Some state contractor licensing boards recognize contractor licenses acquired in other states and waive some or all requirements for obtaining a similar license within their state through a process called reciprocity. The licensed contractor does not have to go through all of the usual steps required of new applicants to obtain a new license in the reciprocity state, but there are still requirements to verify before contractors can perform work legally.
Recent updates in state reciprocity agreements mean more contractors now qualify for licensure by reciprocity. If you're looking to expand your business into a new state without completing some of the usual requirements such as taking additional state technical licensing exams, keep reading the article below, or book a start-up consultation with a licensing specialist to sort out your next steps to getting licensed!
Florida Contractor License Reciprocity Rules
Effective July 1, 2022, the Florida DBPR Construction Industry Licensing Board will allow building and construction contractors from North Carolina, Mississippi and Louisiana to use their license from those states to apply for licensure by reciprocity in Florida. Applying for a Florida license when holding a reciprocated license in another state eliminates having to take a technical licensing exam, one of the steps to obtain a Florida Contractor's license.
Florida license applicants will still need to apply to the state of Florida DBPR for licensure and will need to pass a Florida Business Law and Finance and Codes exams.
Let an Expert Help Determine if you Qualify for Reciprocity on a License Start-Up Consultation for only $79!
Florida now offers reciprocity with Mississippi, North Carolina, and Louisiana for the following license classifications:
- Mississippi General, Building, and Residential Licenses
- North Carolina General, Building, and Residential licenses
- Louisiana General, Building, and Residential licenses
To obtain a license through reciprocity in Florida, applicants have to complete the following steps:
- Submit a License Application to the Florida DBPR - See our Florida Contractor License Application Processing Service if you want expert assistance when compiling your application!
- Take and pass the Florida Contractor Business and Finance Exam and take a Florida Building Codes (FBC) course
- Submit verification of licensure from the state in which they are licensed, indicating the following information:
- The license has not been revoked, suspended, or placed on probation during the previous five years
- The license is not subject to disciplinary action
- The license was obtained via examination
- Meet the financial responsibility requirement:
- 660 or above credit score
- If below a 660, either supply a $20,000 bond or complete a Florida Contractors Financial Responsibility course and supply a $10,000 bond.
- Submit to a background check and get fingerprinting from an approved Live Scan Service Provider.
- Carry General Liability Insurance and workers' compensation.
Additionally, if applicants are applying for a residential license or a building contractor license via reciprocity from North Carolina, they must meet the experience requirements: four years of experience, or a combination of experience and a college degree. If applicants are applying for a residential or building contractor license via reciprocity from Louisiana or Mississippi, they do not have to submit proof of experience.
ALL General Contractor applicants (applying to build anything over four stories) must submit proof of experience.
North Carolina Contractor License Reciprocity Rules
The North Carolina Contractor State License Board Allows You to Apply and Use Your Contractor Licenses from Florida and Mississippi as well as other states including Tennessee, Georgia, and Louisiana!
If you need assistance determining if you qualify for reciprocity, we offer a License Start-Up Consultation. Talk to a licensing expert for only $79!
NC Contractor State License Board Rules and Requirements for using a Florida Certified Contractor's License or a license from SC, TN, LA, GA, and MS in NC:You must apply by sending a waiver form to the qualifying state board to fill out and meet the following requirements:
- Register a Business in North Carolina
- Supply three letters of reference
- Meet the financial requirement for the limitation you are requesting:
- Limited Project (Value up to $500,000): Have total current assets that exceed the total current liabilities by at least $17,000 or have a total net worth of at least $80,000 reflected in an agreed-upon procedure report. In lieu of demonstrating the level of working capital, an applicant can provide a $175,000 surety bond.
- Intermediate Project (Value up to $1,000,000): Have current assets that exceed current liabilities by at least $75,000 as reflected in an agreed-upon procedure report form or an audited financial statement prepared by a CPA. In lieu of demonstrating the level of working capital, an applicant can provide a $500,000 surety bond.
- Unlimited (No limits on projects): Have current assets that exceed the total current liabilities by at least $150,000 reflected in an agreed-upon procedures report on a form provided by the board or an audited financial statement prepared by a CPA. In lieu of demonstrating the level of working capital, an unlimited license applicant may provide a $1,000,000 surety bond.
- Submit a license application (see our NC License Application Processing Service)
- Pass the North Carolina Contractor Business and Law Exam
Mississippi Contractor License Reciprocity Rules
Mississippi now offers reciprocity with Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee if applicants have held the license for at least one year.
To obtain a license via reciprocity, applicants need to have passed one of the above exams and complete the following requirements:
- Take and pass the Mississippi Business and Law Exam
- Submit a reciprocity verification form filled out by the state the applicant holds a license in.
- Apply for a Mississippi Contractors license, supplying the following:
- Have a business registered in the state of Mississippi and with the IRS
- Carry General Liability Insurance in the amount of $300,000 per occurrence and $600,000 aggregate
- Provide three references: one from a bank and two from individuals the applicant has worked with or for on construction-related projects.
- Provide proof of at least three jobs in the classification requested that have been completed.
- Provide a reviewed or audited financial statement prepared by a CPA within the last 12 months. (All major applicants must have a net worth of $50,000. All other classifications must have a net worth of at least $20,000.)
Let an Expert Help Determine if you Qualify for Reciprocity with our License Startup Consultation for only $79!