General contractor licensing requirements in Arkansas

Aug 28, 2023 · 5 minutes to read

Architecture, inspection and checklist with contractor on construction site

Eager to establish a booming contractor business in Arkansas? It starts with getting the right contractor license. Like choosing the perfect tool for the job, knowing which license to get ensures your projects not only comply with state regulations, but also streamlines your business processes. In this guide, we unpack the details of each license, the application steps, and how to ensure you’re fully compliant as a general contractor in Arkansas.

Understanding the different general contractor licenses in Arkansas

If you want to become a contractor in Arkansas, it’s important to know which license fits the projects you want to take on. Licenses are granted by the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board, and more information about each type of license is available on their website.

Let’s dive into the specifics:

1. Residential builders license

If you’re looking to build a single-family residence and the project cost surpasses $2,000, including labor and materials, this is the license for you. Beyond new builds, getting this general contractor license allows you to do remodeling work on single-family homes.

2. Temporary residential builder license

For contractors with a current license from outside Arkansas or contractors who can provide references, this temporary license is a perfect fit. This license is valid for 90 days post issuance, making it ideal for short-term projects or while transitioning to a permanent Arkansas license.

3. Residential remodelers license

This license allows contractors to make significant structural modifications to an existing single-family residence or expand it. If you’re working on projects over $2,000, in terms of labor and materials, this is the general contractor license you’ll need.

4. Home improvement license

Are you specializing in specific home improvement tasks like painting, flooring, or drywall? This license is for projects on single-family residences priced over $2,000, including materials and labor. However, it doesn’t give you a green light for complete construction or remodeling.

5. Commercial license

A project is deemed commercial if it isn’t a single-family residence. You’ll need this general contractor license if your commercial project’s worth reaches or exceed $50,000.

6. Temporary commercial license

Contractors with an existing license from another state or those with credible references can obtain this temporary license.  Like the other temporary licenses, this one is also valid for 90 days.

7. Residential roofer registration

Engaging in roofing projects, like tasks that involve roofing, roof decks or roofing sheet metal? You’ll need this registration for projects beyond $2,000. However, if you already have a Residential Builders or Residential Remodelers License, you can skip this step.

8. Temporary home improvement license

Again, this 90-day license caters to out-of-state licensed contractors or those with official references. This temporary license provides a short-term gateway for specialized home improvement tasks,

9. Subcontractor registration certificate

If you’re a subcontractor working under a properly licensed contractor, this registration certificate replaces the need for a full license. However, if you’re working directly with the owner, you’re considered a prime contractor. In such cases, a commercial license becomes necessary.

Getting your general contractor license in Arkansas

Here’s a straightforward guide to help you through the licensing process of becoming a general contractor in Arkansas. You’ll need:

  • A filled-out application tailored to the specific license you’re applying for.
  • A filing fee.
  • Three professional references (And no, family doesn’t count)
  • For those aiming for a commercial license, a contractor’s bond worth $10,000.
  • Passing grades for the Arkansas contractor’s license test
  • Financial statements verified by a CPA or surety bond
  • If you’re an employer, evidence of Workers’ Compensation insurance.

Licensing Timeline:

  1. Initial Planning: Once you begin, you’ll have a 90-day window to submit your application to become a contractor in Arkansas. Any delays beyond that will incur additional fees.
  2. Submission: Submit your complete application at least three weeks before a board meeting for consideration.
  3. Board review: All contractor license applications are approved by the board, who convene every three to four weeks. The entire process from application to approval usually takes around three months.

Arkansas mandates that general contractor licenses be renewed every year. Thankfully, even if you miss your license’s expiration date, a two-year grace period exists.

Safeguard Your Contractor’s Journey with BizInsure

With the knowledge to obtain the right contractor license in Arkansas under your belt, the next essential tool is ensuring your business is protected. Licenses ensure compliance, while the right insurance ensures peace of mind.

BizInsure streamlines the process of getting suitable insurance solutions for your contractor business in Arkansas. Compare General Liability insurance, Workers’ Compensation insurance, and other policies, purchase online and receive your policy directly in your inbox.

Choose BizInsure and dive confidently into your projects, knowing that unforeseen events won’t derail your ambitions.

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 [profession] 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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