Michigan Contractor License and Insurance Requirements

Jun 20, 2023 · 6 minutes to read

Michigan is a state that has an increasing demand for new construction, especially single-family home construction.

Before you can get started in this lucrative industry, you will need to obtain a professional license through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. This license requires you to complete several steps. We’ve created a guide that will walk you through each step. Find out how to obtain your Michigan general contractor’s license, including:

Do you have to have a license to work as a general contractor?

Michigan general contractors are required to have a Residential Contractor license to coordinate repairs, alterations, additions, subtractions, or improvements of residential structures or combined residential-commercial structures.

The following trades are required to have a Michigan Maintenance and Alteration Contractor License:

  • Basement waterproofing
  • Carpentry
  • Concrete
  • Excavation
  • Gutters
  • House wrecking
  • Insulation work
  • Masonry
  • Roofs
  • Storm sash and screens
  • Siding
  • Swimming pools
  • Tile and Marble

To obtain any permits or licenses required, general contractors working on commercial construction projects should contact the local county building official.

How to obtain a Michigan general contractor’s license

If you want to obtain a Michigan General Contractor License, the process is identical whether you’re pursuing Residential Builder or Maintenance and Alteration Contractor.

You will need to meet an educational requirement and pass the test.

Step 1: Completion of the educational requirement

Before you can apply for the Michigan General Contractor License, you must have completed 60 hours of educational courses.

Step 2: Submit your license application

You can fill out and submit the Residential Builder or Maintenance and Alteration Contractor application after you have completed your education requirements.

Include a non-refundable $195 licensing fee as well as a copy of your prelicensure certificate.

Step 3: Pass your licensing exam

The PSI testing company will contact you to schedule the licensing exam once your application has been approved. The test must be taken at one of five PSI testing centers located in the state.

You must pay an exam fee at the time you schedule the appointment. The fee is $117 for Residential Builders and $70 for Maintenance and Alteration contractors.

General contractor license requirements

The 60-hour requirement is for all applicants. The 60 hours must include at least six hours of each subject area:

  • Estimating and Job Costing, Business Management
  • Contracts, Liability, and Risk Management
  • Design and Building Science
  • Marketing and sales
  • Michigan residential code
  • MIOSHA Construction Safety Standards
  • Project Management and Scheduling

The remaining 18 hours can be taken from any of the other courses on the approved list.

Michigan’s requirements for general contractor license renewal

Michigan Residential Builder Licenses and Maintenance and Alteration Contractor Licenses expire after three years. Renewal of a license costs $150.

Within the first six years of obtaining your license, it is mandatory to fulfill 21 hours of continuing education in each of the two consecutive three-year license cycles. The 21 hours must include the following:

  • A single hour dedicated to the study of building codes and laws pertinent to the licensed occupation.
  • One hour about safety.
  • One hour dedicated to updates in construction and business management laws
  • 18 hours dedicated to other approved topics

Once you have held a license for over six years, it is necessary to take three hours of continuing education courses within each subsequent three-year license cycle. The course must cover at least one hour of each of the following topics: safety, building codes and laws, and changes in laws.

Michigan General Contractor License Reciprocity

Michigan does not offer reciprocity with other states in the case of general contractor licensing. You must provide the following documents to prove out-of-state work experience to bypass prelicensing requirements.

  • Your current license, as well as the licensing requirements of the entity that issued it.
  • A completed out-of-state licensing verification form by the licensing entity.

What type of insurance is required for a Michigan general contractor?

You can protect your business by choosing the right Michigan Business Insurance. You may consider several types of contractor insurance, including:

General Liability Insurance

Michigan General Liability Insurance provides coverage for injuries, property damage, and other work-related accidents.

Workers Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance will protect your business if an employee is injured on the job. This insurance covers related expenses such as medical bills and wage protection.

Insurance for Tools and Equipment

Tools & Equipment Insurance will help you protect your equipment by covering repairs or replacements in the event of theft or damage.

Commercial Auto insurance

Commercial Auto Insurance helps contractors with their accident-related costs such as medical expenses and property damage.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance in Michigan protects the property that you own or rent for your business, by offering coverage against damage and vandalism.

What does the certificate of insurance requirement entail?

Michigan does not require insurance to obtain a Residential Builder’s license or a Maintenance and Alteration contractor license. Private employers must have workers’ compensation insurance in Michigan if there are three or more full-time or part-time employees or if one or more employees work 35 hours per week.

How BizInsure helps Michigan general contractors

BizInsure provides general contractors insurance at affordable rates. You can choose from options such as self-employed general contractors insurance and general liability insurance to protect your business.

We help construction professionals like you get insurance that meets their specific needs.

Get a quote today.

This information is a general guide only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Always check with your local licensing board when getting or renewing your contractor license to ensure you are meeting their current licensing requirements.
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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