How to become a licensed contractor in Tennessee

Aug 24, 2023 · 5 minutes to read

If you’re considering a career as a general contractor in Tennessee, you’re stepping into a world filled with opportunities for growth and success. But, as with any professional path, understanding your landscape is essential.

Skilled contractor

Tennessee’s contractor licensing process is designed to accommodate different scales and types of projects. Understanding Tennessee’s contractor licensing requirements isn’t just about legal compliance; it’s also about maintaining a solid reputation. Not only will you stay on the right side of the law, but clients will also see you as a beacon of professionalism and trust.

Which general contractor licenses should you get in Tennessee?

Tennessee offers different general contractor licenses based on the value and nature of the project. Understanding the various licenses available is essential for any contractor looking to operate legally in the state. Here’s a breakdown:

1. Smaller Projects (Under $25,000)

Home improvement contractor: This license is for anyone considering home improvement projects within the range of $3,000-$24,999 in Tennessee. So, if you’re looking to take on home repairs, improvements or remodeling, Tennessee requires a license even for these smaller undertakings. This license does not permit plumbing, electrical, or HVAC work.

Limited Licensed Electrical (LLE): Designed for electrical projects that don’t require an inspection.

Limited Licensed Plumber (LLP): Similar to LLE, this license allows for plumbing work that doesn’t need inspection.

2. Larger Scale Projects (Over $25,000)

Prime Contractor: Suitable for contractors planning on full-scale residential, commercial, or industrial builds, this license lets you work directly with project owners on jobs exceeding $25,000.

Subcontractor: This license allows specialists to work with primary contractors on plumbing, HVAC, roofing, electrical, and mechanical projects worth $25,000 or more. For masonry projects, this license allows specialty contractors to work on projects with a value of $100,000 or more.

Construction Management: Construction managers overseeing projects worth $25,000 or more require both a specific contractor’s license and an additional construction management license.

Your license’s monetary limits in Tennessee are set at ten times your working capital or net worth. That means if you have a net worth of $10,000, your license will restrict you from bidding on projects over $100,000. Ensure you understand these financial constraints to avoid legal complications down the road.

A step-by-step to getting a contractor license in Tennessee

If you’re looking to launch your contracting business in Tennessee, here’s a breakdown of what to do:

1. Choosing the right license

Depending on the cost and nature of the projects you wish to undertake, you will either need a:

  • General contractor license for projects between $3,000 and $25,000.
  • Prime contractor license for projects exceeding $25,000.

2. Passing the required examinations

To become a contractor in Tennessee, you’ll be required to clear the Tennessee Business and Law exam. Moreover, specialty contractors, such as plumbers and electricians, may need to pass additional trade-specific exams.

3. Preparing a financial statement

If you’re applying for a general contractor license, the state of Tennessee mandates you present a comprehensive financial statement. Your financial statement should be:

  • outlined with the monetary limits of your intended projects
  • reviewed by an authorized CPA or LPA for projects up to $1,500,000.
  • audited for projects that surpass the $1,500,000 threshold.

4. Reference letter and proof of insurance

In your license registration, you will have to include a credible reference letter from a past client, employer, or a code official who has inspected your work.

Besides this, you’ll also need to provide insurance details, including:

After gathering these documents, you can finalize your application. Ensure everything is accurate, then submit and wait for approval. Generally, this process takes between 4 to 6 weeks.

BizInsure: Your insurance partner on your journey to becoming a general contractor

Thriving as a general contractor in Tennessee is more than just the skills and experience you bring. It’s about ensuring that every foundation, be it literal or administrative, is fortified. By arming yourself with a clear understanding of the licensing landscape, you’re setting yourself up for success in terms of legal compliance and building trust with your clients.

Laying the groundwork for your contracting business in Tennessee is a meticulous process. And choosing the right insurance should be treated with the same level of precision.

Fortunately, BizInsure offers a streamlined experience to make this task less overwhelming. Within minutes, you can browse and compare quotes from top US insurers, ensuring that you’re well-prepared for the road ahead.

Take the first step with BizInsure, and explore contractor insurance in Tennessee tailored for businesses like yours.

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.
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.
© Copyright 2023 BizInsure LLC, 2015 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BizInsure LLC; CA DBA: Simple, Smart, BizInsure Insurance Agency LLC; NY DBA: BizInsure Services LLC; NH DBA: Simple, Smart, BizInsure Insurance Agency; PA DBA: BizInsure Services LLC. 2950 Buskirk Ave Suite 300, Walnut Creek CA 94597. License #0H81929

Get Free Online Quotes and get coverage instantly

The coverage you need for your business.

Business insurance is divided into different policies. We offer 4 types so it's easy to design the coverage that fits your business.

Professional Liability Insurance

Get a quote

General Liability Insurance

Get a quote

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

Get a quote

Workers Compensation Insurance

Get a quote

Let's find

The coverage you need for your business

Professional Liability Insurance

Get a quote

General Liability Insurance

Get a quote

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

Get a quote

Workers Compensation Insurance

Get a quote

Love it
Hanna R.
Every year, BizInsure is my go to for general and professional liability insurance! Thenrates are unbeatable.
Calandra K.
The agent was quick and efficient in generating a quote for my needs.
Theresa F.
I enjoy working BizInsure they always answer all my questions and make sure i have the correct coverage for my business.
Prompt and professional service from Biz Insure. Thanks Leslie and Liza!
Bev G.
Very easy to sign up for insurance.
Great company
Brown G.
Fast and efficient!
Kim C.
alireza J.
It was great being able to get a policy that suits my company's need in less than 30 minutes. They were vey thorough. Very competitively priced.
Lynette C.
I worked with Andrea for another start up business. She was very knowledgeable and help me pick the correct policy. Amazed at how quickly the process went.
Representative was very kind, helpful, and educated me well. I appreciated today's prompt service with confirmation that I was satisfied with what was provided to me.
Tina P.
Great company for.your low cost business insurance needs.
constantin T.
Staff was very fessional and friendly. I was able to get a quote and move forward within 20 minutes.
Pebbles S.
Complete C.
Super easy process.
Ashley G.
It’s very easy to understand and at a very reasonable price.
Mary M.
Professionalism, Quality, Responsive and budget friendly
Great rates, easy to understand and select appropriate coverage, can get in a jiffy
Brie C.
I have been a customer of BizInsure for a few years now and I love it. There customer service is awesome and the prices are affordable.
Danyale W.
Quick easy experience! The rep was knowledgeable & pleasant. Customer care was awesome to respond and clarify my concerns.
Kathy Ann A.
bizinsurance makes purchasing Business Insurance...SIMPLE!
Andrea W.
Great quality of Service ,faster and convenience way to pay at most. Thank you for your Service to my Healthcare Facility .
Quick and easy!!!!
Great service! Easy process and very informative representative. Andrea was great and very patience with our process. I would recommend using them!!
Terrance R.
Always and easy process. Thanks!
Gerald S.
Renewal was quick and easy online
Angelita K.
I had a great experience working with Andrea from BizInsure. She was extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and responsive throughout the entire process. She guided me through the different options available and helped me find the perfect home care professional liability insurance policy that suited my needs. Her professionalism and expertise made the entire experience smooth and hassle-free. I highly recommend working with Andrea and BizInsure for all your insurance needs.
Juliette S.
Easy to submit an application and to get quotes
Simone S.
I had the most pleasant prompt and professional experience of my life with Bizinsure. Everything was completed in record time, at an unbelievable cost…and my certificate of Insurance was promptly emailed to me. Most of all it was effective immediately. No hassle no back & forth, just great service highly recommend to all small businesses.
Marcia S.
advanced U.
Great service. Very professional and cordial. Thanks
Jeremiah U.
BizInure has been a great company for our insurance needs. I wish customers services was 24/7, that would make it a five stars
Novilette L. J.
Google Rating
Based on 242 reviews