Painting Contractor License Requirements

Here is a complete updated list (2017) of painting contractor requirements:

*Please note that these requirements could change at any time and may not be accurate according to the state. It is recommended you do your own local research on your state or counties licensing requirements.

  1. Alaska – Alaska requires all contractors to be registered.

    • APPLICATION – completed, signed, and notarized. This application is for CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION ONLY.
      • a surety bond issued by an insurer or other surety company (AS 08.18.071), with the bonding company’spower of attorney and the bond must be signed by both the principal and the surety (form 08-4027a); or
      • a Time Certificate of Deposit or Savings Passbook issued by a bank or trust company authorized to do business in Alaska (must be physically located in Alaska). The certificate or passbook should read, “State of Alaska in trust for (contractor).” The original certificate or passbook is held by the State and must have a properly executed Assignment of Cash Deposit form (form 08-4027b); or
      • a cashier’s check. Cash will be deposited in a Trust Account established by the State, which does NOT pay interest. A completed, signed, and notarized Assignment of Cash Deposit form (form 08-4027b) must accompany the cashiers check.
    • LIABILITY INSURANCE – A certificate of insurance for public liability and property damage insurance (not less than $20,000 for property damage, $50,000 for injury or death to one person, $100,000 for injury or death to more than one person). Either a certificate of insurance issued by an insurance agency or the Certificate of Insurance Coverage (form 08-4027c) is acceptable.
    • WORKERS’ COMPENSATION – Evidence of workers’ compensation insurance is required under AS 23.30 for registration as a construction contractor. The insurance must be provided by a private insurance carrier registered to do business in the State of Alaska and the policy must be specifically written to pay benefits as provided by Alaska law. According to AS 23.30.025, an “all states endorsement” is not acceptable. Your company may be ‘exempt’ from carrying workers’ compensation insurance if you do not have employees, please review the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Form (08-4027d).
    • FEE – New applications, $300 ($65 – nonrefundable application fee, $235 license fee). For changes, see fee schedule. Check or money order should be made payable to the State of Alaska.
    • RESIDENTIAL ENDORSEMENT – Applications for a general contractor registration who are intending to bid on or perform building or remodeling of privately-owned residential structures of one to four units must also apply for or have the residential contractor endorsement. A general contractor who does not have someone with the endorsement will be issued a registration for “general contractor – without residential contractor endorsement.” There is a separate residential contractor endorsement application please contact the division, or visit the website listed on page one for more information.
  2. Arizona – Painting contractors doing small house painting jobs under 5k may be free from license restrictions. Pretty much everybody else does.

    Applicants are required to have two(2) years of verifiable experience and must pass the Arizona Business Management Exam in addition to the C34/ L34 exam.

  3. Arkansas – Painting Contractors doing jobs over 2k will need a license. Arkansas Commercial/Residential Contractor License and Exam Requirements to Obtaining your License

    Pre-approval is required from the board before sitting for the exam Work Under this License

    Commercial Contractors License allows any person, firm, or other organization for a price, wage or fee, to attempt to or submit bids to construct, contract, or undertake to contract or manage the construction, erection, alteration, repair any building, apartment, condominium, highway or other structure on private or public property except for single-family residences.

    Residential Contractors License allows any person, firm, or other organization for a price, wage or fee, to attempt to or submit bids to construct, contract, or undertake to contract or manage the construction of a single family residence.

    Applying to get your License

    Applications for licensure can be obtained by contacting the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board at 1-501-372-4661. Applications are normally processed shortly.

    The license fee is $100.00. Reciprocity Agreements

    Reciprocity is considered on a case by case basis.

  4. California – Everybody needs a license and probably a union too.

    To be registered as an active licensed contractor in California, the board will ask for the following:

    • Take and pass the examination for licensure. This exam is required when contractors have not served for the same qualification they are applying, or if the contractor has failed to pass the test within the past five years.
    • If you have been serving as a licensed contractor, and in good standing, within the past five years for the same qualification being applied, or if the contractor has passed the test within the past five years, then no examination is required.
    • Waiver provisions for the examination are outlined in Business and Professions Code section 7065.1 and 7065.2. You must meet all of the conditions of the appropriate section for the Waiver Provision to apply. In some cases, only the trade exam may
      be waived.
    • Waiver provisions defined in B&P Code section 7065.1 may be granted under subsections 7065.1(b) and 7065.1(c). While 7065.1(a) also provides for waiver of the exam, the Registrar exercised his authority to suspend waivers under this section.
  5. Colorado – While the state of Colorado does not require a license, they may require a notice of emissions to be filed. Local governments should be checked. Even though a license is not required, proof of business liability insurance is required.

  6. Connecticut – Connecticut calls it certified or registered.

    Under the Connecticut Home Improvement Act, an individual and/or business is required to register with the Department of Consumer Protection if they are contracting with a consumer to perform work on residential property. Home Improvement is any permanent
    change to residential property, including but not limited to driveways, swimming pools, porches, garages, roofs, siding, insulation, flooring, patios, landscaping, painting, fences, doors and windows, and waterproofing.

  7. Delaware – A license for a painting contractor is only for tax purposes.

    From their site… “Licensing of contractors, other than Electrical & Asbestos Abatement, is for revenue purposes only.” To do business in Delaware as a contractor or subcontractor, you must get a license from the Delaware Division of Revenue. If you’re a non-resident, you’ll also need a surety bond for 6% of any contract work you do totaling $20,000 or more within a calendar year. Before you can bid on a job over $50,000 you must apply for a license.

  8. District of Columbia – If the job is over $300 a painting contractor needs a license.

    Basic Business License Application

    All applicants for a Basic Business License must complete an application , remit the associated payment, and submit the required supporting documentation.

    Clean Hands Self-Certification

    All applicants must certify that no more than $100 is owed to the District of Columbia Government as a result of fees, penalties, interest, or taxes through completion of a Clean Hands Self-Certification.

    Tax Number

    All Applicants must provide a registered tax number (i.e., SSN or FEIN) at the time of application. Register by completing and filing a Combined Business Tax Registration Application (Form FR-500) with the Office of Tax and Revenue, 1101 4th Street
    SW, Suite W270, Washington, DC 20024. Online registration is available at the Business Tax Service Center . For more information, please call the Tax Customer Service Center at (202) 727-4829.

    Certificate of Occupancy/Home Occupation Permit

    All applicants for a Basic Business License operating from a premise located in the District of Columbia must provide a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) or Home Occupation (HOP) for the premise address from which the business activity is conducted
    in order to demonstrate the activity does not conflict with building and zoning codes. For more information, please call the Office of the Zoning Administrator at (202) 442-4576.

    Note: In some cases, a business operating in an office building may operate under the umbrella of the C of O issued to the owner of the building as long as the C of O is issued for the entire building. Check with the building owner or management company
    for the holder’s name, C of O number, and issue date.

    Insurance Requirements

    Each applicant shall furnish a certificate of insurance for the license period pursuant to DC Code and DC Municipal Regulations. Each applicant must secure commercial general liability insurance as follows:

    • Applicant applying for Class A license limits of at least two and a half million dollars ($2,500,000) per occurrence (umbrella) for bodily injury and property damage arising in any way from the issuance of the license
    • Applicant applying for Class B license limits of at least one and a half million dollars ($1,500,000) per occurrence (umbrella) for bodily injury and property damage arising in any way from the issuance of the license;
    • Applicant applying for Class C license limits of at least five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) per occurrence, one million dollars ($1,000,000) in the aggregate combined single limit for bodily injury or property damage arising in any way from
      the issuance of the license;
    • Applicant applying for Class G license limits of at least five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) per occurrence, one million dollars ($1,000,000) in the aggregate combined single limit for bodily injury or property damage arising in any way from
      the issuance of the license;
    • Applicant applying for Class H license limits of at least five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) per occurrence for bodily injury or property damage arising in any way from the issuance of the license.

    Note: The Certificate of Liability Insurance must: 1) be issued to your organization as registered with the Corporations Division; 2) be issued to the premise address provided on the Basic Business License Application; 3) provide a Description and
    Location of services provided (i.e., General Contractor in Washington, DC); and 4) show the certificate holder as “Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 1100 4th Street SW, 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20024.

    P.O. Boxes are not acceptable as the insured’s premise address. Invoices/Receipts/Contract Samples

    All applicants for a Basic Business License for the General Contractor/ Construction Manager category must submit three copies of at least two sample contracts and receipts.


    This category of the Basic Business License is subject to a thirty (30) day background investigation prior to issuance of a license. This investigation will be conducted after a Basic Business License Application, all required supporting documentation,
    and payments have been received and accepted by the Business Licensing Division.

    Special Instructions

    All subcontractors (i.e., plumbers, gasfitters, electricians, refrigeration and air condition technicians) hired by the General Contractor/Construction Manager must be properly licensed and registered as required by District of Columbia law. If a
    General Contractor performs work on existing residential properties, a Basic Business License for the Home Improvement Contractor category is not required in addition to the Basic Business License for the General Contractor category.

    However, a Basic Business License for the Home Improvement Salesperson category is required in addition to the Basic Business License for the General Contractor category.

  9. Florida – Painting contractors in Florida don’t need a license.

  10. Georgia – Before you launch your new business, you’ll need to apply for a business license with your city or county. The process of starting a business is often complicated, so the Georgia Secretary of State recommends that you consult an attorney or accountant as you create your business plan.

  11. Hawaii – Painting Contractors and Wall Covering both require licenses in Hawaii.

    Briefly, the requirements for a license are:

    • Registration with the Business Registration Division;
    • Have a good reputation for honesty, truthfulness, financial integrity and fair dealing;
    • Have liability and workers’ compensation insurance; and
    • Have in your employ a licensed individual who is designated Responsible Managing Employee (RME).

    This is the general licensure process and what you may expect after filing an application:

    • Applicant files application, fee and other required items on or before the 20th day of the month.
    • Board reviews complete applications the following month.
    • Board notifies applicant of approval/disapproval/deferral.
    • Approved applicant’s RME registers with a separate testing agency for exam, if applicable.
    • RME takes exam the following month.
    • Upon RME passing the exam, Board notifies applicant of license requirements.
    • Applicant submits license requirements.
    • Board issues license to applicant.
    • Maintain license.
  12. Idaho – Licensing for residential painting contractors is done at the local level only.

  13. Illinois – Illinois has absolutely no licenses for contractors.

  14. Indiana – Indiana does not have a painting contractor’s license. However many other contractors are required to be licensed.

  15. Iowa – Iowa does licensing at the local level for painting contractors. However, you MUST be registered with the state in the broader term of contractor.

    The State of Iowa requires that “Construction Contractors” register with the Iowa Division of Labor and renew registration annually. More information can be found by reviewing the Iowa Code and Administrative Rules.

    Check to see if a contractor is currently registered with the Iowa Division of Labor.

    Iowa law requires all individual contractors and businesses performing “construction” work within Iowa to be registered with the Iowa Division of Labor, if they earn at least $2,000.00 a year from that work. Individuals or businesses making less than $2,000.00 a year on “construction” work, or who work only on their own real estate or property, are not required to register.

    Registering with the Iowa Division of Labor

    Print and complete the New Application/Renewal Form. The form cannot be completed without an Iowa Unemployment Insurance account number and appropriate federal identification or social security numbers. Mail the completed form with all required attachments to the Iowa Division of Labor – Contractor Registration. Our office does not accept walk-ins, cash or credit cards. If the application is complete, processing may take up to 30 days.

    Fee Exemption

    While all contractors must register, some contractors register without paying the $50.00 fee. A self-employed contractor who does not pay more than $2,000.00 annually in wages to employ other people, and who does not work with or for other contractors in the same phase of construction at a job site, qualifies to register at no charge. If you meet the conditions, complete the Fee Exemption Form, have it notarized, and send it instead of payment with the registration application.

  16. Kansas – Kansas handles contractor’s licensing at the local level.

  17. Kentucky – Kentucky does not require licensing at the state level for painters.

  18. Louisiana – Louisiana has a State Licensing Board For Contractors. They require a license and a bunch more.

    Requirements for issuance of a license

    • A. All persons who desire to become licensed as a contractor shall make application to the board on a form adopted by the board and shall state the classification of work the applicant desires to perform from a list of major classifications as follows:
      • (1) Building construction.
      • (2) Highway, street, and bridge construction.
      • (3) Heavy construction.
      • (4) Municipal and public works construction.
      • (5) Electrical work.
      • (6) Mechanical work.
      • (7) Plumbing work.
      • (8) Hazardous materials.
      • (9) Specialty classifications.
      • (10) Residential construction.
    • B. The board shall classify contractors according to the type or types of contracts which they may perform.
    • C. The applicant shall furnish the board with a financial statement, current to within twelve months of the date of filing, prepared by an independent auditor and signed by the applicant and auditor before a notary public, stating the assets of the applicant,
      to be used by the board to determine the financial responsibility of the applicant to perform work on a construction undertaking, the entire cost of which is fifty thousand dollars or more. Such assets shall include a net worth of at least ten thousand
      dollars. An applicant without the net worth required herein may furnish the board a bond, letter of credit, or other security acceptable to the board in the amount of such net worth requirement plus the amount of the applicant’s negative net worth if
      any, and the furnishing of such bond, letter of credit, or other security shall be deemed satisfaction of such net worth requirement for all purposes. The financial statement and any information contained therein, as well as any other financial information
      required to be submitted by a contractor, shall be confidential and not subject to the provisions of R.S. 44:1 through 37, inclusive. Nothing contained in this Subsection shall be construed to require a licensed contractor to provide a financial statement
      in connection with the renewal of an existing license.
    • D.
      • (1) The applicant for licensure shall designate a qualifying party who shall be the legal representative for the contractor relative to the provisions of this Chapter. The designated qualifying party shall complete an application supplied by the board.
        The board may deny approval of the qualifying party for good cause, which may include the ability of the proposed principal owner or owners, principal shareholder or shareholders, or qualifying party to engage in the business of contracting as demonstrated
        by his prior contracting business experience. Evidence which may be considered by the board shall be limited to any legal proceedings against the qualifying party or businesses where the qualifying party was in a position of control at the time a
        problem arose and the ultimate disposition of such proceedings, any financial history of bankruptcies, unpaid judgments, insolvencies, or any similar evidence. When the qualifying party terminates employment with the licensee, the board shall be notified
        in writing within thirty days of the disassociation and another qualifying party must qualify within sixty days. The qualifying party or parties are:

        • (a) Any individual contractor or copartner.
        • (b) Any employee of said applicant who has been in full-time employment for one hundred twenty consecutive days immediately preceding the application. Such employee shall not be allowed to be the qualifying party for more than one company and two
        • (c) Any stockholder of a corporation who was an original incorporator or original stockholder as shown in the articles of incorporation.
      • (2) Upon good showing, the board may waive the required examinations for any person.
      • (3) Upon the determination that a person has engaged in deceptive practices when taking or attempting to take any board examination, such person shall be ineligible to serve as a qualifying party for a licensee for a period of one year.
    • E. Notwithstanding any other law of this state to the contrary, a mechanical, plumbing, or electrical contractor may obtain a license to bid and perform work statewide provided such contractor has successfully passed a written examination which is administered
      or approved by the State Licensing Board for Contractors, which examination shall be a standardized, nationally recognized test.
    • F. Upon completion of the above, and issuance of a state license for the classification of work for which the contractor desires to perform and contract, mechanical, plumbing, or electrical contractors licensed under this Section are excluded from local,
      municipal, or parish regulatory authority examination procedures and may bid and perform work within any local jurisdiction upon paying all appropriate fees. The purpose of this Subsection is preemption of local, municipal, or parish regulatory examination
      authority for statewide-licensed mechanical, plumbing, or electrical contractors bidding and performing work in multiple jurisdictions. Furthermore, this preemption shall further exclude the employees of statewide-licensed electrical and mechanical
      contractors from local, municipal, or parish regulatory examination or certification authority as a condition to performing work for the statewide-licensed electrical or mechanical contractor.
    • G. The board shall prepare and maintain a list of local equivalent examinations. Each such local equivalent examination shall be a standardized, nationally recognized test similar to the Block test, which is administered by a local regulatory authority.
    • H. Any mechanical or electrical contractor who has, prior to July 1, 1985, successfully passed both a state licensing examination administered or approved by the board and a local licensing examination in the same license classification, and who has
      continuously held such state and local licenses since July 1, 1985, shall be exempted from any requirement herein for passage of an additional test in that license classification. A mechanical or electrical contractor shall make application to the board
      for such exemptions on a form prepared by the board. The board shall provide for a date by which application for exemption forms must be filed.
    • I. Any plumbing contractor who currently holds a state license shall be exempt from any requirement herein for passage of an additional examination in that license classification and may bid and perform plumbing work statewide after making application
      to the board for such exemption on a form prepared by the board.
    • J. Nothing herein shall be construed to permit plumbing contractors to perform plumbing work without first complying with the licensure provisions of Chapter 16 of this Title, R.S. 37:1361 et seq.
    • K. Each applicant shall pay all fees required for issuance of the license as provided for in this Chapter.
    • L. Upon completion of the above requirements, the application shall be submitted to the board for review at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
    • M. The board shall waive the examination required and grant a mechanical contractor or an electrical contractor license to any person working in the electrical or mechanical construction industry who meets at least one of the following requirements:
      • (1) Holds either a mechanical or an electrical contractor’s license which was issued prior to July 1, 2008, by a local municipality after having passed an examination administered or written by a national testing company approved by the board.
      • (2) Submits five original building permits, issued within the last three years, as proof that he has actually been engaged in either the mechanical or electrical construction building industry prior to July 1, 2008.
      • (3) Has completed six mechanical or electrical construction projects within the ten-year period prior to July 1, 2008, or has constructed one such project for another person within the five-year period prior to July 1, 2008.
  19. Maine – Maine has no license requirements for painting contractors. They do have some of the best information that we have found about unlicensed contractors.

  20. Maryland – Maryland requires licensing for home improvement contractors. They also require that contracts be used.

    License Requirements

    Any applicant who has had a conviction of a misdemeanor relating to a home improvement transaction or a felony must provide the Commission with copies of conviction records.

    All applicants must take and pass the licensing exam before they can apply for a license. Contact PSI Examinations.


    • Applicants for a contractor’s license must provide proof of at least two years of experience in home improvement work, construction and/or related education.
    • Applicants must provide proof of financial solvency based on the scope and size of their business in relation to total assets, liabilities, a full credit report and net worth. Any applicant who does not meet the financial solvency guidelines may purchase
      a surety bond or obtain an indemnitor.
    • If a contractor represents a corporation, articles of incorporation and a Certificate of Good Standing from the Department of Assessments and Taxation must be submitted.
    • A contractor using a trade name must first check with the Commission to make sure the name is available for use with the Commission and then register the name with the Department of Assessments and Taxation.
    • A certificate of trade name registration must be submitted with the license application.
    • Proof of current $50,000 liability insurance must be filed with the application for licensure.

    Liability Insurance

    Applicants and licensed contractors must show proof of current $50,000 liability insurance at the time of application for both original and renewal licenses. This insurance must be in effect at all times. Contractors must give the Commission notice
    of cancellation of liability insurance at least 10 days before the effective date of the cancellation.

    License Period

    The license period is two years from the date of issuance of the original license.

    Temporary licenses are no longer issued. The provision for temporary licenses was removed from the law in 1999.

  21. Massachusetts – Massachusetts is slightly convoluted. There seems to be no license for a painter or painting contractor. However there is a home improvement license.

    The U.S. EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (40 CFR 745.80 through 92 – the “RRP Rule “) which was promulgated in April 2008, became fully effective in Massachusetts on April 22, 2010. This regulation is expected to impact
    how renovation, repair and painting work is conducted in older residences and child-occupied facilities in the Commonwealth.

    With limited exceptions, the RRP Rule applies to all renovation, repair and painting work conducted for a fee in pre-1978 houses and other facilities that are regularly occupied by children (“child-occupied facilities,” such as kindergartens
    and day care centers) where more than 6 square feet of lead paint on interior surfaces or more than 20 square feet of lead paint on exterior surfaces is disturbed by the work. The RRP Rule requires that all contractors, property managers and others
    who conduct work subject to the Rule become certified with EPA as a “Certified Firm” before entering into the work. The RRP Rule also requires that regulated renovation, repair and painting work be overseen by a supervisor (a “Certified

    Supervisors obtain certification by taking a one-day “certified renovator course” from an EPA-approved training provider. The training certificate received from the training provider constitutes the certification. Before beginning a work activity
    subject to the RRP Rule, the Certified Firm must: give advance notice of the upcoming project to the owner, tenants or occupants of the residence or child-occupied facility; distribute an EPA informational pamphlet, “Renovate Right: Important Lead Hazard Information for Families, Child Care Providers and Schools” and post informational signs at the worksite. The RRP Rule contains specific work practice requirements for the conduct of the work, including prohibited methods, work area isolation, covering of surfaces that could become contaminated with
    lead dust during the course of the work, work area cleanup and “cleaning verification”. The RRP Rule also contains record- keeping requirements relating to pre-work inspections, notifications and work practices. Municipal building officials will not have any formal responsibility in administering and enforcing the RRP Rule. As always, however, DOS would hope to work closely with local officials in the same manner as it works with them in connection with enforcing the current deleading and asbestos abatement regulations. The text of the RRP Rule, information on related requirements, application forms for Certified Firms and information about EPA-approved training providers may be found on the EPA website at . Interested parties may also call the EPA lead hotline at 800-424 LEAD (5323) for additional information.

  22. Michigan -Michigan requires licensing for both the residential and commercial painting contractors.

    A Maintenance & Alteration (M&A) Contractor is licensed to perform only specific trades and services and may accept contracts only in the trade(s) or craft(s) for which he or she is licensed. The M & A Contractor’s wall license and pocket
    card identifies the trades for which the M&A Contractor is licensed. The pocket card contains a letter code that represents the trade or trades in which that M & A Contractor is licensed. The M&A trades and their equivalent letter codes
    are: Carpentry (A); Concrete (B); Excavation (D); Insulation Work (G); Masonry (I); Painting & Decorating (J); Siding (K); Roofing (M); Screen & Storm Sash (N); Gutters (O); Tile & Marble (P); House Wrecking (R); Swimming Pools (S); and
    Basement Waterproofing (T).

    Beginning June 1, 2008, an applicant for an initial Residential Builder or Maintenance & Alteration Contractor license must successfully complete 60 hours of approved prelicensure education prior to taking the examination or submitting a license
    application to the Department unless he or she is exempt from the prelicensure course of study per MCL 339.2404b as outlined below:

    • If an individual who holds a residential builder or a residential maintenance and alteration contractor license, or an individual who held a license as a qualifying officer of a licensed residential builder or residential maintenance and alteration
      contractor, on June 1, 2008 is renewing a license, he or she is exempt from the requirement of successfully completing the required prelicensure courses.
    • If an individual is applying for a license or relicensure as a residential builder or residential maintenance and alteration contractor, he or she is exempt from the requirement of successfully completing prelicensure courses if all of the following
      are met:

      • His or her application is submitted September 16, 2014 through March 16, 2016.
      • He or she held an individual license as a residential builder or residential maintenance and alteration contractor, or held a license as a qualifying officer of a licensed residential builder or residential maintenance and alteration contractor,
        at any time within the 9-year period preceding his or her application.

    All prelicensure education courses must be approved by the Department. A list of approved prelicensure education courses is available on the Builders website at under the “Applicant Information” section. Courses are still being developed; therefore, please continue to visit the Builders website for updated information. The 60 hours of approved prelicensure courses must include at least six (6) hours in each subject below:

    • Business Management, Estimating, and Job Costing;
    • Design and Building Science;
    • Contracts, Liability, and Risk Management ;
    • Marketing and Sales;
    • Project Management and Scheduling;
    • The Michigan Residential Code;
    • MIOSHA Construction Safety Standards; and
    • The rest of the 18 hours may come from other topics on the approved course list.

    After an applicant has completed the 60 hour prelicensure education requirement, he or she may apply online at

    Once the Licensing Division receives an application, it will be reviewed to ensure that the applicant meets all licensing requirements. The requirements for licensure include: 1) 60 hours of approved prelicensure education courses; 2) be of good moral
    character; 3) submit any required documentation requested by the Department; and 4) pass the required examination.

    An applicant must meet all requirements for licensure before receiving approval by the Department to take the examination that is required to obtain a Residential Builder or Maintenance & Alteration Contractor license. Once the applicant receives
    an authorization to test (ATT) letter, he or she may contact PSI Services LLC, the exam provider, at 800-733-9267, or go to the website at , to register for the examination.

    After the applicant passes both portions of the examination, a license will be issued as an Individual Residential Builder or Individual Maintenance & Alteration Contractor. The individual license will allow an individual to perform work as a sole
    proprietor, under their personal name or an assumed name from their County Clerk’s Office. The individual license may NOT be used for a corporation, limited liability company or partnership. If you are conducting business as a corporation, limited liability company, or partnership, you must also apply for
    a second license which will be for the business entity. You may obtain a Corporation, Limited Liability Company, or Partnership Residential Builder and Maintenance & Alteration Contractor License Applicationon the Builders website at , under “Forms & Publications” or contact the Licensing Division at 517-373-8068.

  23. Minnesota – Painting contractors contracting directly with homeowners need a license. Commercial painting contractors only need to be registered. Painters that only subcontract don’t need to be licensed because they ride on the GC’s license. Painting contractors can choose to be exempt however if their gross annual receipts must be less than $15000.

    How do I get licensed?

    New license, certification and registration fees effective July 1, 2015 (PDF).

    • If you operate as a business entity (corporation, LLC, etc.), your company must apply for the license.
    • The company names one individual to act as its “qualifying person” (QP).
      • The QP is responsible for taking the licensing exam and required continuing education.
      • The QP must be an owner or officer of the company, or a managing W-2 employee.
      • The QP cannot be a subcontractor.
    • An individual may act as QP for more than one licensed contractor only if there is at least 25 percent common ownership among all of the licensed contractors.
      • The QP does not have to be the individual who owns 25 percent of the companies.
    • Once the QP has passed the exam, submit a fully completed license application packet including:
      • All license application forms including required signatures.
      • A current Secretary of State filing (if applicable).
      • A current liability insurance certificate.
      • Payment of the appropriate fee (includes Contractor Recovery Fund contribution):

      Residential building contractor/remodeler two-year license fee structure

      If gross receipts are: Recovery fund fee License fee New license fee total Renewal license fee total
      less than $1 million $400 $160 $560 $565
      $1million to $5 million $500 $160 $660 $665
      more than $5 million $600 $160 $760 $765
    • License applications can be submitted online or by mail. What kind of insurance do I need?
    • All contractors must carry continuous commercial general liability insurance.
    • The liability policy must include coverage for “completed operations.”
    • The liability policy must have these minimum limits:
      • $100,000 for each occurrence
      • $300,000 aggregate limit for bodily injury
      • $25,000 for property damage
    • The insurance company must be licensed to sell insurance in Minnesota.
    • The liability insurance certificate can be on an approved CCLD form or a current ACORD form (your insurance agent can easily provide this).
    • Workers’ compensation insurance is required unless you do not have employees or can claim another exemption from these insurance requirements. Note: Even if you don’t think you need workers’ compensation insurance, you might be at risk if you don’t get it. View this flier for more details.
    • If you have employees, you will need to provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance and an unemployment insurance account number.How can I make sure my license application will be processed as quickly as possible?
    • Fill out all application forms completely.
    • Submit all of the required forms together.
    • If you answer “yes” to any questions on the Background Disclosure Form, be sure to include a written explanation for your answer and provide required documents.
    • Make sure your Secretary of State filing (for a corporation, LLC, etc.) is active.
    • Make sure your business name is listed exactly as it appears on your Secretary of State filing on all forms, especially your liability insurance certificate.
    • Include an email address so we can communicate with you quickly if there is a problem.What happens after I get licensed?
    • As soon as your license application is approved, your license information will be available on DLI’s online License Lookup tool .
    • A license certificate will be printed and mailed to you in seven to 10 days.
    • Your license number must be displayed on all:
      • contracts and proposals
      • company vehicles
      • permit applications
      • advertising including lawn signs, billboards, websites, business cards, newspaper ads, fliers, brochures, and other marketing materials.
  24. Mississippi – Mississippi requires a license.

    A contractor performing new residential construction over $50,000 needs a Residential Building license. A contractor performing residential remodeling over $10,000 needs a Residential Remodeling license. A contractor performing residential roofing over $10,000 needs a Residential Roofing license. If you are performing residential electrical, plumbing, or HVAC work less than $10,000, a state license is not required, but you must contact the local building official or permit office regarding their requirements.

    How do I obtain a license?

    The first thing you will need to do is complete an application. You can download an application from our website at or we can mail an application to you. All the requirements are on the instruction page. Return the completed application and we will forward a candidate information bulletin to you that contains all the testing information. The bulletin tells you how to schedule an exam, which books are allowed in the exam, and where to get the books. The tests are open book. Once we receive your completed application including exam scores and all required attachments, the information will be submitted to the Board for review and approval. MSBOC processes completed applications on a weekly basis. It usually takes about a week to 10 days for the license to be issued.

    Is an exam required in order to get a license?

    All applicants are required to take a Mississippi Law and Business Management exam. In addition, applicants must take a trade exam, if one is required. (For a complete listing of classifications and required exams refer to http://

    All exams are administered by PSI. The Board will furnish you a PSI Candidate Information Bulletin and notify PSI of your eligibility to sit for an exam. PSI will email you a confirmation notice. Scheduling the exam will not be allowed until you receive
    this confirmation. The PSI Candidate Information Bulletin contains all the information for registering for and scheduling an exam. It also provides a listing of exam reference materials and exam content outlines. Please refer to the PSI Candidate Information
    Bulletin for exam locations and scheduling the exam.

    Are there any prep courses offered for the required exam?

    The following companies offer prep courses for contractors taking the PSI exams: American Contractors 1-800-992-1910

    Mississippi Contractor Licensing Service 1-800-432-9930 Builders License Training Institute 1-800-727-7104 MyContractorsLicense 1-877-699-0775

    Contractors Institute 1-804-556-5518

    Who can take the exam for the company and can there be more than one qualifier?

    Any officer or managing employee can take the exam. You can have more than one qualifier and different qualifiers for different classifications. A qualifying party may serve no more than three (3) separate entities as the qualifying party without first
    appearing before the board and being granted special permission.

    Does MSBOC reciprocate with other licensing agencies?

    MSBOC has reciprocity agreements with various other states. However, reciprocity applies to testing only. Contractors must still apply for a license and fulfill all other MSBOC requirements for licensure.

    What states do you reciprocate with and what exams will be waived?

    If you have held a license for 3 consecutive years in one of our reciprocating states we will waive the TRADE exam only. You will still be required to take the Mississippi Business and Law exam.

    Alabama General Board- waive everything but Mechanical & Plumbing (CAN GIVE HVAC)

    Alabama Electrical Board

    Alabama Heating and Air (MUST HAVE TAKEN THE AL EXAM)

    Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board-waive all but any type of Mechanical (i.e. Plumbing, Boilers, Process Piping, HVAC) and Electrical Work

    Georgia Board of Residential and General Contractors (MUST HAVE TAKEN THE GA EXAM)

    Louisiana Licensing Board for Contractors- waives all but Mechanical or Electrical (CAN WAIVE HVAC BUT NOT MECH. OR PLUMBING) If the electrical exam was taken in LA we can waive it.

    North Carolina Electrical Board

    South Carolina Contractors Licensing Board- waive Building and Electrical only and they must have passed an exam given by either PSI, Experior, Block or NAI.

    Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors

    Do I have to carry general liability insurance in order to get a license?

    Yes, all applicants for a license or renewal are required to show proof of general liability insurance coverage. MSBOC must be listed on the policy to be notified in the event of cancellation. There is no requirement for a minimum policy amount for
    residential license holders, but commercial applicants must provide a certificate of insurance evidencing current minimum coverage of $300,000 per occurrence and $600,000 aggregate.

    What if I am not actively building right now? Do I still have to carry general liability insurance?

    All active license holders must show proof of general liability insurance in order to remain in good standing. However, a license holder can request to be placed on “INACTIVE” status. In order to do so, the license holder must return their license and
    submit a written request to be placed on inactive status along with a $25.00 processing fee. A new license will be issued reflecting the INACTIVE status. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE LICENSE HOLDER IS STILL REQUIRED TO PAY ANNUAL RENEWAL FEES DURING THE INACTIVE STATUS PERIOD DESPITE BEING INELIGIBLE TO SUBMIT A BID, ENTER INTO A CONTRACT, PULL PERMITS OR PERFORM WORK. In order to return to “ACTIVE” status, the license holder must submit a written request to be returned to “ACTIVE” status along with a $25.00 processing fee and proof of general liability insurance. Commercial license holders will also have to produce required financial information before returning to active status.
    Upon receipt, a new license will be issued reflecting the “ACTIVE” status.

    If I have a Residential license can I do commercial work?

    Residential license holders are allowed to work on commercial projects provided the job does not exceed 7500 square feet.

    How do I add a classification to my license? You have to fill out an additional class form. You have to pay $100.00 for each additional class you add to your license. Upon receipt, MSBOC will send you information about testing, if testing is required.

    Do I have to have a Mississippi Sales Tax number?

    If you are applying for a commercial license, you will have to have a Mississippi Sales Tax number or Use Tax number in order to get a commercial license. If you are applying for a residential license, you must furnish a Mississippi Income Tax I.D. Number or Federal Tax I.D. Number or a Social Security Number. To obtain a number you may contact the MS Department of Revenue at (601) 923-7000 or visit

  25. Missouri – Missouri does not license painting contractors. However some local governments do.

  26. Montana – All painting contractors need to be registered if they have employees. There is no license for a painting contractor in Montana.

  27. Nebraska – Nebraska requires a registration for most trades including painting.

  28. Nevada – Nevada’s laws for painting contractor licensing are interesting because they have a reciprocity agreement California, Arizona, and Utah.

    PRE-APPROVAL: Applicants must submit an application to the state licensing board to obtain approval before being eligible to take the exam.

    BUSINESS AND LAW: Applicants are required to pass both the trade exam and the Management Survey Exam (Business and Law Exam) in order to obtain a license.

    EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: Applicants must be able to document a minimum of four years of experience within the past 10 years to qualify for a license. This experience must be as a Journeyman, foreman, supervising employee or contractor. Education may be used to satisfy a portion of the required experience. Applicants must also submit 4 reference certificates concerning their work experience and submit to a background check.

    FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS: All applicants must submit current financial statements to the state licensing board. Monetary limits are set based on financial standing. If seeking a financial limit less than $1,000,000 the statement must be compiled, reviewed or audited by a CPA, self-prepared on a form provided by the Board, or using accounting software and accompanied by an affidavit.

    When seeking a monetary limit of $1,000,000 or more, the financial statement must be reviewed and audited by a CPA.

    EXAM DETAILS: The testing company is PSI. The Management Survey Exam is a multiple choice, open-book, timed test. There are 30 questions and a 1-hour time limit. A minimum of 35 questions (70%) must be correct to pass the exam. You will receive your score immediately following the exam. The exam fee is $85 for one exam or $130 for one trade plus the Management Survey Exam. If the test is failed three times the applicant must begin the application process over and reapply directly to the Nevada State Contractors’ Board.

    EXAM CONTENT: Materials Surface Preparation Application Tools Problems and Prevention Safety Color

    BOND / INSURANCE: All contractors are required to obtain a bond. The amount of the bond ($1,000 – $500,000) is determined by the board based on license type, monetary limit, past, present, and future financial responsibility, experience and character of the applicant. It is possible to use a cash deposit that is held by the board, with a yearly $100 fee, in place of a bond. All contractors are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance.

    LICENSING FEE: The application/licensing fee is $600.00 ($300 application fee and $300 licensing fee).

    PROCESSING TIME: It takes approximately 2 weeks to receive an approval letter after submitting your application to the board. However, processing times vary depending on the time required to verify experience, financial statements, references and completing background checks.

  29. New Hampshire – New Hampshire does not require licensing for painting contractors.

  30. New Jersey – New Jersey has a home improvement registration requirement.

    The Contractor’s Registration Act requires that all home improvement contractors register with the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs and display their registration number listed, NJHIC#, at the following places: * within their places of business (the
    original registration certificate) * in all advertisements * on business documents, contracts and correspondence with consumers * on all commercial vehicles.

  31. New Mexico – New Mexico does not specifically require a painter to get a painting contracting license. However working on several types of jobs requires a contracting license no matter what type of contractor you are.

  32. New York – New York does not have a painting contractor’s license. However many local governments do, such as NYC which has a home improvement contractor’s license.

  33. North Carolina – North Carolina requires a general contractor’s license for any job over 30k. This would apply to a painting contractor should you be working on very large jobs. Painting jobs under 30k do not require a license.

  34. North Dakota – North Dakota requires a license for all contractors accepting jobs over 2k.

    To process a contractor’s license, the following needs to be completed and submitted to the Secretary of State’s office. Please allow adequate time for processing as the requirements arrive from several agencies.

    • If a sole proprietor or partnership is applying for the license, the applicant must have their business name registered with the Secretary of State. Any other entity applying for a license must be registered with the Secretary of State. Click here to
      learn about business name and entity registrations .
    • A Contractor’s Application (SFN 12012) , in the exact name that your business name will be registered in North Dakota. The application will require the applicant to sign under oath a statement of the applicant’s experience and qualifications
      as a contractor.
    • A certificate of insurance, in the exact name that the business is registered, indicating liability coverage as proof that the applicant has secured liability insurance. The certificate should list the North Dakota Secretary of State, 600 E Blvd. Ave.
      Dept 108, Bismarck, ND 58505 as certificate holder.
    • A statement from Workforce Safety & Insurance that the contractor has secured workers’ compensation coverage.For details contact: Workforce Safety & Insurance

      1600 East Century Avenue, Suite 1, Bismarck ND 58506.

      (701) 328-3800 or 800-777-5033

    • The appropriate filing fee made payable to the Secretary of State. Visa, MasterCard and Discover are also accepted (255kb pdf).
      Class Contract Amount Fee
      Class A Over $500,000 per job $450
      Class B Up to $500,000 per job $300
      Class C Up to $300,000 per job $225
      Class D Up to $100,000 per job $100
    • In addition to a contractor’s license, you may need to obtain other licenses or permits as required by law. For example, licenses issued by the State Electrical Board, PO Box 7335, Bismarck ND 58507 (701) 328-9522, State

    Plumbing Board, 1110 College Drive, Suite 210, Bismarck ND 58501 (701) 328-9977, an Asbestos Abatement License issued by the North Dakota Department of Health, or a Transient Merchant License issued by the Attorney General.

  35. Ohio – Ohio requires all contractors to have a license.

    If you are a painting contractor, it is important for you to know the Ohio EPA rules that may apply to your business. Ohio EPA’s air pollution control requirements may apply to you. If your business will generate wastewater, Ohio’s rules require that
    it be properly managed. In addition, you may be required to notify Ohio EPA that you generate hazardous waste or submit other reports. Complying with some requirements, for example, getting an air or water permit, may take some time. The earlier you
    look into your responsibilities under the rules, the better. This fact sheet highlights some of the major Ohio EPA requirements that could apply to your painting business. You will also need to contact other agencies such as the Occupational Safety
    and Health Administration (OSHA) to find out what additional requirements apply to your business.

  36. Oklahoma – Oklahoma does not require most contractors to have a license. However, many of the local governments do.

  37. Oregon – Oregon has many regulations and requirements. How do I get licensed?

    • At least one owner or employee of a contractor’s business must complete the eight-hour Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) training from an accredited provider.
      • The Oregon Health Authority maintains a training calendar . It also has a list of accredited training providers
      • You can also call 971-673-0440 or email [email protected]
      • This initial certification is valid for five years. Before your certification expires, you must take a four-hour refresher course from an Oregon Health Authority approved provider. If your initial certificate expires before you take the refresher
        course, you must take the full eight-hour course again.
  38. Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania requires painting contractors to have an active license.


    In order to comply with federal mandates, the State of Pennsylvania certifies contractors and workers that perform asbestos and lead removal services. These certifications are issued by the Certification, Accreditation and Licensing Division at the
    Department of Labor and Industry.

  39. Rhode Island – Rhode Island only requires painting contractors to be registered.

    Rhode Island law requires anyone who is in the business of commercial construction, home construction, alterations, remodeling, or repair to residents to be registered with the State of Rhode Island Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board.

    The following is a list the items required when registering as a Contractor/Sub- Contractor in Rhode Island. Please note that there is a separate list for In-state Resident Applicants versus Out-of-State Resident Applicants.

    In-state Resident Applicants

    Out-of-state Resident Applicants

  40. South Carolina – South Carolina only requires licensing for commercial painting contractors working on jobs over 5k.

  41. South Dakota – South Dakota does not require painting contractors to be licensed.

  42. Tennessee – Tennessee only requires licensing for general contractors working on projects over 25k. Their subs don’t need to be licensed except if the total project is over 100k.
  43. Texas – Texas is big on insurance but does not require painting contractors to be licensed.

  44. Utah – Utah does not require a painting license.

  45. Vermont – Vermont only registers businesses. Licensing should be looked into at the local level.

  46. Virginia – All contractors need to be licensed. The requirements are very involved and should be fully understood.

    Step One – Create a business entity. Contractor licenses are issued to business entities, not to individuals, so the first step is to create a business entity. While the Board for Contractors recognizes all legal forms of business entities, the most common are: sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLC), partnerships, and corporations. You should seek the help of a professional, such as an attorney or CPA, to help you decide what type of business entity would be the best for you. Additionally, several types of businesses require registration with the State Corporation Commission, and a professional can help you with that task. You may also obtain information from Virginia’s Business One Stop service at
    Step Two – Name that company and be sure to register that name. All businesses have a name.

    Sometimes that is just the name of the sole proprietor, but often it is a fictitious or “trading as” name. You may choose any fictitious name allowed by law, but you must register that name with the appropriate authorities. If your company is a corporation,
    LLC or limited partnership, you must register both your company and any names used by that company with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. If you have a partnership or sole proprietorship you must register any fictitious name with the court
    in the jurisdiction in which your company is located. You must provide documentation of any fictitious name as part of your application to the Board for Contractors. While you may be as creative as you would like in developing a fictitious name, it must not indicate that you do work that is not allowed by your license. For example, ABCXYZ, Inc., has applied for a license to perform roofing work, it would not be allowed to be called ABCXYZ Builders, Inc., as their
    license would not permit them to be builders.

    Step Three – Determine the type of license your company will need. A. Choose your license class. Licenses are issued in one of three license classes; A, B, or C. The class of a license determines what,
    if any, monetary restrictions are placed on the size of contracts or projects you may perform. A Class C license is restricted to contracts/projects that are less than $10,000, with the total amount of all contracts/projects performed in a twelve month
    period remaining below $150,000. A Class B license is restricted to contracts/projects that are less than $120,000, with the total amount of all contracts/projects performed in a twelve month period remaining below $750,000. There are no monetary restrictions
    for Class A licenses. It is important to select the right class of license for the amount of work your company will be performing as exceeding the limits of your license is a violation of the regulations and could result in disciplinary action being
    taken by the Board against the licensee. It is also important to remember that each class of license has different financial and experience requirements. Even though you may want a Class A license, you may not meet the eligibility criteria for one,
    so be sure that you review all of the eligibility requirements before submitting your application. B. Choose your specialty. Now that you have determined how much work you are going to be allowed to perform with your license, you must determine what
    you are going to do. Contractor licenses have classifications and specialties that identify the type of work that may be performed with the license. These classifications and specialties are identified as three letter abbreviations that are printed
    on the bottom of the license. The definition of each of the classifications and specialties can be found in the Board for Contractors Regulations. It is important to select the specialty that best describes the work your company will be performing
    as working outside the scope of your license is a violation of the regulations and could result in disciplinary action against the license holder. In order to hold a specialty on your license the Qualified Individual (QI) must meet all of the eligibility
    criteria. That means that your QI must have experience in that particular specialty and must demonstrate that knowledge by holding an individual license/certification or by taking an examination. Without meeting both the experience and examination/licensing
    requirements, you will not be permitted to hold the specialty on your license. See Step Five for additional information about the QI.

    Step Four – Identify your Responsible Management. All licensed contractors are required, by law, to identify officers,
    members, partners, owners, etc., of their business entities. These are the individuals responsible for the license and for ensuring that all regulations and statutes are followed. The individuals that must be identified depend on the types of business entity formed for your company. Sole proprietorships, for example, must only identify the one individual who owns the business. Partnerships
    must identify the partners, corporations the officers, LLCs the members/managers, etc. In order to complete the application you must provide the names of these individuals, their birthdates, Social Security Numbers OR Virginia DMV Control Number, and
    their address and you must include a copy of a government issued photo ID.

    Step Five – Identify your Qualified Individual(s). You must have a Qualified Individual (QI) for each of the specialties wanted on the license.

    The QI must be either a bona fide full-time employee (minimum 30 hours per week and not a 1099 employee) OR one of the members of Responsible Management identified in step four. All QIs are required to have experience in the specialty they will be linked
    to and the amount of that experience is determined by the class of license. The QI for a Class A license must have five years of experience in the specialty, Class B must have three years of experience, and Class C two years of experience. The type
    of work that may be counted towards meeting the experience requirements can be found in the definition of each specialty listed in the Board for Contractors Regulations. Qualified Individuals must have an additional license or certification OR complete
    a technical examination that is based on the scope of work allowed by that particular specialty. Trade-related specialties, for example, require that the QI hold a valid Master Tradesman license, issued by the Board for Contractors, in the appropriate
    specialty. In another example, the QI of the home improvement specialty must successfully complete the home improvement technical examination. You can find a list of the specialties that have additional QI requirements on the Trade Related Examinations
    and Qualifications Information sheet that is included in the application packet. In order to complete the application you must provide the names of these individuals, their birthdates, Social Security Numbers OR Virginia DMV Control Number, and their
    address and you must include a copy of a government issued photo ID.

    Step Six – Identify your Designated Employee and complete the examination. Class A and Class B contractors must have a Designated Employee who has passed the required portions of
    the examination. As with the Qualified Individual, the Designated Employee must be a member of Responsible Management or a bona fide full-time employee. All Designated Employees for Class B licenses must successfully complete the General and Virginia
    portions of the examination. All Designated Employees for Class A licenses must successfully complete the General, Virginia, and Advanced portions of the examination. Please note that there is no Designated Employee for Class C licenses. In order to
    complete the application you must provide the names of these individuals, their birthdates, Social Security Numbers OR Virginia DMV Control Number, and their address and you must include a copy of a government issued photo ID.
    Step Seven – Complete the pre-license education course. All applicants for licensure as a contractor (all classes) are required to have either a member
    of Responsible Management or their Designated Employee (for Class A and Class B license only) successfully complete a pre-license education course that has been approved by the Board for Contractors. There are several dozen approved courses that are
    available that can be used to meet this requirement. Most are given in the classroom, but some providers offer online or correspondence courses.

    While the Board approves these courses, the providers are permitted to set their own fees, schedules, and locations, so you should check the list of providers and contact the ones that best meet your needs. You may download a list of approved providers from our website.
    Step Eight – Complete the entire application. It is important that all items on the application be completed. Failing to complete an item will result in a delay in the processing of your application. If you have a question about an item on any application form please email the Board for Contractors at [email protected], or call the licensing staff at (804) 367-8511.

    Some of the questions may, depending on your answer, require that you provide additional documentation. Please be sure to carefully read what additional information may be needed, as failure to provide everything that is required will result in a delay
    in processing your application.

    Step Nine – Send the application to the Board with the appropriate fee. You must submit the appropriate fee along with your application. Each form has the fee that must be submitted listed on the first page of that form.

    Applications received without a fee are returned to the applicant and no additional action is taken. If you send in the wrong fee, it may delay the processing of your application. Please note that fees are non-refundable so, if you do not meet the eligibility
    requirements licensure, you are not issued a refund of the application fee, but may be eligible for a refund of your Recovery Fund assessment.

    Step Ten – Be patient while the licensing staff processes your application. Applications are processed on
    a first in – first out basis, and the average processing time for most applications is approximately 30 days, but can be more or less depending on a number of factors. If your application is complete and you have met all of the eligibility requirements,
    the license will be issued at the initial review and will be mailed to you. If your application is incomplete, then a letter will be sent to you outlining what was missing and what we need to finish the review and issue your license. A note about “non-routine
    applications:” if an application involves someone with a past criminal history, past adverse financial history, or past disciplinary history, it is considered a non-routine application and often involves an extra step or two in order to be processed.
    Most of the time this does not result in a delay in the processing of the application, but some non-routine applications must be reviewed by the Board for Contractors at one of their scheduled meetings. If your application must be reviewed by the Board, you will be notified and information will be provided
    to you regarding the process in place to get your application processed.

  47. Washington – Washington requires a painting contractor to be licensed. Painting companies also need to be registered with the state.

    Register as a Contractor for the First Time

    If this is a new business, you must do the following:

    • Choose your business structure.If you are going to operate as a Sole-Proprietor or General Partnership , skip to step 3. If you are going to operate as a Corporation , Limited Partnership

      Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) or a
      Limited Liability Company (LLC) continue with step 2.

    • Register with WA Secretary of State ( or call 360-725-0377. Cost is approximately $180. You can pay an additional fee for expedited service.
    • Complete a Business License Application online ( to get your Uniform Business Identifier number (UBI#), or go into a Department of Revenue, Employment Security, or Labor & Industries office to pick up the form and get your business
      license. Cost is $19 – $24.
    • Get your IRS Employer ID# if you plan to employ workers.Call the IRS ( at 1-800-829-4933 to get a free Employer Identification Number (EIN) (344 KB PDF) (
    • Fill out the Application for Contractor Registration (F625-001-000) and have it notarized.Your local L&I office will notarize it for you.
    • Purchase bond and liability insurance.Get a surety bond or assignment of account from your insurance agent: o $12,000 for a general contractor.
      • $6,000 for a specialty contractor (one trade only).Get proof of general liability insurance coverage from your insurance agent:
      • $50,000 property damage policy and $200,000 public liability policy. or
      • $250,000 combined single limit policy.

      NOTE: Originals of your bond and insurance will be required to complete your registration.

    • Prepare to pay the registration fee.Go to Contractor Registration Fees page for the correct amount.
    • Submit your application and required documents to L&I.

    The easiest and quickest way to complete this process is to walk in to a local L&I office .

    Be sure to bring the following:

    • Your completed and notarized Application for Contractor Registration (F625-001-000).
    • Evidence of your surety bond or assignment of account from your insurance agent.
    • Evidence of your general liability insurance coverage from your insurance agent.
    • A check or money order, Visa or MasterCard, to pay the registration fee . The local customer service representative will make sure all information is complete and answer any questions you may have. You will receive your temporary registration number (your receipt) at that time if all your paperwork is in order.

    By mail

    Be sure to mail all of the following:

    Mail all originals to the following address: Department of Labor & Industries Contractor Registration Section

    PO Box 44450

    Olympia WA 98504-4450

    Note: Be sure to make copies of all the above for yourself.

    After evaluating your application information, L&I will do one of the following:

    • If approved, mail your registration within 2 – 4 weeks.
    • If rejected, contact you about missing documentation within 2 – 4 weeks.
  48. West Virginia – West Virginia only requires licensing for commercial painting contractors.

  49. Wisconsin – Does not have a painting contractor license requirement.

  50. Wyoming – Wyoming does not have a painting contractor license requirement. Some local governments might though.