If you’re planning to lead residential or commercial construction projects, you’ll need to get a Georgia general contractor license to do business. The good news is, in just a few steps, you can count yourself among the roughly 2,000 general contractors in the state.
The Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors is the contractor state licensing board and you will need to file applications, pay required fees, and fulfill their requirements before you take on clients.
A contractor license is required to do any work amounting to more than $2,500. You will also need to meet statewide general contractor insurance requirements and register your new business.
In this article, we will cover:
- How to become a general contractor in Georgia
- Georgia general contractor license requirements
- How to get a general contractor license in Georgia
- Insurance for general contractors in Georgia
How to become a contractor in Georgia
To start your general contracting business in Georgia, you will need to meet the educational requirements provided by the Georgia State Licensing Board, as well as pass an exam, provide proof of insurance, and register your new business.
Having all of your information, applications, and paperwork prepared and ready to go makes applying for your general contractor license the easiest part of the job.
Georgia general contractor license requirements
To meet the initial requirements for your general contractor license, you must be 21 years old and provide the state licensing board with proof of one of the following educational or work experience requirements:
- An official diploma or transcript from a four-year, accredited university in engineering, architecture, project management, or building construction.
- An official diploma or transcript proving college-level coursework at an accredited university and work experience similar to at least four years of university experience.
- At least four years of work experience in construction, with at least two years working for a general contractor. Additionally, one year must also be in the field of engineering, supervision, project management, administration, accounting, or marketing.
Next, you will need to determine which general contractor license type you will be applying for.
General contractor license types
In Georgia, there are four different types of general contractor licenses.
General Contractor: This license is for work that exceeds $2,500 on private, commercial, industrial, public, and other building projects. You cannot perform HVAC, plumbing, electrical, or utility contracting work with this license.
General Contractor-Limited Tier: This allows for the same work as basic general contractor license but with contract amounts of $500,000 or less.
Residential-Basic Contractor: This license is limited to projects with detached one-family and two-family residences and one-family townhouses (not over three-stories) and adjacent structures.
Residential-Light Commercial Contractor: This license is the same as residential-basic, with the addition of projects related to multifamily and multi-use light commercial buildings and adjacent structures.
How to get a general contractor license in Georgia
After meeting the minimum educational requirements and determining which type of work you will be doing, you will need to provide the application and fee for the type of license for which you will be applying.
General contractor application requirements
For Residential Basic and Light Commercial license applications, your proof of net worth can be in the form of a $25,000 surety bond in the individual or business organization’s name. For all other applications, you will need a signed financial letter referenced by a certified accountant.
The application fee is $200. You can start the process online with the Secretary of State’s office.
General contractor exam requirements
After completing the application and submitting the application fee, you will also need to take and pass the NASCLA exam.
Upon approving your application, the state will notify you and the testing company (PSI Examination services). You will need to schedule a business and law exam and your license exam based on what type of work you will be doing. This must be done within one year of your approval date.
How long does it take to get a general contractor license in Georgia?
Overall, this process goes quickly if your application is complete and you pass your NASCLA exams.
You can prepare for your exam by taking a Georgia general contractor license practice test. This will help to ensure you are familiar with the material before you schedule your test.
It can help to have a Georgia construction lawyer look over your application before submitting it to the board to make sure everything is accurate and complete.
Insurance requirements for Georgia general contractors
Every general contractor that wants to work in Georgia must meet business insurance requirements that were established by the state government.
You must submit proof of workers’ compensation if you have employees and liability insurance with minimum coverage limits:
- General Contractor: $500,000
- General Contractor-Limited Tier: $500,000
- Residential-Basic Contractor: $300,000
- Residential-Light Commercial Contractor: $500,000
You will also need to obtain a $25,000 Georgia Residential and General Contractors Bond.
General liability insurance for Georgia contractors
General liability insurance provides your general contracting business with protections in case of third-party bodily injury and property damage.
This means that if a client files a legal claim against your business because they were injured on your jobsite or their property was damaged, you will be covered and not held financially responsible.
Workers’ compensation for Georgia contractors
Businesses with employees are required to have workers’ compensation insurance in Georgia, which protects your employees and your business in the event of a work-related injury or illness.
Having workers’ compensation will provide peace of mind to you, your employees, and your clients. Plus, you will be protected against and not responsible for financial downfalls, such as medical bills if an employee becomes sick or injured due to a task you asked them to complete.
Commercial auto insurance for general contractors
Vehicles owned by a business and used for business purposes should be covered with commercial auto insurance.
This provides a safety net in the case of accidents or damage to your vehicles, as well as injuries to you or your employees.
How Next Insurance supports Georgia general contractors
Next Insurance helps Georgia general contractors get the insurance they need to get licensed and protect their business.
Our online services allow you to apply for coverage and obtain a certificate of insurance within minutes from a computer or mobile device so you can get to work quickly.
We only sell small business insurance, and we specialize in coverage for construction professionals.
Get an instant quote online today.
Do you have projects outside of Georgia? Visit our summary of general contractor license requirements in every state.