The first step to managing your own successful construction business is getting your contractor license. Proper licensing allows you to pull your own permits, bid on projects, and adds to your overall credibility.
Becoming a licensed contractor doesn’t require a college degree, but it does require a certain amount of skill and experience. It also takes a bit of time to understand the application process, but it’s more than worth it so that you can fill everything out correctly the first time and start enjoying the benefits of a proper license as soon as possible.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process of acquiring your contractor license in Utah, from finding out if you qualify to the submission of the completed application.\
1. Make sure you qualify
Every state has its own set of requirements that individuals must meet before they can apply for a contracting license. In Utah, you must be at least 18 years old and have gained at least 2 years of relevant full-time work experience in the last 10 years. You must submit documented proof of that experience with your application.
You’ll also need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS and register your business with the Utah Division of Corporations.
2. Decide the type of license you should apply for
The next thing you’ll need to do is determine which type of license best fits your work experience and the type of work that you want to do.
In Utah, there are three main types of licenses you can apply for:
- General Building (B100): A General Building contractor’s license lets you supervise the remodeling, repair, or construction of most structures.
- Residential and Small Commercial (R100): A Residential and Small Commercial license lets you supervise the construction of single and multi-family residencies up to four units and commercial buildings up to three stories above the ground.
- General Engineering (E100): A General Engineering license allows for the construction of fixed works in drainage, water supply, power, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, sewers, or any other specialized engineering projects.
Other license classifications available include General Electric Work, Residential Electric Work, General Plumbing, and Residential Plumbing. To learn more about the requirements for each license classification, visit the official Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing website.
3. Take the licensing exam
All applicants are required to take the Utah Business and Law exam and pass before submitting their application, and most applicants are also required to take an additional trade-specific exam.
A fee of $72 is required to take the Business and Law exam, while trade examinations require a $75 fee. A score of 70% or higher is needed to pass each exam.
These tests cannot be taken from home – you’ll need to go to a testing location in one of the following cities:
- Salt Lake City
- North Salt Lake City
- North Orem
4. Meet the financial requirements
Every contractor in Utah is required to obtain liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. Liability insurance must cover at least $100,000 per accident and $300,000 aggregate to protect your business from costly and time-consuming lawsuits and claims.
If you hire employees, they’ll need to be covered by worker’s compensation insurance. Without worker’s comp, employees injured on the job can sue for medical expenses and lost wages.
On your licensing application, you’ll need to provide the name of your insurance provider and your policy number to prove that you’re covered.
5. Pay the application fees
For the first classification of licensure, you’ll have to pay a fee of $210 to submit your application. Another fee of $195 is required for the residence lien recovery fund, bringing the total for most applicants to $405.
6. Complete and submit your application
Once you’ve made sure that you meet all of the above requirements, it’s finally time to submit your application, exam scores, and other necessary documents to the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL). Four to six weeks after submitting your application, you’ll know whether or not you’ve been approved or denied.
Get Your Contractor’s License the Easy Way
While there are a lot of steps involved, obtaining your contractor’s license shouldn’t have to be stressful. Make sure you pass your Utah licensing exam the first time by signing up for prep courses from the Contractor’s Institute. We make the material easy to understand so that you can answer exam questions with confidence – and if you don’t pass after taking our courses, you don’t pay.