Kentucky general contractor license and insurance requirements

Kentucky general contractor license and insurance requirements

Ashley Henshaw
By Ashley Henshaw
Dec 14, 2023
8 min read

The construction industry is booming in Kentucky. The outlook for this industry is strong, with plenty of construction projects in the works, including industrial, higher education and healthcare projects.

As an added bonus, becoming a general contractor in Kentucky is simpler compared to the process in many other states. There are no statewide regulations in terms of professional licensing, and local licensing requirements are fairly straightforward.

To help jumpstart your career as a general contractor and provide details on how to get your general contractor license in Kentucky, we’ve put together this guide covering the following topics:

Do you need a license to be a general contractor?

Kentucky does not issue statewide general contractor licenses. Instead, only electricians, plumbers and HVAC contractors must have a license from the state’s Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction.

However, you may need to obtain a license or register as a general contractor at the city or county level. Check with your municipality to find out what licenses or permits are required. 

How to get a Kentucky contractor license

The process to get a Kentucky licensure will vary depending on the requirements of your local municipality. Here’s how to apply for a contractor license in the state’s three largest cities.


To become a licensed contractor in Louisville, you must apply through the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government. The application process includes the following steps:

  1. Obtain an occupational license number from the Louisville-Jefferson County Revenue Commission.
  2. Provide proof of unemployment insurance.
  3. Provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance (or sign an affidavit that your company has no employees).
  4. Provide proof of liability insurance.

The requirements for a Louisville general contractor license depend on which type of license you need:

Building Type A 

This license allows for multiple permits for single or multi-family dwellings. You must complete six credit hours of continuing education and pay a $125 annual license fee to apply.

Building Type B 

This license is for contractors who only need a single building permit per year. There are no continuing education requirements, and the annual fee is $50.


You must register as a general contractor with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. To apply for this registration, complete these steps:

  1. Provide your business name and information.
  2. Provide proof of general liability insurance.
  3. Provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance (or sign an affidavit of exemption).
  4. Select a mediation service to resolve potential disputes.

Your contractor registration application must be notarized. In addition, you must pay the required fee depending on which of the following general contractor registration options you choose:

General contractor 

This registration permits you to perform commercial, industrial, public works and/or residential construction of larger than four-family homes. The total application fee is $240 ($40 initial fee + $200 annual fee).

General contractor, residential only

This registration permits building contractors to construct up to four-family homes or perform home remodeling. The total application fee is $115 ($40 initial fee + $75 annual fee).

Bowling Green

To become a general contractor in this area, you must obtain a contractor license from the Bowling Green-Warren County Contractors Licensing Board. This process involves the following steps:

  1. Provide proof of liability insurance.
  2. Provide proof of workers’ compensation insurance (or sign an affidavit of exemption).
  3. Obtain a Bowling Green occupational license (if you will be working within the Bowling Green city limits).

You must submit a general contractor license application fee of $250 with your application form.

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

Before you begin work, you’ll need to make sure you have the right general contractor insurance to comply with any licensing requirements and to help protect your business. Consider the following types of Kentucky business insurance for general contractors.

General Liability insurance

General liability insurance can help cover some of the most common work-related accidents on construction projects, such as damage to someone’s property and third-party injuries.

Learn more about general liability for contractors.

Workers’ Compensation insurance

Kentucky businesses with employees must have workers’ compensation insurance, which can help provide coverage for lost wages and medical expenses when workers get hurt on the job.

Learn more about Workers’ Comp for construction workers.

Tools and Equipment insurance

Tools and equipment insurance can help cover repairs and replacements for your gear if theft or damage occurs.

Commercial Auto insurance

If you drive for work, commercial auto insurance can help cover accident-related expenses, such as property damage and medical bills.

Commercial Property insurance

Commercial property insurance can help provide coverage for damage and vandalism to property that you own or rent for your contracting business.

Certificate of insurance requirements for general contractors

In local municipalities where a general contractor license or registration is required, you will most likely have to submit proof of insurance as well. Make sure you check with your city or county to find out whether there are any minimum requirements for insurance coverage and how to submit your certificate of insurance as proof of coverage.

Commonly required types of insurance for general contractor licenses in Kentucky include:

  • General liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance

How NEXT Insurance supports Kentucky general contractors

NEXT offers the general contractor insurance you need to satisfy the state’s licensing requirements and protect your business.

We make it easy to get business insurance in Kentucky. Our affordable rates have helped thousands of business owners get insurance designed to meet their unique needs.

Simply use our online services to compare options, apply for coverage and download a certificate of insurance in just minutes from any computer or mobile device.

Get an instant quote online today.

Are you interested in working as a general contractor in another U.S. state? Learn what states require general contractor licenses in our summary of general contractor license requirements.

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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Ashley Henshaw
About the author

Ashley Henshaw was a contributing writer at NEXT. She specializes in small business topics, covering everything from insurance and branding to web hosting and cryptocurrency.

Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, AOL City's Best, Citysearch, USA Today, The San Francisco Chronicle and Livestrong.

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