Overview & Benefits
Obtaining a Contractor's License in Michigan
From electricians to carpenters, all construction and maintenance professionals must gain a contractor's license to work in Michigan. As in most states, this is the case for both combination and residential contractors, mainly if your projects are worth over $600. You'll have to meet various legal requirements before you can qualify for your license. That's where Contractor Training Center comes in. If you want to start contracting, we can help you obtain the right contractor's license. Our experts will guide you through the process from start to finish and provide advice on the rules and regulations you'll need to know.
You can expect to take an exam if you want to become a contractor in Michigan:
- Business & Law is a closed-book, multiple-choice exam to test whether you understand the legal requirements of operating a business in Michigan.
- The Maintenance and Alteration Trades Exam is a technical test to assess whether you have the necessary skills to professionally practice your trade. The nature of your trades exam will depend on which license you’re applying for.
There are two types of contractors' licenses in Michigan:
- The Michigan Residential Builders License
- The Maintenance and Alteration Contractor License
There are three main steps you'll have to complete to obtain either:
- Submit your application to Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)
- Pass the Business & Law exam
- Pass the trades exam
The Benefits Of Having A Contractor's License In Michigan
If you're hoping to work in Michigan, there are many benefits of having a contractor's license.
Expand Work Opportunities
Without one, you can't work on residential projects worth more than $600 in labor and materials, which severely limits the scale of work you are qualified to do.
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs makes it easy for people to verify contracting licenses on its website. This means that your potential employers can check your licensing credentials before hiring you. If they are trying to choose between your business and somebody else's – and only one of you holds a state license – it's not hard to see which they will hire.
Gain Easier Access to Insurance
A valid contactor's license will also make it much easier for you to gain liability insurance. This is a vital way of protecting your business from accidents, injury, or property damage. Many employers will be hesitant to hire contractors without liability insurance, which will greatly boost your credibility.
Avoid Penalties and Fines
What happens if you're not licensed? According to LARA, contractors who accept projects without the appropriate licenses can be forced to pay fines of up to $25,000 per violation. In severe cases, they may also be subject to criminal penalties.