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Indiana general contractor license and insurance requirements

Indiana general contractor license and insurance requirements

By Ashley Henshaw
May 23, 2022
8 min read
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Indiana is a great place to be a general contractor. Projects are on the rise, especially with recent investments from the state government.1 

The barriers to entry in this profession are also lower in Indiana, which does not require statewide licenses for general contractors. However, you’ll still need to check with your municipality, as some require contractors to hold a local license before they can begin work. 

Our guide to Indiana general contractor license and insurance requirements will help you get started as a contractor in this great Midwestern state. Learn more about how to get your general contractor license in Indiana, including:

Do you need a license to be a general contractor?

Indiana general contractors do not need to get a professional license from the state. Depending on which area you plan to work in, you may need to obtain a license from a local municipal government instead.

Not all parts of the state require general contractors to be licensed, but some do. If you plan to work in more than one city or county, it’s important to check with each municipality to find out what their requirements are.

How to get a general contractor license in Indiana

When it comes to general contractor licenses, Indiana cities and counties are permitted to set their own requirements. The following section covers instructions on how to apply for a contractor license in the state’s three largest cities.

How to get an Indianapolis, Indiana general contractor license

To work as a general contractor in the Consolidated City of Indianapolis/Marion County, you must have a license issued by the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services.2 

Note that this does not include the cities of Beech Grove, Lawrence, Speedway and Southport. 

To complete the application process, you must:

  • Fill out and submit the application
  • Provide the required documents
  • Pay a $247 license fee (or a prorated amount based on the date of your application)

How to get a Fort Wayne, Indiana general contractor license

To work as a general contractor in Allen County, including the city of Fort Wayne, you must have a license from the Allen County Building Department.3 

In addition, you may be required to register as the superintendent for each building permit you apply for.

You must submit a completed application along with a $90 license fee in order to obtain this license. In addition, you must pay a $25 fee to be licensed as a general contractor superintendent if you plan to register as one on individual permits.

How to get an Evansville, Indiana general contractor license

You must have a license from the Evansville Building Commission to work in this city or anywhere else in Vanderburgh County.4 

Depending on the type of work you plan to do, you may apply as a residential building contractor or a commercial building contractor.

To apply for a license, you must:

  • Fill out and submit the application
  • Provide the required documents
  • Pay the license fee ($360 for commercial contractors, $210 for residential contractors)

Indiana general contractor license requirements

The requirements for Indiana general contractor's licenses vary depending on which local area you’ll be working in. The following are examples of the requirements in some of the state’s major cities. 

Indianapolis, Indiana general contractor license requirements

You must submit the following documentation with your application:

  • Proof of business registration
  • Certificate of insurance for general liability 
  • Certificate of insurance for workers’ compensation (or complete the waiver box on the application)
  • Surety bond in the amount of $10,000

In addition, first-time general contractor applicants in this city must attend an orientation class within 60 days of their license being issued.

Fort Wayne, Indiana general contractor license requirements

You must pass a written exam in order to receive your general contractor license. You may appeal to the vendor administering the exam if you do not receive a passing score. 

Evansville, Indiana general contractor license requirements

You must provide the following documentation with your application:

  • Three letters of recommendation from reputable business professionals
  • Completed and notarized criminal record history form
  • Certificate of insurance for general liability 
  • Certificate of insurance for workers’ compensation (or an affidavit of exemption)
  • Surety bond in the amount of $25,000

Once the application is processed, you must pass an exam with a score of 70% or higher. 

General contractor license renewal requirements

Indiana contractor's license renewal periods and fees vary by location in the state. Here’s what you can expect in the following Indiana cities:

Indianapolis 

Contractor licenses expire every two years on December 31 of even-numbered years. You must pay a renewal fee of $247.

Fort Wayne 

Contractor licenses expire annually, with a $90 renewal fee for general contractors and a $25 renewal fee for general contractor superintendents.

Evansville 

New contractor licenses expire after one year, at which point they may be renewed for a one-year or two-year period. The renewal fee for commercial building contractors is $210 for one year or $400 for two years. The renewal fee for residential building contractors is $150 for one year or $285 for two years.

What kind of insurance does a general contractor need in Indiana?

It’s important to have the right general contractor insurance in Indiana. This helps you to protect your business and meet local licensing requirements. There are several types of insurance recommended for this line of work, including:

General Liability insurance

General liability insurance is designed to cover common work-related accidents that occur on construction sites, like client injuries or damage to someone’s property.

Workers’ Compensation insurance

In Indiana, you must have workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees. This insurance covers lost wages and medical expenses when workers get hurt on the job.

Tools and Equipment insurance

Tools and equipment insurance help to protect your contractor gear. It covers repairs and replacements if theft or damage occurs.

Commercial Auto insurance

Commercial auto insurance is recommended since most general contractors drive for work. It covers accident-related expenses, such as towing, rental reimbursement, and repairs.

Commercial Property insurance

Commercial property insurance covers any damage and vandalism that may happen on property that you own or rent for your contracting business.

What is the certificate of insurance requirement in Indiana?

Many local governments require proof of general liability and workers’ compensation insurance coverage in order to obtain a general contractor license. There may be minimum coverage requirements in place, so be sure to check with your municipality to find out exactly what needs to be listed on each certificate of insurance.

How NEXT Insurance supports Indiana general contractors

At NEXT Insurance, it’s easy to find the right general contractor insurance to protect your business and get your license. We offer self-employed general contractor insurance and general contractor business insurance coverage at affordable rates. 

Our online services make it simple to apply for coverage and get a certificate of insurance in just minutes from any computer or mobile device. 

NEXT only sells small business insurance, and we specialize in coverage for construction professionals. We’ve helped thousands of contractors like you get affordable insurance packages customized to meet their unique needs.

Get an instant quote online today.

Want to work as a general contractor in another U.S. state? Learn what states require general contractor licenses in our summary of general contractor license requirements.

Sources

1 U.S. News & World Report

2 Indianapolis General Contractor License Requirements

3 Allen County Contractor Licensing Rules and Regulations

4 Evansville Contractor Licensing

Indiana general contractor license and insurance requirements

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About the author
Ashley Henshaw is a contributing writer at NEXT Insurance and a writer and editor at BrainBoost Media. She specializes in small business topics, covering everything from insurance and branding to web hosting and cryptocurrency. Her work is focused on helping independent business owners and entrepreneurs access the tools they need to succeed.
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