It is the Georgia Board for Residential and General Contractors that is responsible for regulating and licensing individuals who plan to work as a contractor in the state.
To acquire a Georgia Contractor License, you must pass a two-part exam that covers the license you are trying to get – one in law and one in business. It’s also necessary for you to submit your license application and to secure a contractor bond.
To become a licensed contractor, follow the steps found here.
Meet All Requirements
To acquire a contractor’s license, you must be at least 21 years old, financially responsible, and be of good character. You must also meet one of the following criteria:
- Have a four-year degree in building construction, construction management, architecture, or a related field
- Have a combination of proven practical experience (four years) and college courses
- Have a minimum of four years of practical experience with two years as or employed by a general contractor
Choose the Type of License You Need
There are several types of contractor’s licenses in the state of Georgia and you must choose the one that’s right for the work you plan to do. These include:
- General Contractor: Unlimited contractor services as to the type of work contracted for, undertaken, and performed.
- General Contractor-Limited Tier: Provides the same work as general contractors but limited to amounts of $500,000 or under.
- Residential-Basic Contractor: Contractor work is limited to a detached one- or two-family structures and/or one-family townhouses that are no more than three stories high.
- Residential-Light Commercial Contractor: Same work as the residential-basic, with the addition of work for multiuse and multifamily light commercial structures and buildings.
Once you determine the contractor license you need, you must fill out the application and pay the application fee, which is $200 and non-refundable.
There are some contractors who are exempt from these requirements. That list can be found here.
Acquire the Proper Insurance and Surety Bond
When you apply for the license, you must also provide proof of liability and workers compensation insurance. All license types are required to have $500,000 in coverage except for the Residential-Basic license, which only requires $300,000 in insurance coverage.
It’s also necessary for you to acquire a Georgia Residential and General Contractors Bond for $25,000 or an alternative. This is a type of surety bond that provides protection for your clients if you perform subpar work or if you fail to fulfill an obligation that’s listed in your contract. You can see the chart below for a full comparison of the finance and insurance requirements:
An example of the bond is below:
The cost you will pay for this bond varies. Usually, the premium is between one and 10 percent of the total amount. Your percentage is determined based on your personal financial track record. The specific surety company you choose will review your business financials and personal credit rating to determine the amount of risk you pose. If the risk is determined to be high, which means you have a low credit score, you will pay a higher premium. MG Surety Bonds freely writes these bonds. We can quote and issue the same day. We work with 25+ bond companies and will ensure that you get the best rate for your unique situation.
Verify Your Bond
As with all surety bonds, contractors should make sure they are with a reputable bond company to avoid paying for a bond twice. Your bond company should be rated “A-“ or better by the rating agency A.M. Best. You can check that here (registration required). Contractors should be very suspicious about using a bond with a lesser rating. Most contracts will also require your Surety to be listed on the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Circular 570 which you can check here. This is sometimes shorted as a “T-Listing”.
Finally, make sure you don’t have any claims against your bond. Surety bonds are written on the principle of indemnity and the bond company will seek reimbursement if they pay out a claim.
At MG Surety, we are bond experts and not internet marketers or insurance agents. We can provide the expertise you need to obtain a Georgia Contractor License Bond or any other surety bond that you may need. We want to be your bond broker for life!