How to Become a General Contractor in Georgia

general contractors in Georgia working on a construction site

Are you interested in a challenging, rewarding, and lucrative career in Georgia? Now is the time to transport your in-demand construction skills over to general contracting.

Become your own boss and make a career move that offers higher income, job flexibility, and the ability to take on the projects that inspire you.

The only thing standing in your way is getting your license! That’s where Contractor Training Center comes in — we will walk you through every step of the process to ensure your success on the exam.

Learn what it takes to become a general contractor in Georgia here in our blog and find out if you’re ready to take the test. Using this article and our Georgia general contractor license exam prep courses as your guide, you can be well on your way to becoming a licensed Georgia contractor today!

Georgia General Contractor License Requirements

The State Licensing Board For Residential and General Contractors regulates licensure within the state of Georgia. Their website is a trusted resource for contracting information, and you should defer to them when it comes to changing deadlines for application times.

Any contracting work in Georgia with a budget of over $2,500 requires a license. Always make sure you have your license in hand before taking on any large projects, or you risk legal action. Even on smaller projects, it is wise to have a license. Your clients will trust you more, and you can charge more for your accreditation.

Georgia has four different licenses, depending on the type of work you wish to perform. While this article will focus on general contracting, here is a quick breakdown of all the options:

  • General Contractor: This license is the most far-reaching for contractors. There are no restrictions on the size of projects you may take on, and you are also certified to work on residential and commercial contracting ventures.
  • Limited Tier General Contractor: Limited Tier licenses provide the same parameters as the General Contractor licenses. However, you are limited to a budget of $1,000,000.
  • Residential Basic Contractor: With this license, you can perform work on detached one-family and two-family residences as well as one-family townhouses not over three stories in height.
  • Residential Light Commercial Contractor: You are allowed to perform all residential basic work and work on multifamily and multi-use light commercial buildings and structures that are less than four stories and less than 25,000 square feet in interior floor space.

Education Requirements

To obtain your license, you must first prove you meet one of three qualifications:

The state of Georgia permits the following selections:

  1. A four-year degree (B.A.) in the field (i.e., architecture, engineering, project management) from an accredited college or university. You must subsequently spend one year working in the construction trades under a licensed contractor.
  2. Any college-level courses from an accredited institution like a trade school must include experience that equals four years of university work.
  3. Minimum of four years working in the construction industry — two years must be under a licensed contractor, and one year must include time studying marketing, administration, accounting, or supervision.

In addition to these qualifications, you must be at least 21 years of age, pass a background check, and have a social security number.

Once you’ve determined that you fit the requirements, it’s time to start your application process. 

First-time general contractor applicants will need to pass a licensing exam, while contractors needing to reinstate their license or earn one through reciprocity may be exempt from taking the exam.

How to Apply for a General Contractor’s License in Georgia

The construction industry is always on the rise. The median pay in 2020 was over $97,000 — much higher than the national average.

If you are ready for your piece of the pie, you’ll need a Georgia General Contractor’s license. Applying is not difficult, but it is vital to pay attention to each step carefully. After all your hard work, you don’t want to risk messing up your application by omitting a document or missing a deadline!

Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to getting that coveted contracting license.

Document Your Construction-Related Experience

All Georgia Contractors are required to have either experience, education in a construction-related field, or a combination of both, as mentioned above. If you are using your previous experience to qualify for a license in Georgia, you must meet the requirements for the license you are applying for:

  • General Contractor: Applicants must have received a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university in engineering, architecture, construction management, building construction, or another field acceptable to the division. You can also qualify for the license with four years of experience in commercial construction if you do not have a degree. Applicants must submit at least one commercial project in which you as a supervisor had general oversight and primary management responsibility for the successful performance and completion of the project within five years of the date of the application.
  • Residential Basic Contractor: Applicants must have at least two years of proven experience working as or in the employment of a residential contractor. Applicants must also have two projects in which they had significant responsibility for the successful performance and completion of those two projects within two years immediately preceding the application.
  • Residential Light Commercial Contractor: Applicants must have received a baccalaureate degree from an accredited four-year college or university in engineering, architecture, construction management, building construction, or another field acceptable to the division. You can also qualify for the license with four years of experience if you do not have a degree in residential and light commercial projects. Applicants must also have had significant responsibility for the successful performance and completion of at least two light commercial projects within four years immediately preceding the application.

If you are unsure which license your experience qualifies you for, sign up for a consultation call with a Contractor Training Center license specialist!

The cost of this call can be applied to your first course or service purchase with us, making the call free! This will save you time and money because if you apply for the incorrect license based on your experience, you will have to resubmit different applications with even more fees to the state. Let a Contractor Training Center specialist help you make the right decision based on your experience and business needs!

Collect Your Documents

The next step is to gather all your official transcripts from every institution at which you studied. Make sure you allow enough time for the schools to send you the verified documents in a sealed envelope.

Do not open the envelope — all the documents must remain sealed until the licensing board receives them.

Fill Out the Application

Head on over the Georgia Secretary of State website and complete this online application. There is an affidavit at the end, which must be notarized before you submit it.

Any Georgia general contractor license applications without notarization are subject to immediate dismissal.

Include Insurance Certificates

Include copies of your insurance certificates. In Georgia, all contractors must meet the minimum requirements for insurance. You must show both worker’s compensation insurance and general liability insurance.

The minimum amount of coverage for general contractors is $500,000. For a residential basic license, the coverage needs to be $300,000.

Purchase Your Surety Bond

Surety bonds are another form of insurance that shows the Georgia Secretary of State that you can perform the duties related to contracting to the highest degree of quality and are financially responsible. In addition, a surety bond can shield your clients in the event of possible incomplete work due to extenuating circumstances such as bankruptcy. 

The state of Georgia requires contractors to purchase a surety bond of at least $25,000,

Pay the Application Fee

Include a check for $200 to cover the application fee. Money orders are also accepted.

Mail It Out

Make sure you have physical copies of all the above documents and place them in a large sealed envelope. Finally, mail it to this address:

State Licensing Board For Residential and General Contractors
General Contractor Division
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217


Double-check and triple-check that everything is in order before you send it away.

Take the Test

This whole process so far is just the application that determines if you can take the exam.

How to Prepare for Your General Contractor Exam in Georgia

If approved, you will receive notification from the board to register with the test administrator, PSI Exams. Prospective contractors in Georgia must pass two exams: the Business & Law Test and the Construction Test. You must pass both tests with a grade of at least 70% to get your license.

You have one year from the date of your approval to take the test. You can attempt to pass twice within one calendar year, but any following applications will require re-application after a year-long waiting period.

There are a few strategies you can follow to increase your chances of passing on your first attempt.

Take a Class

The best way to lock in a 100% grade is to get professional help. Work with a reputable training center like Contractor Training Center and study with the experts. Teachers who have passed the test themselves and helped others know what topics and questions you need to focus on during your studies.

Study the Right Material

When you study on your own, be sure you are covering the correct information. Follow along with a guide and other Georgia general contractor exam prep material and make sure you know proficiently about the construction business’ business and practical sides.

Questions on the exam will cover marketing, administration, building codes, building materials, accounting, and more.

Know the Laws

Perhaps the most critical aspect of passing your exam is understanding the specific Georgia laws and restrictions when it comes to being a general contractor. Municipalities and counties may have slightly different regulations as well.

Take Practice Tests

If it has been a while since you sat down and took an exam, make sure to practice. Brush up on your test-taking skills, so you are not intimidated when the big day comes. Take a test from a previous year to get a sense of what to expect.

The test will consist of only multiple-choice questions, which for some is more difficult as there is no room to explain your thinking.

With practice, confidence, and the right help, you’ll have no trouble passing your exam and becoming a proud licensed Georgian general contractor.

A Note on Reciprocity

If you are licensed as a general contractor in a neighboring state and looking to work on a construction project in Georgia, you may be able to take advantage of reciprocity laws that permit you to do so.

Those general contractors from Louisiana, North Carolina, Mississppi, and Tennessee have reciprocity in Georgia. You will still need to pass the Georgia business and law exam priori to being issued a reciprocal license, however.


If you are ready to take your career to the next level, contact Contractor Training Center. We have classes and study guides tailored explicitly to the Georgia general contractor licensing exam.

Book a Start-Up Consultation to assist you in the licensing process. Our team is on standby to answer all your application questions and review your documents to ensure everything is on track. Run it by us, and never miss any part of your essential information.

You have nothing to lose: we are here for you! Reach out now and start studying today!


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