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How To Get a General Contractor’s License in Alabama?

General Contractor’s License in Nevada

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You must be aware of how each state in the US handles licensing differently— even when it comes to something like being a general contractor (although they do share some similarities). Once you get an Alabama general contractors' license, it can lead anywhere from supervising crews at construction sites to designing commercial spaces.

So how do you get your general contractor's license in Alabama? What are the steps involved? Where do you start? We're about to answer all of these questions for you, so keep reading!

Who is a General Contractor?

According to the Alabama State Licensing Board for General Contractors, a general contractor is:

“One who undertakes to construct or superintend the construction, alteration, maintenance, repair, rehabilitation, remediation, reclamation, or demolition of any building, highway, sewer, structure, site work, grading, paving or project or any improvement in the State of Alabama where the cost of the undertaking including labor and materials is $50,000 or more.”

Types of Alabama General Contractor’s Licenses 

For general contracting work, the state of Alabama grants two types of licenses:

  1. Prime Contractor: Any prime contractor attempting to complete commercial or industrial projects worth more than $50,000, or home projects worth more than $10,000, must obtain a license.
  1. Subcontractor: It is legally binding upon every subcontractor, who’s working for a licensed general contractor in Alabama, to obtain a subcontractor’s license provided that their contract exceeds $50000.

Aside from these two types of licenses, applicants can also apply for a specialty trade license in a variety of areas like concrete, carpentry, or masonry. You can find a complete list of contractor classifications on the licensing board's website. Not only that, but once you've obtained an Alabama driver's license, you'll be eligible for reciprocity in Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee. Let's have a look at the steps you'll need to go through in order to obtain a General Contractor’s license in Alabama.

Eligibility Requirements for Alabama General Contractor’s License

Listed below are some important pointers to keep in mind prior to initiating the application process.

Do I Need a Contractor Bond to be Eligible?

In Alabama, unlike many other states, you do not need a contractor bond to start working as a licensed contractor. However, if you plan to work on a project with third parties on the job site — such as vendors, clients, or other independent contractors — bond insurance will cover them in the event of an accident. 

It's vital to know that liability insurance does not protect these individuals on your job site, which is why all contractors should be bonded and insured. Contractor bonds, such as surety bonds, may be available through your liability insurance provider. Bonding businesses, on the other hand, can provide any bond you require.

How Much Does Alabama Contractor Licensing Cost?

The following table summarises the application and renewal fees:

TypeApplication FeeRenewal Fee
Prime Contractor$300$200
Sub Contractor$150$100

Money orders, cashier checks, and certified checks are all accepted forms of payment. It is not recommended to send a personal or business check. 

Alabama General Contractor’s License Exam

All general contractors must pass the Alabama Business and Law exam, as well as any exams related to the specialty classifications for which they have applied. PSI Exams is the authority that creates and administers these exams. The Business and Law exam is a 50-question test with a passing score of 70%. The length and passing score will vary depending on the categories applied for, as with any trade exam.

PSI testing is authorized to conduct all examinations. You can schedule an exam, look for exam sites, and obtain information regarding exam fees here.

Filling out the Alabama General Contractor’s License Application

When filling out your application, bear in mind the following steps to avoid any inconvenience:

Additional Documents Required 

You need to include the following additional documents in your application:

Submit Your Application

As previously stated, you must submit your Alabama contractors license application at least 30 days prior to a scheduled board meeting. You may find the schedule here and send your application to the following address:

Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors,

2525 Fairlane Dr.,

Montgomery, AL 36116,

Phone: 334-272-5030,

Fax: 334-395-5336

Penalties for Unlicensed Work in Alabama

Working on any form of construction job without a license is almost always a terrible idea in any state. Alabama can be very strict in this regard. Working without a license can jeopardize your ability to collect money through a mechanics lien, but that's not where it ends. 

Anyone who presents false information to the Board, impersonates another, or operates with an expired or revoked license will be found guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for each offense, according to Ala. Code 34-8-6. This carries a penalty of up to a year in county jail as well as a $6,000 fine. Not only that, but your license might be suspended, canceled, or you could be fined administratively.

Contracting with an unlicensed contractor can also result in a Class B misdemeanor for owners, architects, or licensed contractors. Therefore, obtaining a general contractor’s license for working in Alabama is worth the hassle.

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