If you have a passion for construction and dream of starting your own contracting business in Idaho, you'll be happy to know there is no exam to get a general contractor license in Idaho. But you must register with the Idaho Contractors Board and submit the proper insurance and disclosure statements.
Navigating the licensing process alone can be challenging due to the number of requirements and procedures to follow. Fear not — we have you covered!
In this article, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of getting your general contractor license in Idaho, including:
- How to become a general contractor in Idaho
- Who needs a general contractor license
- How to register as an Idaho general contractor
- Renewal requirements for general contractor
- Insurance requirements for Idaho general contractors
How to become a general contractor in Idaho
Idaho general contractor license requirements are straightforward and more lenient than in other states. For example, unlike Texas and California, it's not necessary to take an exam or get a license. Completing the registration form and providing the essential documentation is sufficient to work as a general contractor in the Gem state.
Do I need a general contractor license in Idaho?
The first thing you need to know about how to get a general contractor license is that Idaho doesn’t have a license requirement. However, you must register with the state if your work exceeds $2,000, including materials and labor. There isn’t a statewide licensing system, but some cities and counties may have local regulations and permitting requirements you must follow.
You’ll also find several exemptions to the general contractor registration process. Licensed professionals like electrical contractors, plumbers, HVAC installers, engineers, and surveyors are exempt as long as they operate within the scope of their license. Property owners who work on their land and don't plan to sell it within a year and commercial building owners who maintain their buildings with their own staff are also exempt from registration.
How to register a general contractor business in Idaho
Registering a general contractor business in Idaho is mandatory before you can start operating in the state. Your first step is to decide on your business structure. Your status as a sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, or corporation determines the application and documentation you’ll need.
Once you fill out the Idaho contractor registration application, gather your documentation. You’ll need certificates of general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. You'll also need to submit additional documentation if you've had your contractor license or registration denied, been disciplined in Idaho or another state, or have a criminal record.
It’s important to note that Idaho doesn’t have an online registration process, and you can't apply by fax. You must mail or bring it to the Boise office with the $50 processing fee and documentation.
Idaho general contractor registration requirements
To operate legally in Idaho, you must meet general contractors requirements:
- Completed application
- United States citizenship or proof of legal permanent resident
- Your name or business name
- Certificate of assumed name or business structure
- Name of each business owner
- $50 processing fee
- Certificate of General Liability insurance for at least $300,000
- Workers’ Compensation policy
- Disclosure forms, if necessary for your situation.
In Idaho, general contractor registration is statewide. Construction permits and other specific requirements may vary by city, so it's important to check with your local jurisdiction about any additional steps that may be necessary.
Idaho general contractor registration renewal requirements
When you receive your registration number, it’s valid for a full year after your next birthday. The Idaho Contractors Board sends a reminder six weeks before your renewal date, and you’ll need to renew every year. The Idaho Contractors Registration Act requires you to renew your contractor registration online at least 30 days before it expires.
The online renewal system asks for your registration number and Social Security number or Employer Identification number, depending on whether you registered as an individual or as a business. It also requires a $50 renewal fee.
Insurance requirements for Idaho general contractors
Business insurance is a crucial aspect of any construction project. As a general contractor in Idaho, you must understand the state’s insurance requirements to approve your registration application.
General liability insurance for Idaho contractors
Idaho requires general contractor liability insurance. A policy can help protect your business from accidents, injuries, or property damage during a construction project. Coverage also gives your clients peace of mind knowing that it protects their property and investment in case of mishaps.
Workers’ compensation insurance
Workers' compensation insurance is mandatory for general contractors in Idaho. It protects employees who may suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. A typical policy covers medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and lost wages for injured workers.
Tools and equipment insurance
As the old saying goes, contractors are only as good as their tools. For general contractors, those tools are more than mere investments — they're the backbone of your business. That's why tools and equipment insurance is essential coverage.
This policy protects your tools, equipment, and livelihood against theft, fire, vandalism, and other unforeseen events, allowing you to rest easy knowing that your assets are secure.
Commercial auto insurance
Personal auto coverage often isn’t enough when running a general contractor business. Commercial auto insurance helps protect against accidents or damage when on the job or transporting materials, tools, and equipment to and from the job site.
Commercial property insurance
Owning or renting property for your business is a significant investment, and protecting it from potential damages and vandalism is critical. That's why commercial property insurance is helpful coverage for general contractors — it provides protection for your business property.
How NEXT supports Idaho general contractors
Protecting your business and ensuring it thrives is a top priority, and NEXT Insurance can help you achieve both with general contractor insurance.
Our easy-to-use online services let you apply for coverage and receive a certificate of insurance in just minutes, all from your computer or mobile device — even if you’re at a job site.
As a company that specializes in small business insurance, we've helped thousands of construction professionals get an affordable insurance package tailored to their specific requirements.
Do you have projects in another U.S. state? Visit our summary of general contractor license requirements in every state.