Did you know that Utah has roughly 122,000 construction employees? Its construction sector has been steadily increasing, as it's up almost 6% from previous years.
If you're looking to get a piece of the construction pie, then you need a contractor license in Utah. This type of license is beneficial, as you can find more work while avoiding penalties for working without a license. It also helps you become your own boss which boasts unlimited earning potential.
But what are the Utah Contractor License Requirements? This article walks you through the process, along with associated fees, so be sure to keep reading.
Utah Contractor License Requirements
In the state of Utah, a General Building Contractor is defined as someone who's qualified by education, practical training, and experience, and has the knowledge to perform construction on all types of structures. These structures are intended to shelter, support, and enclose people, animals, moveable property, and chattels, and fall under Utah Code 84-55-102.
General contractors can handle all aspects of construction other than electrical work, plumbing, mechanical work, and elevator integrity or manufactured housing installation. The General Building Contractor is responsible for employing the services of specialty licensed contractors for these services.
But are there exceptions?
Yes. If a General Building Contractor engages in construction for single-family and multifamily dwellings (up to four units), they can perform whatever mechanical work a licensed electrician or employee would perform.
Do All Contractors Need a License in Utah?
If you're performing any type of repair, construction, demolition, or alteration to a building in Utah and the cost of labor and materials exceeds $3,000 in value, then you need a license.
But what if you already have a license in another state? Utah doesn't have reciprocity agreements with any other state boards, but it does offer licensure by endorsement. In short, Utah has deemed license classifications with California, Arizona, South Carolina, Nevada, and Louisiana as equivalent to Utah's requirements for classification, and applicants that are already licensed in these states have some (but not all) licensing requirements waived, making the application process less intensive.
If you apply for a contractor's license via endorsement in Utah, you still need to have your qualifier pass the Utah Business Laws & Rules Exam in addition to submitting a license application and necessary supporting documents.
General Contractor's Licenses in Utah
While it may seem clear-cut, a General Contractor's License is more complicated than one all-encompassing category. There are seven main categories a general contractor might fall under the umbrella of, depending on their specialties.
You'll need to decide which one of these categories best describes your scope of work:
- General Electrical Contractor (E200)
- Residential Electrical Contractor (E201)
- General Contractor (B100)
- Residential/Small Commercial Contractor (R100)
- General Engineering Contractor (E100)
- General Plumbing Contractor (P200)
- Residential Plumbing Contractor (P201)
Before you apply for the aforementioned licenses, you need to complete all of the following licensing requirements:
- Utah Home Builders Association, Associated General Contractors, or Associated Builders and Contractors Inc. course completion (30-hour pre-licensure)
- General liability insurance certificate for $100,000/per incident and a total of $300,000; must have DOPL as the certificate holder
- Register your business with the Utah Division of Corporations
- Need a Federal EIN number issued by the IRS
- Workers' Compensation insurance if you have employees; register with unemployment; state tax withholding registration (Utah State Tax Commission)
- Two years of construction work experience (4,000 paid hours)
- Successful completion of a two-part exam based on Utah business rules and laws, or one year of licensure in any other state or a Utah qualifier with a Utah Contractor License issued before 5/9/2017
- If you're a plumber or electrician, you need a master-level license
Your application can be completed and submitted for review to the DOPL once these items are met.
Specialty Contractor Licenses in Utah
If you're a specialty contractor, you need similar requirements for licensure. There are also more license types for specialty contractors than general contractors.
Here's a breakdown:
- Solar Photovoltaic Contractor (S202)
- Carpentry & Flooring Contractor (S220)
- Drywall, Paint, and Plastering Contractor (S270)
- Roofing Contractor (S280)
- Foundation, Excavation, and Demolition Contractor (S310)
- Landscape & Recreation Contractor (S330)
- Sign Installation Contractor (S440)
- Masonry, Siding, Stucco, Glass, and Rain Gutter Contractor (S230)
- Asphalt & Concrete Contractor (S260)
- Elevator Contractor (S440)
- Limited Scope Contractor (S700)
- HVAC Contractor (S350)
- Radon Mitigation (S354)
- Fire Suppression Systems Contractor (S370)
- Boiler, Pipeline, Waste Water, and Water Conditioner Contractor (S410)
The main difference with licensing requirements for specialty contractors is the pre-licensure course is 25 hours, instead of 30 hours. Everything else is virtually the same.
Become a Contractor in Utah
Now that you know about codes for various types of contractors, it's important to understand how to become a contractor in Utah and what requirements you need before applying for a license with the DOPL.
You must ensure all requirements are satisfied before applying.
Every applicant needs to complete the Associated General Contractors of Utah (AGC) or Utah Home Builders (UHB) pre-licensure course (25 hours long) before filing their application.
You must hold a General Liability Insurance Certificate. If you're a general contractor in Utah state, you need at least $100,000 of coverage per incident and a total of $300,000. The DOPL has to be listed as the certificate holder.
You'll also need a Proof of Surety Bond. This means you need to work with a bonding company to secure the appropriate bond for any anticipated needs related to your work. This doesn't apply to all general contractors, however, it depends on the classification you fall within.
For any LLCs, LLPs, partnerships, or corporations, you have to register your business. The Business Entry Registration is with the Utah Division of Corporations and Commercial Code.
EIN, Experience, and More
Be sure to obtain a federal EIN for your business. You'll need this for tax purposes. If you're a business in Utah, you need this Employer Identification Number issued by the IRS.
Experience is a must. Within the last decade, you need to have worked at least two years in a similar industry (full-time) or worked for one year as a supervisor or manager for a general contractor.
For general contractors with employees, there are more requirements. You need to hold workers' compensation insurance coverage with a minimum weekly payout of $45 for employees. You also need state withholding tax registered with the Utah State Tax Commission.
The last requirement for contractors with employees is unemployment registration so workers can receive unemployment insurance, should they need it.
Once you satisfy all these prerequisites, you have to complete and submit a contractor application. You also need to complete the PSI UT B-100 General Building Contractor Examination and the Utah Construction Business and Law Examination.
The Cost of Getting a Utah Contractor License
You're probably wondering what a contractor license costs, along with licensing and registration fees. Here's a breakdown to help as you apply for your Utah contractor license.
- New applicant application fee: $225; this includes one qualifier and one classification
- Each additional classification: $175 application fee
- Each additional, change, or new qualifier: $50 application fee
- An unincorporated entity, such as an LLC: $20 registration fee; this is if you have one or more owners that own less than 8% (on the DOPL website you complete Appendix G)
- Business registration fee: $70; this is through the State of Utah Department of Commerce and is non-refundable (if it's a DBA registration, it costs $22)
Additionally, surety bond expenses range from $25,000 to $50,000 depending on what classification you are.
What Are the Penalties?
Are there penalties if you work without a license? Yes, and Utah takes contractor licenses seriously, so you don't want to work without one.
If you contract without a license, the first offense could be fines as high as $1,000. Your second offense could be as high as $2,000.
If you continue to work without a license, you could face penalties as steep as $2,000 per day. This is all in accordance with Utah Code 58-55-501.
It's best to secure your contractor license and avoid penalties in the first place.
Get Your Utah Contractor License Today
Now that you know how to get a contractor license in Utah, along with the benefits and contractor license cost, you can begin preparing for your licensing exams.
If you need help with your application process, Contractor Training Center can help. We offer an application review service to help you every step of the way.
We also offer a wide range of courses so you're prepared for your contractor exams, so be sure to contact us today!