How to Get a Georgia Contractors License

The State of Georgia requires all residential contractors and general contractors that perform work over $2,500 to obtain a license to operate in the state.

According to Georgia law, a general contractor is anyone who undertakes, submits a bid or proposal, or performs the construction or the management of the construction for any building, bridge, or other structure, including a person who installs industrialized buildings.

The Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors handles the licensing process, determining the requirements contractors must meet to obtain their license.

In this Georgia contractors license guide, we’ll provide a simple step-by-step guide you can follow to get your license and begin work as a contractor.

Determine what kind of license you need

The first step to obtaining your contractor license in the state of Georgia is to determine what type of license you need. Georgia classifies contractors licenses into the following categories:

  • General Contractor License: This license allows the contractor to work on private, public, commercial, and industrial building projects. The work can include everything from developments to remodeling. However, the license does not permit the contractor to work on plumbing, electrical, HVAC, or utility work.
  • Residential Basic Contractor License: This license allows the contractor to work on one-family and two-family residence townhouses.
  • General Contractor Limited Tier License: This license allows contractors to perform the same work as the General Contractor License but with a $500,000 limit.
  • Residential Light Commercial License: This license allows the same work as the Residential Basic License with the addition of work on multi-use commercial buildings.

Meet all licensing requirements

All licensed contractors must be at least 21 years old. Beyond that, the Georgia State Licensing Board has a different set of licensure requirements for each license type.

General Contractors

  • Notarized CPA reference letter that shows a minimum net worth of $150,000
  • Proof of workers’ compensation insurance
  • Four-year degree in engineering, architecture, construction management, or building construction
  • Proof of four years of work experience in the construction industry
  • Consent form and background check permission

General Contractor Limited Tier

  • Proof minimum net worth of $25,000
  • Proof of workers’ compensation insurance
  • Four-year degree in engineering, architecture, construction management, or building construction
  • Proof of four years of work experience in the construction industry
  • Consent form and background check permission

Residential Basic Contractor

  • Proof of financial responsibility (minimum net worth, banking history, or surety bond)
  • Proof of workers’ compensation insurance
  • Proof of work experience
  • Consent form and background check permission

Residential Light Commercial

  • Proof of financial responsibility (minimum net worth, banking history, or surety bond)
  • Proof of workers’ compensation insurance
  • Four-year degree in engineering, architecture, construction management, or building construction
  • Proof of four years of work experience in the construction industry
  • Consent form and background check permission

Obtain insurance and Georgia contractors license bond

All licensed contractors are required to provide proof of workers’ compensation and liability insurance before obtaining their license: Below are the required coverage amounts based on license type:

  • Residential-Basic: $300,000
  • Residential-Light Commercial: $500,000
  • General Contractor: $500,000
  • General Contractor-Limited Tier: $500,000

While all licensed contractors are required to provide proof of their net worth, Residential Basic and Residential Light Commercial Contractors have the option to post a $25,000 surety bond in place of meeting the net worth requirements.

Georgia contractor license bonds are also required by various counties and local municipalities across the state. Below are the cities and counties that require a surety bond as part of their license and permit conditions:

  • Augusta
  • Cordele
  • East Point
  • Kennesaw
  • Oglethorpe
  • Powder Springs
  • Putnam County
  • Smyrna
  • Thomas County
  • Valdosta

Apply for your Georgia contractors license

Once you’ve satisfied all necessary requirements, you can apply for your contractors license through the Georgia Secretary of State.

You can find all the contractor license application forms on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.

Each application includes an affidavit that must be notarized. If not, the Secretary of State’s office will not be able to process your application.

After you have the affidavit notarized, put it in an envelope with the application form and other documents including your proof of insurance, education, and work history. You must include all licensing and application fees (listed below).

You can then mail the application to the following address.

General Contractor or General Contractor Limited Tier: 

STATE LICENSING BOARD FOR RESIDENTIAL AND GENERAL CONTRACTORS
GENERAL CONTRACTOR DIVISION
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217

Residential Basic or Residential Light Commercial

STATE LICENSING BOARD FOR RESIDENTIAL AND GENERAL CONTRACTORS
RESIDENTIAL CONTRACTOR DIVISION
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217

Licensing and Application Fees

The $200 application fee must be made payable to the Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors by check or money order. You will also need to pay the following fees to PSI for the knowledge exam:

  • $96 Business and Law exam fee
  • $106 NASCLA exam fee

Pass examinations

After your application is approved, you’ll need to pass two exams to become officially licensed.

The first exam is the Business and Law exam administered by PSI. The second is the NASCLA Construction exam.

You will receive an email confirmation with instructions for scheduling and taking the exam. Once you receive the email, you’ll have one year to take the exams, otherwise, you’ll need to submit your application again.

Get your Georgia contractor license bond online with EZ Surety

When you’re ready to get your Georgia contractors license, EZ Surety can offer you a free online quote for your state and municipal level bonds.

We provide competitive premiums and quick turnarounds for individuals of all financial standings. Get in touch today to learn more.