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Obtaining a Contractor's License in Pennsylvania
Working as a contractor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a rewarding and exciting career. The industry is ripe for growth and eager to bring on more licensed professionals. If you are in the construction industry and ready to broaden your opportunities, getting a license is the first step to success!
Unlike many other states, Pennsylvania does not grant state-level licenses for contractors. Instead, municipalities and counties all have separate requirements for practicing contractors, which you must adhere to. You will also need a separate license to practice asbestos and lead abatement work in accordance with the Asbestos Accreditation and Certification Act.
The Department of Transportation has requirements for public works contractors outside the rules for general contractors.
The specifics of getting a license can seem overwhelming at first, but with the right information and support, you’ll be on track to contracting in no time!
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT FROM US
At Contactor Training Center, you will work with an experienced staff of experts who understand all the nitty-gritty details of obtaining your license. Our resources and tools will guide you through this long process.
The Benefits of Having A Contractor’s License in Pennsylvania
If you're tired of limiting yourself to minor projects and handyman work, a license is the next step to advance your career.
The benefits of having your license outweigh the process and cost of obtaining it — by becoming licensed, you'll be qualified to take on bigger and better-paying projects. Benefits include:
If you're searching for new leads and clients, being officially licensed is the best marketing strategy out there. People want to work with someone they can trust, and prominently displaying and mentioning your accreditation throughout your advertising will earn that confidence.
Expand Your Possibilities
In many parts of Pennsylvania, the only legal way to work on a construction project over $5,000 is with a license. Don't limit yourself to small-time work — get your license and start taking on those big jobs you've always wanted.
Clients are willing to pay more for better work. As a licensed contractor, you will have a track record of great work and should feel confident charging a higher rate than an unlicensed handy-person.
If you are hesitant about investing the time and money involved in getting your license, think about the rewards: better jobs, more frequent jobs, and higher-paying jobs.
How To Get A Contractor's License in Pennsylvania
There are a few key steps to complete before you get a hold of your freshly minted contracting license. Let’s break down everything you need to know about acquiring your PA license.
Provide Identifying Information
No matter where you live, you will be required to give out your:
Date of Birth
Valid Driver's License or other State-Issued ID
Social Security Number
Federal Tax Identification Number
Establish Your Business
A contractor's license is issued to a business, not a private individual. So before you get ready to take the exam, establish a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or sole proprietorship to practice contracting legally.
Speak to a lawyer or licensed CPA to help you determine which business structure is right for your needs. Be sure to work with an attorney in your local area who understands the specific contracting rules and restrictions in your county or municipality.
Know The Regulations In Your City
That leads us to our main point: each county and city across PA has unique rules and regulations for contractors.
Here are the requirements in the major cities:
A general contracting license is required in the city of Brotherly Love when working on any project worth more than $500. You will need:
Business Tax Identification Number
Worker’s Compensation and Employer’s Liability Insurance
Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance
Comprehensive General Liability Insurance
Commercial Activity License
In Pittsburgh, the Bureau of Building and Inspection requires all contractors to have a license. You will need to fill out their application and have proof of the following:
Liability Insurance with a minimum of $300,000
An official affidavit exempting you from Worker's Compensation if you do not have employees
A city tax ID Certificate from the City Finance Department
Must be over the age of 18
You'll need to obtain a building permit before getting started on any construction project in Allentown. In addition to this permit, the city's zoning office will perform an inspection on each of your projects.
In Erie, contractors are managed by the Department of Buildings, responsible for approving, inspecting, and reviewing permits for both commercial and residential contractors. The building permits protect the public's best interests and ensure all work is done according to the local regulations and codes established in Erie.
Reading requires all contractors to have a permit from the Building and Trades Office before starting any construction project. Contractors also need to obtain approval from the city for zoning rights and land development.
The Scranton Department of Licensing, Inspections, and Permits requires you to specify your business structure and pass an exam that costs $150 to obtain your license.
You must pass the test with a score of 70 percent or higher. If your business is a partnership, only one partner is required to pass the exam. Your score will be sent by mail within 4 weeks
To perform asbestos abatement or lead removal work in PA, you need to complete a state-level Pennsylvania exam successfully. In addition to the exam, all contractors seeking to work in this field must complete a training course covering all the details of asbestos laws and regulations.
Both the exam and training course is run by the Bureau of Occupational & Industrial Safety. While general contractors are not licensed in Pennsylvania, the Department of Transportation sets these requirements for public works contractors to protect the public.
Every contractor needs to check with their local city or municipality for more detailed requirements and regulations regarding asbestos abatement certification. Since contractors are not licensed at a state level, there may be additional licensure and training in your local area. Refer to the Department of Labor and Industry if you are serious about obtaining your asbestos certification.
Preparing For The Contractors Exam
At Contractor Training Center, we have classes for every license and certification available in Pennsylvania. We have the books and study tools that you'll need to get high marks on the exam.
We also offer practice tests, so you’ll know exactly what you are in for when the big day comes. Take the guesswork out of the test and partner with us to make the process a breeze.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Use this link to see if your company name is available in the Pennsylvania Entity Search.
Enter all your information into the official government website, where you can also find a list of the required forms and documentation.
No. No state or federal-level licenses are accepted in Pennsylvania.
Check with your local county and city for further requirements. The Department of Labor and Industry can certify your asbestos abatement certification from another state but always defer your county's rules before performing any contracting work.
Every city and municipality is different regarding general contracting. Ask for further regulations. But the asbestos abatement certification needs to be renewed each year, and continuing education is a prerequisite for holding on to your license.
Contact Contractor Training Today
Everything you need to pass your exam, from resources to study materials, is waiting for you at Contractor Training Center.
Get your license and get yourself started on an excellent path to success now — call today!