Virginia Contractors License: A Complete Guide

If you want to work as a contractor in Virginia, you need to get a Virginia contractor license.

The Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR) and the Virginia Board of Contractors are responsible for overseeing the licensing process.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through all the steps required for you to get your Virginia contractors license.

Contractor Image
One day from work of carpenter

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What are the qualifications for a contractors license in Virginia?

The DPOR requires any individual or business working on projects valued over $1,000 that involve construction, repair, improvements, or removal to get a contractor license.

Process of getting a Virginia contractors license

Step 1: Determine license type

The first step to getting your Virginia contractor license is to figure out what type of license you need. The DPOR offers three license classifications. Each classification determines how much work you can perform:

  • Class A Contractors License: This license lets you work on projects of any size.
  • Class B Contractors License: This license lets you work on single projects valued between $10,000 and $120,000. The value of your projects can’t exceed $750,000 over a 12-month period.
  • Class C Contractors License: This license lets you work on projects valued between $1,000 and $10,000. The value of your projects can’t exceed $150,000 over a 12-month period.

Step 2: Choose your designated employee and responsible management

The DPOR requires licensed contractors to identify the individuals that will serve as responsible management for the business entity. These are the people that understand all the licensing regulations and ensure that the organization follows them.

Businesses must identify at least one Qualified Individual (QI). The QI can be part of responsible management or a full-time employee.

Class A contractors and Class B contractors also need to identify a designated employee. This person must be a full-time employee or part of responsible management. The designated employee is the one responsible for completing the licensing examination.

Complete pre-license education course and examination

Before applying for your license, the designated employee must complete eight hours of pre-license education from a vendor approved by the Board of Contractors. You can find a list of approved program providers on the DPOR website.

After you’ve finished the course you must pass a knowledge examination. The exam is administered by PSI. Fees range between $40 and $85 depending on your license classification. You can learn more about the requirements from the DPOR.

Register your business

Virginia only issues contractor licenses to businesses, not individuals, so you’ll need to create a legal business entity.

If your contractor business entity is structured as a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or limited liability partnership (LLP), you need to register with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. You’ll also need to register your business with Virginia Tax.

On top of the state registration requirements, you need to get a Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You can apply online and receive your EIN instantly.

Get a surety bond

The DPOR requires contractors to meet a minimum net worth. This amount varies depending on the license classification:

  • Class A contractors: $45,000
  • Class B contractors: $15,000

Contractors that do meet the minimum net worth requirements can post a surety bond instead. Virginia surety bonds provide financial protection to the state and consumers for any damages that may result from the contractor’s work. 

Virginia contractors license bonds have a $50,000 required bond amount. You only need to pay a small percentage of the total amount upfront as a premium. Surety companies usually issue 1% to 5% premium rates for contractor license bonds. This amount varies on an individual basis depending on your credit score, industry experience, and other factors.

Municipalities may have their own bonding requirements for contractors. For example, Fairfax County requires home improvement contractors to post a $5,000 surety bond. You should check with your local authority to see if there are any additional bonds you need to obtain. 

Get workers compensation insurance

The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all businesses that employ more than two employees to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. This requirement counts subcontractors as employees as well. You’ll need to provide proof of appropriate coverage with your license application.

Class C contractors are exempt from the workers compensation insurance requirement.

Submit application

Once you’ve met all the requirements you are ready to complete your contractor license application. You can find the application forms on the DPOR website.

After you fill out the application, you need to gather all supporting documents and mail your application packet along with the appropriate application fee to the DPOR. Application fees vary based on the license classification:

  • Class A license: $385
  • Class B license: $370
  • Class C license: $235

DPOR Mailing Address

Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation

9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400

Richmond, Virginia 23233-1485

Virginia contractor license frequently asked questions

How much is a contractor license in Virginia?

Contractors need to pay one of the following application fees to obtain a license:

  • Class A license: $385
  • Class B license: $370
  • Class C license: $235

All contractors also need to pay a $50 annual business registration fee.

How do you renew a contractor license in Virginia?

Virginia contractors licenses are valid for two years from the end of the month the license is issued. The DPOR will mail you a license renewal form. You need to complete the form and mail it back to the DPOR with the renewal fee.

How EZ Surety Bonds can help with a Virginia contractors license

When you’re ready to get your Virginia contractors license, EZ Surety can offer you a free quote for your contractor license bond. Applying is quick and easy and we offer affordable premiums for people of all standings. Get in touch to learn more today.