Thinking of starting a construction business in West Virginia? While Mountain State is an excellent place to start and build your name as a contractor, there are strict state rules for launching such a business.
The West Virginia Contractor Licensing Act requires all those who seek to engage in construction work have a contractor license. This post covers all the demands that general, plumbing, HVAC, piping, or any other contractor must meet to obtain a contractor license in West Virginia.
Who Needs a West Virginia Contractor License?
The West Virginia Division of Labor describes a contractor as anyone other than an employee who undertakes or submits an application to construct, repair, or demolish a building, road, or structure associated with a particular project whose budget is above $1000.
This applies to contractors in specialized trades, such as electricians and plumbers. As a matter of fact, all plumbing contractors require one of these contractor licenses:
- Master plumber: This is only available to those with 12,000 hours of plumbing work experience. They must also score 70 percent and above on their exam, be competent enough to design plumbing systems, and instruct or supervise journeyman plumber trainees.
- Journeyman plumber: Must have scored 70 percent in their exam, completed 8000 hours of plumbing experience, and be competent to supervise trainees.
Steps for Applying for a West Virginia Contractor's License
Thanks to technology, applying for a contractor license in West Virginia is now easier than ever. All you have to do is:
- Get in touch with the West Virginia Division of Labor and notify them of the scope of your work for proper classification and verification of the exam needed for licensing.
- Complete our exam prep courses to ensure you're ready for the exam. We offer exam prep courses and materials for these licensing exams
- Schedule an exam in line with your classification through ProV to be administered and supervised by a professional officer.
- Register your business with the West Virginia State Tax Department to obtain a Business Tax Registration Number.
- Contact a business specialist or visit WV One Stop Business Center to determine if your business needs to register with the West Virginia state secretary. You can also register the business online at www.business4wv.com.
- Obtain workers' compensation from the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner's office and unemployment insurance from Workforce West Virginia with documentation to provide proof to submit with your application.
- If deemed fit, you may be exempt from obtaining liability insurance in West Virginia.
- Submit a wage bond status affidavit with your application to protect your employees.
- Download, print, fill out the application/affidavit, send it to the Contractor Licensing Board, and pay the contractor licensing exam fee by money order, check, or credit card.
Note that you must complete all steps before submitting your contractor license application for processing. We offer Contractor License Application Processing Service to assist contractors through the process of applying, as it is complex and time-consuming.
Preparing for Your West Virginia Contractor Licensing Exam
West Virginia licensing Board requires that all contractors undertake and pass a scheduled exam with Prov. Testable subjects depend on the specific work classification in the following order:
- Business and Law (for all classes)
- Plumbing Contractor
- General Building Contractor
- Piping Contractor
- Residential Contractor
- Multi-Family Contractor
A passing score of 70 or above on the required contractor licensing exams qualifies you for a West Virginia contractor's license.
Penalties for Unlicensed Contractors in West Virginia
Although obtaining a license can be a lengthy process, working without a proper license is not worth the risks. Even though unlicensed contractors can file for a mechanic's lien, the state of West Virginia doesn't take breaking their rules too kindly. First-time license offenders can pay fines between $200 and $1000, while those who break the rules a second time can expect to pay anything from $500 to $5000 and six months in jail. A third time license violation warrants a $1000 fine and up to a year in jail time.
Contractor Training Center can help you obtain your West Virginia Contractor's License and makes the usually complex process easy to understand. Get started working towards obtaining your West Virginia contractor's license today by speaking with a licensing expert from Contractor Training Center!