Arkansas Contractors License Guide

Commercial and residential contractors in Arkansas must get a contractors license to work on larger scale projects. The Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board regulates contractors in the state. They define a contractor as any individual or business entity that works on a construction or demolition project valued over $50,000.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through a step by step process for obtaining your Arkansas contractors license:

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Step 1: Determine license type

The first step to getting your Arkansas contractor license is to determine what type of license you need. The State of Arkansas has a variety of different classifications, each allowing the contractor to perform different kinds of work. 

Commercial Contractors Licenses

Commercial contractors can work on any type of building or property that’s not considered a single-family residence. There are full licenses that allow you to work on projects of any size and restricted licenses that only allow you to work on projects up to $750,000.

Additionally, there are seven commercial license classifications based on the type of work:

  • Heavy Construction
  • Municipal & Utility
  • Highway, Railroad & Airport
  • Building
  • Light Building
  • Mechanical
  • Electrical
  • Specialties

Residential Contractors Licenses

The Arkansas Residential Committee issues the following classifications for Residential licenses:

  • Residential Builder License: This license lets you perform residential building and residential remodeling work.
  • Limited Residential Remodeler License: This license lets you perform residential home improvement projects worth less than $50,000.
  • Unlimited Residential Remodeler License: This license lets you perform residential home improvement.
  • Home Improvement Speciality License: This license lets you work on small tasks like painting, roofing, flooring, and other projects.

Step 2: Meet the minimum net worth requirements

Most commercial license classifications require the contractor’s business to meet a certain net worth. The required amount varies depending on the classification.

  • Light building: $20,000
  • Mechanical: $20,000
  • Municipal and utility construction: $50,000
  • Heavy construction: $50,000
  • Highway, railroad, and airport construction: $50,000

Step 3: Register business with the secretary of state

Before you get your contractor license, you must register your business with the Arkansas Secretary of State.

You also need to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS.

Step: 4 Get a surety bond and insurance

The Contractors Licensing Board requires contractors to post a $10,000 surety bond as part of the licensing process. Arkansas surety bonds provide financial protection to the state and consumers and guarantee that the contractor complies with all regulations.

EZ Surety makes the process of getting your Arkansas contractor license bond a pain-free experience. You can apply online and the bond is issued instantly. It only costs $100 (plus shipping costs and fees).

Contractors with more than one employee must also obtain workers’ compensation insurance.

Step 5: Pass the license exam

Once you get your surety bond, you’ll need to pass a Business and Law exam administered through Prometric. 

The exam has 50 questions with a 2-hour time limit. You must score at least 70% to pass. It is open book so you can take the Contractors Guide to Business, Law and Project Management, Arkansas Edition with you. Keep in mind that you can not take any other notes or materials with you.

You can schedule the exam online at experioronline.com online or by phone at 1-888-763-0131. There is an $80 fee to take the exam. 

Contractors applying for a Home Improvement Speciality License are exempt from taking the exam.

Step 6: Submit the license application

Once you’ve passed the business and law exam, you are ready to send in your contractor license application. There are different application forms depending on the license classification which you can find on the licensing board website. 

Both residential and commercial contractors need to include three references that can verify their experience. Commercial contractors must also provide a compiled financial statement from an independent CPA.

After you complete the form, you need to gather your surety bond, certificate of exam completion, and proof of insurance and mail all the documents along with your application and licensing fees to the following address:

Contractors Licensing Board
4100 Richards Road
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72117

Arkansas Contractors License Fee

The appropriate license fees depend on your license classification. 

  • Commercial License: $100
  • Residential Builder License: $100
  • Residential Remodeler License: $50
  • Home Improvement Speciality License: $50

Arkansas Contractor License Frequently Asked Questions

Does a handyman need a license in Arkansas?

Handyman in the State of Arkansas must get a Home Improvement Speciality License to work on projects valued at over $2,000.

How do you renew your Arkansas contractor license?

Arkansas contractor licenses expire one year after the date they are issued. State laws require you to renew your license before the expiration date. Your surety bond will expire on the same date as the license.

You can visit the Licensing Board’s website to get your renewal application.

Do subcontractors need a license in Arkansas?

Subcontractors need to get a Commercial Contractors License if the prime contractor on a project does not have one. On the other hand, if the prime contractor has a license, the subcontractor only needs a registration to work on the project.

How EZ Surety Bonds Can Help with an Arkansas Contractors License

When you’re ready to get your Arkansas contractor license, EZ Surety can issue your contractor license surety bond online instantly.

Applying is quick, easy, and affordable. Get started today to begin your journey as a licensed contractor.