Connecticut, you’ll have to renew your license and pay a renewal fee.

Meanwhile, a home improvement license  is valid for one year and expires on November 30th annually. You’ll also need to pay a renewal fee to renew your license.

When should you get both licenses?

In some cases, a contractor might need both licenses. For example, if you completed a new home construction project, and the homeowner later asks for a door to be added to the porch.

To carry out such alterations, you’ll need a home improvement license registration in addition to the new home construction license registration. Having both certificates expand your ability to take on various types of projects and ensures compliance with state regulations.

The extra mile for electricians, plumbers and HVAC technicians

In Connecticut, electricians, plumbers, and HVAC technicians are subjected to a more rigorous evaluation process. Due to the complexity and risk associated with these trades, these professionals are required to pass a state-administered examination before they can apply for a general contractor license.

For electricians, the journey begins with getting an electrical journeyman’s license. Gaining the journeyman’s license requires proof of successful completion of an electrical apprenticeship program. Following the application, candidates are required to pass an exam. Once the journeyman license is obtained, applicants can get a general contractor license through a separate application with the Department of Consumer Protection.

Likewise, plumbers require a state-issued license to operate legally. This involves holding a journeyman plumber’s license for at least two years, which can be accomplished by completing an apprenticeship program and passing a practical exam. With two years of journeyman experience, they can apply for a general contractor license.

HVAC technicians also share a similar licensing journey. Connecticut mandates that HVAC technicians or their employers hold a journeyman HVAC license for at least two years, obtained through proof of required education and practical experience, before applying for a general contractor license.

Each of these trades requires careful preparation, adherence to the processes, and patience to navigate the journey from journeyman to contractor. The path may seem long, but the rewards at the end — credibility, compliance, and a career in a high-demand field — are well worth it.

Understanding your insurance options with BizInsure

Starting your journey to become a licensed contractor in Connecticut opens up a world of opportunities. Whichever license you obtain, it represents to clients your professionalism and dedication to the industry.

Along this path, one crucial aspect to consider is getting contractor insurance for your business in Connecticut. BizInsure offers a range of insurance options suitable for contractors. So as you set up your contractor business, take some time to evaluate your insurance needs and explore what BizInsure has to offer.

Learn more about insurance options for contractors in Connecticut.

As with any insurance, coverage will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this guide is general only and should not be relied upon as advice. The number of quotes provided varies between products, occupations and other underwriting factors determined by the insurers.
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