Idaho general contractor license and insurance requirements

Idaho general contractor license and insurance requirements

Kim Mercado
By Kim Mercado
Dec 14, 2023
7 min read

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 an Idaho contractor license. But ,you must register with the Idaho Contractors Board and submit the proper insurance and disclosure statements.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of getting your general contractor license in Idaho, including:

Do I need a general contractor license in Idaho?

No, the state of Idaho doesn’t have a licensure requirement for general contractors. However, specialty contractors must register for a license with the Division of Occupational and Professional Licenses.

Similarly, if a contractor or subcontractor is involved with publicly funded construction projects, they must also be licensed. They can either get a public works contractor license or a construction manager license.

More often, Idaho general contractors only need to register with the state. Completing the registration form and providing the essential documentation is sufficient to work as a general contractor in the Gem state.

You must register with the state if your work exceeds $2,000, including materials and labor. While there isn’t a statewide licensing system, 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 specialty contractors 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. The Idaho Division of Occupational & Professional License can walk you through the process.

There are several different types of contracting types. General contractors will typically register for the following:

  • General Commercial Builder
  • General Residential Builder
  • General Remodel Builder

Once you fill out the Idaho contractor registration application, gather your documentation. You’ll need certificates of general liability and worker’s 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 application fee and documentation.

Idaho general contractor registration requirements

There are two separate registrations; you can either apply as an individual or a business entity. To operate legally in Idaho, you must submit the following:

  • 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
  • Worker’s 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

Idaho requires general liability insurance at the time of registration. You’ll be asked for your certificate of insurance with a minimum coverage of $300,000.

General liability 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.

Learn more about general liability for contractors.

Worker’s Compensation insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for general contractors in Idaho. It helps protect employees who may suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. A typical policy covers medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and lost wages for injured workers.

You will also need to provide proof of coverage when you register or a statement of exemption.

Learn more about Workers’ Comp for construction 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

All vehicles in Idaho, whether for personal or commercial use, are required to have a minimum amount of auto coverage. Idaho’s insurance requirements are as follows:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident
  • $15,000 for property damage 

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.

Get an instant quote online today.

Do you have projects in another U.S. state? Visit our summary of general contractor license requirements in every state.

This information has been provided as a service. It is correct and up-to-date to the best of our knowledge; however, it is in no way intended to offer legal advice and you must always consult with local authorities before you make any business decisions. Regulations and requirements may change at any time.

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Kim Mercado
About the author
Kim Mercado is a content editor at NEXT's blog, where she writes and edits posts for small business owners. She enjoys helping entrepreneurs solve their business challenges and learn about insurance. Kim has contributed to Salesforce, Samsara and Google.

You can find Kim trying new recipes and cheering the 49ers.

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