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Obtaining a Contractor’s License in the State of Rhode Island
Rhode Island boasts incredible opportunities for folks looking to start their own businesses. And while you may have a foolproof idea in mind for starting your own contracting company, it is essential to have a thorough understanding of the step-by-step process to get there.
A concept is only the beginning when it comes to getting a contracting business up and running. There are different licenses and certifications required on federal, state, and even local levels that you'll need to seek out to get started. It can be daunting to navigate the system alone. Don't fret! Contractor Training Center is here to help. We have the resources you'll need to tick all the boxes with confidence, conveniently located in one place.
If you're an aspiring contractor looking to get started in the state of Rhode Island, you're in luck! Unlike many other states, Rhode Island does not require contractors to be licensed to get started working. This means you're already one step closer to your dream of being a successful contractor than you could be in a different state.
All that said, there are still rules and regulations you'll need to abide by and certifications you'll need to earn in order to become one of Rhode Island's finest contractors. Here, we'll walk you through the process to set you up for success!
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If you're working towards becoming a Rhode Island contractor, you've come to the right place! With Contractor Training Center, you'll be living your contractor dreams in no time.Contact us
The Benefits of Having a Contractor’s License in Rhode Island
As previously stated, the state of Rhode Island does not require a general contracting license. This makes the legal ins and outs of becoming a contractor there far more manageable. That said, there are still reasons you may want to pursue licensure and certain cases where it will be necessary.
Credibility & Trust
Seeking licensure can give your business credibility and help foster trust with your clients. Even if it's not required by the state, having a license shows you mean business and has truly mastered your craft.
Increased Earning Potential
Additionally, you could potentially earn more with a license. As with any field, the more esteemed your credentials, the bigger your paycheck.
In some cases, full-blown licensing may be required for specialty trade practitioners, such as electricians, plumbers, and asbestos abatement contractors. It's always best to double-check local regulations as you begin this process.
If you intend to remodel, build, or repair any residential dwelling in the state, you must register with the Contractors' Registration Board. Any individual who works in the areas of repair, alterations, residential or commercial construction with a total cost of $500 for labor and materials is legally obligated to have an up-to-date certificate of registration.
Whether you opt for the added benefits of a license or choose to get your certification, Contractor Training Center is here to help.
How to Get a Contractor's License in Rhode Island
While licensure is not necessary, there are still essential steps you need to take in order to register your business and become a contractor in Rhode Island.
Step 1: Register your Business with R.I.S.S.
If your company is an LLC or a corporation, you'll need to have a valid business registration with the Rhode Island Secretary of State prior to registering as a contractor. The office will verify this information, meaning you won't need to submit proof of current registration as long as you have it.
Step 2: Sign Up For Required Pre-Education Courses
If this is your first time registering as a contractor in Rhode Island, you'll need to complete a minimum of 5 hours of pre-education classes as part of your application. These courses are conveniently offered in one 5-hour session by Rhode Island Builders Association. Topics will include construction contracts, codes and standards, regulations, and workplace safety.
Step 3: Decide What Type of Certification or License Your Business Needs
Lucky for you, there aren't any official exams to become a general contractor in Rhode Island. As long as you successfully complete the required Pre-Education courses, you'll be all set.
That said, if you are choosing to pursue specialty certifications or licenses, you may need to take an exam. Some of the most common licenses residential contractors seek are Underground Utility or Water Filtration Licenses.
Underground Utility Contractor License
This type of license allows you to work with underground systems, such as electrical, sewage, and gas. Having this know-how and ability gives you the freedom to tackle a building project head to toe.
Water Filtration Contractor License
Professionals with this licensure design and execute the installation of in-home water treatment systems and more. This is another certification that lets contractors fulfill client wishes on their own without having to delegate responsibilities to other businesses.
What Exam Should You Take?
For each of the above licenses, as well as others, you'll need to pass an exam.
Step 4: Take the Exams
Finally, you'll need to schedule your chosen examinations, if needed. In Rhode Island, you'll need a 70% score on the exam in order to pass. Exams are administered by PSI with test sites throughout various regions of the US.
Having this type of specialty license empowers you to truly take on a project from the ground up and can drastically increase your earning potential.
Step 5: Apply for Registration Online
As part of the online application, you'll need to include a few key elements in order to get approved, including:
A General Contractor Registration Fee of $200
The fee can be paid online using Debit, Credit, or E-Check, or you can mail a check to:
560 Jefferson Boulevard
Warwick, RI 02886
Proof of Insurance
Your business will need a $500,000 certificate of liability insurance, with The Rhode Island Contractors' Registration and Licensing Board as the certificate holder.
Preparing for the Contractors Exam
While there is no specific exam you'll need to take to become a general contractor in Rhode Island, you will need to study up and excel in tests to get any specialty license. This applies to asbestos abatement contractors, plumbers, and electricians, in addition to those hoping to do underground utility or water filtration work.
Contact Contractor Training Today
While the whole process can seem daunting no matter which state you live in, Rhode Island's requirements to become a registered contractor are as straightforward as they come. With the help of Contractor Training Center, you can embark on the process with confidence.
Reach out today and start your journey to becoming one of Rhode Island's finest general contractors!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Once you've completed your general contractor pre-education courses, you're good to go. You will only need to retake those courses if you let your registration lapse for more than 6 months.
Continued education may be required for specialty contractor licenses, so you'll want to check the details of that here.
If you intend to practice only as a residential general contractor, you do not need a commercial license.
Unfortunately, Rhode Island does not accept licensure or registration from other states. While frustrating, this is common in most places. You'll need to re-register your company in Rhode Island to get started. Contractors are subject to penalty without proper registration.
You can register your company in the state of Rhode Island here. You'll need to provide the name of your company, registered agent, address, and proof of good standing.
You can use this entity search to verify if a different business is registered with your company name.