Georgia Contractor License Courses, Classes & Exam Prep

Georgia - Georgia Business Law Exam  | Georgia General Contractor License Exam  | Georgia Residential Basic Contractor Exam | Georgia Residential Light Commercial Contractor License Exam | Georgia Residential Light Contractor Exam | National NASCLA

 

Obtaining A Contractor’s License In The State Of Georgia

If you’ve landed on this page, chances are you’re in the process of launching your own contracting business—and we want to congratulate you! Like any other state, Georgia has requirements that you must meet before you can legally perform work. The most important one is having a valid GA contractor’s license.

At Contractors Training Center, we understand that you may not be fully aware of the laws, rules, and regulations. If this happens to be the case, don’t worry. It’s why we are here – to help and support you through this tedious but rewarding process.

You won’t get very far without a Georgia Contractor’s license. Performing work without one is illegal. Think about it, if anyone could build houses, what would the quality of these homes be like? With our guidance, you will have this license in no time and with guidance every step of the way.

Our team of specialists is knowledgeable, experienced, and passionate. We help contractors start their business right. They understand this process from top to bottom and hold the best tools, resources, and practice exams to prepare you. So, do you absolutely need a contractor’s license before you can start building homes in GA? The answer is, YES.

 

What you can expect from us

You will find everything you need to know on this page. You can expect nothing less than quality information, tools, and resources. We are confident that our services and will benefit you in the following ways:

Guide you through all the steps necessary to obtain your license
Discuss the different types of exams with you
Offer additional tools and study resources
Make the process of getting your license as simple and hassle-free as possible
All books and necessary materials are available on our site. Not to mention our friendly customer care team who’s readily available to answer any questions. Don’t wait any longer and give us a call today!


The Benefits of Having a Contractor’s License in GA

When you sell a service to a client, they will often ask to see your contractor’s license. Why? Well, because it makes you more credible. It shows that you have a license and have passed GA rules and regulations. Construction laws vary depending on the state. However, in Georgia, a contractor’s license is necessary for any project that goes above $2,500.

To be on the safe side, we suggest you go ahead and get your license. Think about it. Let’s say a large project opens for you. Do you really want to reject the offer because you are not a licensed contractor? A huge benefit of having a contractor’s license in GA is the higher earning potential it gives you. Clients are willing to pay a higher amount for a licensed contractor.

Neglecting or putting off a contractor’s license can result in being caught illegally performing work. Not only does this mean trouble for you and your business, but it discredits you and results in a loss of clientele. You can avoid all of this by getting your license. We are here to make this process as easy as possible.

 

How To Get A Contractor’s License In GA?

A Georgia contractor’s license is essential for much of the work that you’ll be conducting in the state. This may range from a basic residential project to commercial lighting. Following all GA legal guidelines will allow you to work without running into legal problems.

So, how do you get your GA contractor license? In short, you need to pass 2 exams. The first one is the Business and Law exam. The second test is the Construction Exam. The latter differs depending on the type of license that you need (as discussed in the previous section).

For plumbing, electrical, or conditioned air licenses, contractors only must pass one combined business and law exam. Following these steps will help you obtain your Georgia contractor’s license in no time. At Contractors Institute, we are here to help you every step of the way!

 

1. Meet the Initial Requirements


Before we go much further, you need to be sure you meet the requirements to apply for a Georgia license. You must be 21 years of age or older. Also, you need to demonstrate good character and financial responsibility. In addition, you must meet one of the following requirements:

4-year degree in construction management or related field
4 years of practical experience with a combination of college courses
Minimum 4 years of practical experience in which 2 of these years should have been under a general contractor/administration

2. Determine What Type of License You Need

Any project over $2,500 requires a licensed contractor in the state of Georgia. There are three types of licenses a contractor can hold:

  • License for Residential Basic Contractor in Georgia
  • Residential Light Commercial Contractor License in Georgia
  • General Contractor License in Georgia
  • NASCLA General Contractors license that is accepted in 15 states

If you’re unsure of which type of license you need, consider the type of services you offer. Here is a summary of each type. For a complete definition, see O.C.G.A. § 43-41-2.

Residential Basic GA Contractor

This category includes one and/or two-family homes or one family townhouse that doesn’t exceed 3-stories high (also includes accessory buildings). You must have at least 2 years of experience and two completed projects within the category of residential basic during the 2 years of the preceding application.You can substitute some or all of the work experience with suitable educational experience.


Residential Light Commercial GA Contractor

This selection is for building the homes listed above as well as multi-family or multi-use light commercial buildings, commercial buildings, or accessory buildings that don’t exceed 3 stories high. You will be required to have at least 4 years of working experience in construction (2 of them need to be working for a residential contractor). You can substitute some or all of the work experience with suitable educational experience.

General GA Contractor

This license is for contractors who will be conducting any type of residential or commercial construction. Requirements include a 4-year degree from an accredited college in an acceptable field, one-year work experience, or 4 years of similar work experience.

 

NASCLA General GA Contractor

We recommend taking the NASCLA exam if you plan to be a General Contractor in Georgia. It is the exact same test and uses the same book bundle, but the difference is that it is accepted in 14 other states for the Technical Commercial side of your license and it covers you for Residential in 10 of those states, including Georgia. When you go to another state you will still be required to fill out an application and in most cases take the state Business Law exam, but you will have the technical side of your license covered. Another advantage of NASCLA is that the exam can be taken before the Georgia Application process if you choose. More information on the NASCLA exam and the 15 states that accept it, is listed in the following pages.

3. Complete the Georgia Contractor License Application

The next step is to finish the exam application. To do so, you need to know the type of contractor that you want to be. Refer to the list above for a summary of your options. Also, note there are 3 types of Commercial Contractor licenses that all require you to pass the NASCLA exam: Individual, Limited Tier Individual, and Limited Tier Qualifying Agent.

You will want to submit the non-refundable, $200 application fee and any supporting documents to the Board Office. Before you can move to the next step, which is taking the exam, you will need to have approval by the state.

The Board Office will contact both you and the testing company to let you know of your approval. At this time, you will need to download the application and can do so at http://sos.ga.gov/cgi-bin/plbforms.asp?board=49

 

The Application process for Georgia is rather tedious, and we are often requested to assist in this process. Our Application Fulfilment Service is designed to streamline this process for you. We will set up a Dropbox with you and put the correct forms in front of you. You will still be required to fill out the application as it is your information, and only you know the people who must Verify your experience and credentials. You will be required to have a notary sign off on 4 different parts of the application. Once you complete this process, we will review your application and suggest editing where necessary. Applications are rejected, more often than not, by small technicalities that delay this process. Let us save you from frustration, aggravation, and procrastination and assist you through this process.

 

4. Take the Exams

The final step is taking the exams, which requires approval from the Board Office and the application process. Once you’re approved, you’ll register at PSI Examination services. The first exam pertains to business and law. The second is regarding the specific type of license you seek to obtain.

You must take these exams within one year of the approval date. Otherwise, you will be required to submit a brand-new application and go through the process again. For further questions regarding this step, give us a call. Click here to go to PSI Exams or call 1-800-733-9267.

Contractor Training Center provides the Prep courses and the books, and the tabs needed to pass these OPEN BOOK Exams. You have 3 options on how to take the prep courses. You can attend live classes in Richmond, VA, at our school location. We also live stream all our classes so you can attend the same class in an interactive webinar and ask questions and hear the questions from other students attending the same class. We also have pre-recorded classes that you can take at your own time and convenience. If you purchase the live class or the webinar, then we also send you the pre-recorded version of the class for follow up study, and it comes with lots of practice questions. You can review as often as you like, and we give it to you for 60 days. If you feel that you need more time, then just let us know.

 

The secret to passing these exams isn’t by trying to absorb all the material in many thick books, although, some of the material will stick, and therefore we suggest that you take the exam within a week of taking our class. The secret is to be able to find each answer in 2 to 2.5 minutes, depending on which test you are taking. We teach you to look for keywords in the question that will take you to the proper book and the proper tab where you will have a series of highlighted answers. Pick the one that fits your question. We also teach you the 3-pass rule. On your first pass, read all the questions and answer all the ones that you can without opening the books. Therefore, we want you to take the class very soon after taking the class because some of this information will still be in your short-term memory. If you can answer these questions quickly, then you are banking time for the harder questions. On the second pass, you use the proper book and proper tab method that we just mentioned. If you get hung up on a question, then save it for the 3rd round along with all the math questions. By the time you get to the third round then you have banked extra time and may have already answered enough questions to pass the exam.

Which Exam Should I Take?

The exam that you need to take depends on the type of license that you are aiming for. As we mentioned earlier, you need to pass 2 separate exams: The Business and Law exam and the Construction Exam. These differ depending on the type of license you’ve applied for.

You can take the exam at any testing location that is suitable regarding PSI Exams. Some of them may be outside of the state of Georgia. The Board Office will give you the results. Here are the PSI testing locations:

Atlanta (Marietta) The Pavilions at East Lake Shopping Center 2100 Roswell Road NE, Suite 2128 Marietta, GA 30062

 Macon 3902 Northside Dr, Suite C5 Macon, GA 31210

 Tifton 251 Southwell Blvd. Suite A Tifton, GA 31794

 

Preparing for the Contractor's Exam

At Contractors Institute, we help you prepare for this important exam by offering prep services, tools, and support. If you’re a GA contractor looking to get a license, let us help you pass the exam the first time around. Get in touch with us today to start this exciting process!

If you have a question about Georgia contractor licensing, contact the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a contractor license from Georgia be accepted when moving to another state? 
If you meet the state requirements, you can use your GA license. Contact the state board of the state where you’re seeking to get licensed to view the required information.

How long does it take to complete the course? 
You can complete the Contractor Licensure Examination Prep Course in 8 hours.

How long is my license valid?
Your license is valid as long as you renew it annually.

Is Contractor Continued Education Required in Georgia?
Yes, it is a requirement in the state of Georgia. Since 2014, anyone who is renewing their residential license is required to complete 3 hours of continuing education every year to hold a Georgia Residential Basic License. They also need 6 hours of continuing education annually to keep a Georgia Residential Light Commercial license.

Below are the licensing categories and the amount of continued education needed:

Continued Education Not Needed for The Following:

  • General Contractor Individual
  • General Contractor Limited Tier QA
  • General Contractor Limited Tier IND
  • General Contractor Qualifying Agent
  • NASCLA

Three (3) Hours Required for:

  • Residential Basic Qualifying Agent
  • Residential Basic Individual

Six (6) Hours Required for:

  • Residential Light Qualifying Agent
  • Residential Light Commercial Individual

For more information, you can use this website as a guide and look up your license. You can also call (478) 207-2440.

 

Do I need to have a general or residential contractor’s license to do specialty work?
Yes, you do. You’ll need to have access to permits or work with a contractor who can pull permits. Click here for the list of all the specialty licenses in GA.

NASCLA-accredited commercial contractor license: Is it accepted in Georgia?
Yes, the NASCLA Exam replaces the Trades exam for commercial contractors. The exam for the NASCLA license is acceptable in the following states as well as one US territory:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Nevada
  • Mississippi
  • Oregon
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina (Commercial)
  • South Carolina (Residential)
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virgin Islands (US Territory)
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

After successfully completing one exam, it’s simple to become licensed for commercial work in the remaining states and US territory.

When you pass the NASCLA Accredited Exam for Commercial General Building Contractors, you’ll earn a listing in the NASCLA National Examination Database. You’ll need this information when you apply in any of the states that accept it.

In addition to this, you may be required to take each state’s specific business/law/project management exam.

Additional Information:

Georgia Board for Residential and General Contractors Testing Process

Candidates must complete the appropriate exam application. Then they must submit it to the Board Office along with a fee and supporting documents. The Board Office then notifies PSI of those who can test. The contractor will receive notification as well.

Once approved for exam eligibility, the candidate will register with PSI. You can take this test at any of the PSI testing locations whether it be in Atlanta, Macon, Tifton, or any other location that PSI is established in.

You can find information regarding the exam itself by going to the PSI website at www.psiexams.com or giving PSI a call at 1-800-733-9267.

 

Candidate Information Bulletin

Board office will notify candidates of exam results.

 

How to obtain a Georgia reciprocal contractor license?

In the states of Tennessee and Louisiana, the General Division in GA holds reciprocity agreements for Commercial Contractors. If you have a commercial license with building construction classification in any of these two states, you may be licensed to work on construction projects in GA.

Moreover, you may also qualify to obtain a General Contractor License in GA if you have a NASCLA license in one of the states below:

  • Arkansas
  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina

*THE STATE OF GEORGIA CURRENTLY IS DEVELOPING RECIPROCAL LICENSING AGREEMENTS WITH OTHER STATES.  ANNOUNCEMENTS OF RECIPROCITY UPDATES AND RECENTLY ADDED STATES WILL APPEAR ON THE GA SECRETARY OF STATE WEBSITE.

 Georgia Reciprocal License Classifications

 You need a Commercial Contractor license along with a building construction classification to obtain a reciprocal contractor license in GA. Keep the following in mind:

  • Louisiana and Tennessee contractors with Residential Basic or Residential-Light commercial licenses ARE NOT eligible for reciprocity.
  • Those who’ve held a NASCLA-accredited license for 3+ years in a neighboring state may be eligible.
  • The State Licensing Board for General and Residential Contractors issue contractor licenses in the state of Georgia.

 

Georgia Reciprocal Licensing Requirements

All contractors must hold a valid Commercial Contractor License. This is in addition to a Building Construction classification in the State of Louisiana or Tennessee or a NASCLA-accredited license from the following states:

  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • Arkansas
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina

Contractors must hold this license for a minimum of 3 years.

In addition, every NASCLA-accredited contractor needs to meet the work experience and education requirements for the state of Georgia. They must submit a complete license application with all necessary documents and fees attached. This needs to be sent to the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors.

Moreover, every single contractor must register, take, and pass the Georgia Business and Law Exam. They must also follow every rule, law, or policy set forth by the Georgia licensing board during the license period.

 

Georgia Reciprocal Examination Requirements

Consider the following information if you want to obtain a reciprocal license in the state of Georgia:

  • You must have taken (and passed) the licensing board exam.
  • If you’re an applicant for the reciprocal exam, you’re not required to take the GA Trade Examination.
  • If you’ve completed and passed the NASCLA exam, you must submit your transcripts with the Georgia license application.

Keep in mind that if you are applying for a reciprocal license, you must pass the Georgia Business and Law Exam with a 70% or higher.

*IF YOU ARE A GENERAL CONTRACTOR WITH A GEORGIA LICENSE AND WANT TO WORK OUT-OF-STATE, CONTACT THE STATE LICENSING BOARD IN THE STATE IN WHICH YOU PLAN TO WORK FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR RECIPROCAL LAWS AND POLICIES.

Business & Law

SCOPE OF WORK

  • # of Questions: 50
  • Minimum Passing Score: 70% (35 correct)
  • Time Allowed: 120 Minutes

CONTENT OUTLINE

Subject Area

# of Items

Licensing Requirements

5

Estimating and Bidding  

7

Business Organization and Financial Management

7

Tax Laws

5

Labor Laws

5

Project Management and Lien Law

6

Contracts

6

Risk Management

4

Environmental and Safety

5

 

Residential – Basic Contractor Scope of Work

  • # of Questions: 80
  • Minimum Passing Score: 70% (56 correct)
  • Time Allowed: 200 Minutes

 

CONTENT OUTLINE

Subject Area

# of Items

Sitework, Footings, and Foundation

8

Concrete and Concrete Reinforcement

8

Masonry

5

Carpentry

16

Roofing

8

General Code and Construction Knowledge

18

Associated Trades

10

OSHA Safety

7

 

NASLCA-Accredited Examination – Commercial General Building Contractor

When you successfully complete the NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors, your name will earn a listing in the NASCLA National Examination Database. You may then use this information in other states if they accept the NASCLA Accredited Examination.

Please visit NASCLA’s website at www.nascla.org for a listing of the states that provide this exam.

  • # of Questions: 115
  • Minimum Passing Score: 81
  • Time Allowed: 330 Minutes

 

CONTENT OUTLINE

Subject Area

# of Items

Planning and Estimating

21

Financial and Project Management

21

Safety

19

Site Construction

15

Concrete

8

Masonry

3

Metals

5

Wood Foundations and Framing

5

Thermal Moisture Protection

4

Doors, Windows, and Glazing

5

Finishes

7

Specialty Equipment and Conveyance Systems

2

 

Where can I get the books?

You can get the books that you need directly from our bookstore!

Georgia Business Law Manual

Georgia Residential Basic Contractor Books

Georgia Residential Light Commercial Contractor Books

Georgia General (NASCLA Accredited Commercial) Contractor Books

 

Who is required to hold a license from the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors?

A license from the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors is a requirement for the following:

 (See O.C.G.A. § 43-41-2 for definitions)

  1. Residential-Basic Contractor
  2. Residential-Light Commercial Contractor
  3. General Contractor
  4. General Contractor Limited Tier

If the project costs less than $2,500, it does not require a licensed contractor. For more information on this, please review our website for information on specialty services.

How can I obtain a state license?

To obtain a state license, you need to submit an application and the non-refundable fee. Be sure to include any required supporting documents along with it. Then you’ll need to pass an exam required for your specific license.

Another option is to submit the application for licensure by prior approval status. This is if you meet the requirements listed on the Board Rules 553-3-.01 through 553-3-.06; and 553-4-.01 through 553-4-.06. 

How can I receive an application?

You can download the application here.

Are there any project size limitations based on the contract amount of the project within each category of licensure?
No, the category limitations pertain to the number of stories, square footage, and the type of project. The general contractor category is without limitations. The general contractor limited tier has a limit of $500,000 or less on contracts.

Should I apply as an “Individual in his or her own behalf” or as an “individual acting as a qualifying agent for a Georgia business organization”?

If the applicant is doing business in his or her own name or a trade name where the individual is doing business as a sole proprietorship, the contractor will apply as an individual.

This is different if the candidate is applying on behalf of a business organization whether it be a partnership, limited liability entity, corporation, joint venture, business trust, etc., Then a qualifying agent pertaining to the business organization must send the application.

Consequently, the individual qualifying agent and affiliated business organization will receive a license. This is not a personal license. This means that it can’t be used to operate as an individual or for any other business. If the company you work for received the qualifying agent license, and you decide to leave, you must apply for a new license.


Can a licensed general contractor perform work within the residential classifications? Yes, they may perform work under all 3 license classifications.

Can a business have more than one qualifying agent?
Yes, they can. However, keep in mind that all agents are responsible for the handling and supervision of operations, all fieldwork, and for financial matters for every specific job for which their license was used to obtain the building permit.

Can an individual qualify for more than one company?
Yes, an individual can qualify more than one company if the qualifying individual shows evidence of financial responsibility and insurance to the division.  

Is there a minimum net worth requirement for licensure?
A minimum net worth only is a requirement for the general contractor license. As shown in Board Rules 553-4-.01, 553-4-.02, 553-4-.05, and 553-4-.06, a general contractor must have a minimum net worth of $150,000. For the general contractor limited tier, there must be a $25,000 minimum net worth.  The net worth must be in the business name if applying as a qualifying agent.

 

What are the insurance requirements under the new law?
Under the new law, insurance requirements require proof of workers comp insurance from the applicant for licensure if required by GA law and general liability insurance in the following amounts:

  • Residential-Basic: $300,000
  • Residential-Light Commercial: $500,000
  • General Contractor: $500,000
  • General Contractor Limited Tier: $500,000

 

If a company loses its qualifying agent, can it continue to operate?
If a business loses its qualifying agent, they must make the appropriate division aware no later than 45 days from the occurrence date. The company or organization will have 120 days from the termination of the agent to find another qualifying agent. The contractor will also have to apply for licensure under the new qualifying agent. 

If for any reason, they deny the application, once the 120-day period has passed, the business shall cease to be considered licensed. The division can issue a temporary license that is non-renewable. This will give access to the company to continue building and complete any contracts already in progress.

Is my out-of-state license recognized in Georgia?
There is currently an established reciprocity between the General Division and states of Louisiana and Tennessee. This is an available way to obtain licensure, keeping in mind that the contractor must hold a commercial license with a “building construction” classification. Moreover, the General Division is working to establish reciprocity with other states as well.

Additionally, if you’ve taken and passed the NASCLA examination in another state, you can apply in GA and buy your NASCLA transcript to be sent to us. We will then approve it, and you’ll be able to take the Georgia Business and Law examination before the license is issued. For Residential Basic or Residential-Light Commercial licenses, reciprocity is not an option. 

What are the required fees for a license?
The application fee is $200.

In addition to the contractor license, what other requirements must I meet to open a business?
There are federal, local, and state requirements that businesses must meet. To become aware of these requirements, you’ll need to reach out to those agencies directly. Contact information is available in the government section of your telephone directory. For information on state agencies, look at the First Stop Business Information Center or contact the state directory assistance at 404-656-2000.

What is a “denial letter,” and what does it mean?
This is a written notice sent to the applicant stating that they have not met the requirements for licensure. This letter will include the reasons for denial and information on how to appeal the denial.

What is a “deficiency letter”?
After a thorough review of the applicant’s application, a “deficiency letter” may be sent. This is a written notice that states areas of deficiency. It also requires the contractor to submit additional information. The letter will provide instructions on how to address these deficiencies and provides other options as well.

What is the exam process?
Obtaining a license through the examination process requires a couple of steps. The applicant first needs to submit the applicable test application to the Board for approval, which can be downloaded here. A deficiency letter will be sent to the applicant if more information is needed. This letter will detail what additional documents need to be sent in.

Once approved, the applicant will receive written notification and details for scheduling and taking the exam. Exam approval is valid for one year. If the applicant fails to pass the exam, they can retake it within one year of the approval date. They will need to pay the re-examination fee. However, they do not need to resubmit the application unless the information is no longer accurate.


Contact Contractor Training Today

A Georgia Contractor’s license protects clients by preventing scam artists from deceiving people. More importantly, it increases your earning potential and gives you credibility. While any project under $2,500 does not require a license, do you really want to limit yourself?

We know that the process of obtaining a Georgia contractor license seems complicated and time-consuming. We are here to tell you that it’s not! We guarantee that the result will be well worth it. Plus, we are here to help you from start to finish and to make this process as stress-free as possible.

At Contractor Training Center, we have everything you need to complete your licensing exam successfully. Give us a call today!


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