Contractors License in Georgia

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Which License are you interested in obtaining?





Getting a contractor license in Georgia is essential for a lot of the work that you may be looking to do in the state, whether it is basic residential contracting, commercial lighting work, and more. Following the Georgia legal guidelines and meeting the requirements upheld by your state is essential to ensure that you are able to carry out your work without running into any problems with the law and while proving your credentials to your clients.  

Georgia requires area contractors to be in possession of a license to do much of the work they want to do, and this is a general guideline for many states. If you want to obtain your GA license, it’s first essential to understand the process required in your state to get the credentials you need to perform your work legally.

Of course, after understanding the Georgia process, you need to actually go through it. At the Contractors Institute, however, we help make this as easy as possible. We offer exam prep services for contractor tests. By helping you to navigate the books and get adequately prepared for your exams, we provide you with the tools and support you need to obtain your license and do the work you do best!

If you are a GA contractor looking to obtain your license, then let us help you get through the Georgia legal requirements seamlessly and in no time at all. We help you understand all of the general knowledge you need to get through the contractors exams so you can pass them on your first attempt. For those looking for a way to get through all of the legal requirements in order to do their contracting work in the state, but struggling to understand the process or worried about being caught off guard when exam time comes around, rest assured that we have you covered! Get in touch with us today to get your contractor license in Georgia the simple way!

What Work Requires A License in Georgia?

Any building projects, other than your own home, will require one of the licenses listed below:

  • License for Residential Basic Contractor in GeorgiaTo build one and/or two-family houses, or one-family townhouses, which aren’t exceeding three stories high, and this also includes accessory buildings. There is a requirement to have experience, which includes experience by a residential contractor and having at least two years of experience. You can even have experience that is similar according to the licensing board. You need to have two completed projects within the category of residential basic during the two years of the preceding application. You may need educational experience as well.
  • Residential-Light Commercial Contractor License in Georgia – This license is for building both, one and two-family homes, or even a one-family townhouse, but not exceeding three stories high. This license is also for multi-family or multi-use light commercial buildings, accessory buildings, or commercial buildings. There is a requirement to have at least four years of working experience in the construction field, and two of them have to be working for a residential contractor. There also may need to be some educational experience as well to qualify.
  • General Contractor License in Georgia – This license is for any type of commercial or residential construction. This type of work has a requirement for licensing within that specific area. You will have a requirement of one year of work experience or even four years of work experience that is similar. Note: There are three types of Commercial Contractor licenses, and each of them requires you to pass the NASCLA – Accredited exam. The three types are Limited Tier Qualifying Agent, Limited Tier Individual, and Individual.

Georgia Contractor License - How to get your GA Contractors License:

Construction will have its regulations at the state level. There may need to be licensure with some municipalities and counties.

The following are two steps towards getting a license to be one of the above building contractors:

  1. First, you will need to finish the examination application in regards to which type of contractor you wish to be. Once you are finished with the exam, you will need to turn it into the Board office, as well as any supporting documents. You will need to have approval from the state prior to registering for the second step, which is taking the exam. The Board office will contact the testing company and will let them know of your approval, as well as be contacting you at the same time. Go ahead and download the application from the following link:

  2. Once you are approved for the eligibility from the exam by the board, you will then register with PSI Examination Services in order to take the second exam. One part of the exam is Business and Law. The second part of the exam is for the specific type of license you are looking to obtain.

PSI Exams
1-800-733-9267 FREE
Go here to PSI

You are able to take the state test at any location that is suitable in regards to PSI exams, and some of them may be out of Georgia. The results will be notified to you by the Board office.

PSI Testing Locations in Georgia:

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

Have a Question About Georgia Contractor Licensing: Who do I Contact?

State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors

Moving to Another State: Will a Georgia License be Accepted?

You will have to meet the requirements in which state you will be contracting in. To view those requirements for a different state, you would need to contact the state board.

Timeframe For Completion of Courses

You can expect 8 hours for the Contractor Licensure Examination Prep Course

Contractor Continued Education: Is it Required in Georgia?

Yes, it’s required in Georgia.

During 2014, and thereafter, any applicant who is renewing their residential license will need to complete 3 hours of acceptable continuing education, each and every year, to hold a Georgia Residential Basic License, as well as six hours of continuing education each year to hold a Georgia Residential Light Commercial license. The year for this is known as July 1st through June 30th.

Below are licensing categories, as well as the amount of continued education that you need:

Continued Education Required Not Needed For The Following:

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

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 Contractors license to do specialty work?

Yes, you will have to be able to pull permits or be working under a contractor who can pull permits.  Here is the list of all the specialty licenses in Georgia.

NASCLA Accredited Commercial Contractor License: Is it Accepted in Georgia?

Yes, the NASCLA Examination will replace the Trades exam for the Commercial Contractors.

The exam for the NASCLA – Accredited Commercial Contractors license is accepted in thirteen different states and one US territory. These  include:

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

Once one exam is passed, it’s easy to become licensed for commercial work in each of the above thirteen states and US territory. Many of the states have a requirement to pass the Business and Law exam for each state. You won’t be required to pass a different Commercial Trades exam.

When you pass the NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors, you will be listed in the NASCLA National Examination Database. You will then have this information available when you apply in any of the states that accept it.  You may also need to take each states’ specific business/law/project management exam in addition to the NASCLA exam.

After you pass the exam for the NASCLA accredited examination, you will be added into the NASCLA National Exam Database for Commercial General Building Contractors. You can also have this information ready for when you go to apply to a different state. You may need to take each exam if you go to various states, as well as the NASCLA exam, specific to the business and law project management exam.

Georgia Board for Residential and General Contractors Testing Process: (

  1. Candidates seeking licensure may download the examination application from our FORMS directory (
  2. Candidates must complete the appropriate examination application and submit it to the Board office along with a fee and supporting documents.
  3. Board office notifies PSI of the candidates eligible for testing while also notifying individual applicants of eligibility.
  4. Once approved for examination eligibility, the candidate will register with PSI.
  5. Candidates may take their test at any of the three existing PSI testing locations found in Atlanta, Macon or Tifton or any other location that PSI has established in neighboring states.
  6. Information regarding the examination itself can be found by visiting PSI’s website at or calling PSI at 1-800-733-9267 FREE FREE.
  7. Candidate Information Bulletin
  8. Board office will notify candidates of exam results.

How to Obtain a Georgia Reciprocal Contractor License

The General Division in Georgia holds reciprocity agreements for Commercial Contractors licensed in the states below:

  • Tennessee
  • Louisiana

If you currently have a commercial license with a building construction classification in one of the following two states, you may become licensed to work on construction projects in the State of Georgia.

If you currently have a NASCLA accredited license in one of the states listed below, you may also easily qualify to obtain a General Contractor License in Georgia.

  • Arkansas
  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
*The State of Georgia is currently working to develop reciprocal licensing agreements with different states.  Reciprocity updates and recently added states will be announced on the GA Secretary of State website. 

Georgia Reciprocal License Classifications

To obtain a reciprocal contractor license in Georgia, you are required to have a Commercial Contractor license with a building construction classification.

Contractors in Louisiana and Tennessee who have a Residential Basic or a Residential-Light Commercial license are not eligible for reciprocity.

Contractors, who have held a NASCLA-accredited license for at least 3+ years in a neighboring state, may also be eligible for reciprocity in the state of Georgia.

Contractor licenses in Georgia are issued by the State Licensing Board for General and Residential Contractors.

Georgia Reciprocal Licensing Requirements

  • All contractors must hold a valid Commercial Contractor License, as well as a Building Construction classification in the State of Louisiana or Tennessee. They may also hold a NASCLA-accredited license from the State of Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina or South Carolina for a minimum of 3 years.
  • All NASCLA-accredited contractors have a requirement to meet the work experience and education requirements for licensing in the State of Georgia
  • All contractors need to complete and submit the license application, along with all required documents and fees to the State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors.
  • All contractors are required to register for, take and pass the Georgia Business and Law Exam
  • Contractors are required to follow all laws and policies that are set forth by the GA licensing board during their license period
  • Contractors are required to follow the laws and regulations for conducting business transactions within the State of Georgia.

Georgia Reciprocal Examination Requirements

To obtain a reciprocal license in the state of Georgia, contractors must have taken and passed their state’s licensing board examination.

Applicants for the reciprocal exam are not required to take the Georgia Trade Examination.

If the contractor has completed and passed the NASCLA exam, as well as holds a NASCLA-accredited license, they may submit their transcripts along with their GA license application.

In all cases, when applying for a reciprocal license, contractors have a requirement to take and pass the Georgia Business and Law Exam with a score of 70% or higher.

The Georgia Business and Law exam is administered by PSI Services Inc.  For more information about the examination process, please call PSI at: 

*General Contractors who are licensed in the State of Georgia, who want to work out-of-state, must contact the state licensing board in the state in which they plan to work to ask about their reciprocal laws and policies.


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


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


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


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


If you pass the NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors, your name will be entered into the NASCLA National Examination Database and you may use this information in other states that accept that NASCLA Accredited Examination. The NASCLA-Accredited Examination Program was designed to assist contractors who need to be licensed in multiple jurisdictions. Contractors who take the accredited examination can access NASCLA’s examination database (NED) and request that their results be sent to other jurisdictions that accept the examination, thereby reducing redundant licensing requirements. Please visit NASCLA’s website at for a listing of the states that provide this examination.

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


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 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

Residential and Commercial Contractor Frequently Asked Questions

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 required for the following:

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

1. Residential-Basic Contractor (contractor work relative to detached one-family and two-family residences and one-family townhouses not over three stories in height)

2. Residential-Light Commercial Contractor (same as residential-basic, and additionally, such contractor work or activity related to multifamily and multiuse light commercial buildings and structures)

3. General Contractor (contractor services unlimited as to type of work contracted for, undertaken to perform, bid or proposed upon or otherwise offered to perform, and performed as a contractor, except any work which falls under the licensing requirements of Chapter 14 of this title, which may not be performed by the general contractor unless he or she possess licensure to do such)

4. General Contractor Limited Tier (contractor services unlimited as to type of work contracted for, undertaken to perform, bid or proposed upon or otherwise offered to perform, and performed as a contractor, except any work which falls under the licensing requirements of Chapter 14 of this title, which may not be performed by the general contractor unless he or she possess licensure to do such).  This license is limited to contract amounts of $500,000 or less.

Certain specialty trades or work costing less than $2,500 does not require the services of a state licensed contractor.  Please review our website for information on specialty services.

How can I obtain a state license?

To obtain a state license as a residential-basic, residential-light commercial, general contractor-limited tier or general contractor, you must:

Submit a completed application for licensure and non-refundable fee, along with all the supporting documents as indicated by the application, and submit to and pass an examination required for the particular license; or

Submit an application for licensure by prior approval status if you meet the requirements.

For a complete description of licensure requirements, see Board Rules 553-3-.01 through 553-3-.06; and 553-4-.01 through 553-4-.06.

 How can I receive an application?

Applications are available and may be downloaded here.

Are there any project size limitations based upon the contract amount of the project within each category of licensure?

No.  The limitations within the categories are based upon the number of floors/stories, square footage, and project type (occupancy classification). The general contractor category is unlimited as to the project type and size; however, the general contractor limited tier is limited to contracts of $500,000 or less.

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 applicant would apply as an individual. If an applicant is applying on behalf of and for the benefit of a business organization (any partnership, corporation, limited liability entity, business trust, joint venture, or other legal entity, other than an individual person doing business as a sole proprietorship), the application must be submitted by and through an individual qualifying agent for such business organization. A license will be issued to the individual qualifying agent and to the affiliated business organization. A qualifying agent license is not a personal license and may not be used to operate as an individual and may not be used to operate for any other business organization. If you leave the company for which the qualifying agent license was issued, you must apply for a new license.

Can a licensed general contractor perform work within the residential classifications

Yes, a general contractor can do work under all three license classifications;  residential-basic, residential-light commercial, and general.

Can a business have more than one qualifying agent?

Yes, a business organization can have more than one qualifying agent.  However, all qualifying agents are equally responsible for the supervision of all operations of the business organization, all field work at all sites, and for financial matters for each specific job for which his or her license was used to obtain the building permit.

Can an individual qualify more than one company?

Yes, but the division shall require the qualifying individual to present evidence of financial responsibility and insurance pertaining to each company.

Is there a minimum net worth requirement for licensure?

Only the general contractor license requires a minimum net worth.  As outlined 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 and a general contractor limited tier must have a minimum net worth of $25,000.  If applying as a qualifying agent, the net worth must be in the business name.

What are the insurance requirements under the new law?

Applicants for licensure must show proof of workers compensation insurance if required by Georgia 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?

The business organization must notify the appropriate division within 45 days of the termination of the relationship with the qualifying agent and shall have 120 days from the termination of the agent’s affiliation with the business to employ another qualifying agent and submit an application for licensure under the new qualifying agent.  If such application is denied, then after passage of the 120 day period, the business organization shall cease to be considered licensed.  The division, in such circumstances, may issue a temporary nonrenewable license which will allow the entity to proceed with incomplete contracts already in progress.

Is my out of state license recognized in Georgia?

Currently, the General Division has established reciprocity with Louisiana and Tennessee as an available method by which to obtain licensure. You must hold a commercial license with a classification of “building construction” and you must have obtained the license by examination. The General Division is working to establish reciprocity with other states as well. Please check our website for updates regarding this. Also, if you have taken and passed the NASCLA exam in any other state, you may apply by examination in Georgia and purchase your NASCLA transcript to be submitted to us. Once approved by us, you would have to schedule and pass our Georgia business and law exam prior to the license being issued. Reciprocity is not available for Residential Basic or Residential-Light Commercial licensees.

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 in order to open a business?
Businesses must meet the requirements of federal, state, and local governments. To determine federal and local requirements, you will need to contact those agencies directly. A listing should be available in the government section of your telephone directory. To obtain information on state agencies, reference the First Stop Business Information Center here or contact the state directory assistance at 404-656-2000.

What is a “denial letter,” and what does it mean?

A “denial letter” is the written notice sent to an applicant who has submitted an application and has not met the requirements for licensure.  A denial letter will include the reason for the denial and information on how to appeal your denial.

What is a “deficiency letter”?

A “deficiency letter” is the written notice sent to an applicant after a thorough review of his or her application has been conducted. This letter identifies the specific areas of deficiency and provides general guidance on how to address the deficiencies. The letter also provides other licensing options if applicable. For example, if an applicant applies for a General Contractor license and submits only residential projects, staff will recommend that the applicant apply as a residential basic contractor or submit qualifying general contracting projects.

What is the exam process?

To obtain a license through the exam process, an individual submits the applicable examination application to the Board for approval. Applications may be downloaded here

If additional information is needed, the applicant will receive a deficiency letter identifying what additional information is needed. Upon approval, applicants will receive written notification of the approval, along with the details for scheduling and taking the exam. Exam approval is valid for one year. Any applicant failing the exam may be reexamined at any regularly scheduled examination within one year of the approval date upon payment of a reexamination fee without the need to resubmit an application unless any information is no longer accurate or complete.