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Kentucky general contractor license and insurance requirements

Kentucky general contractor license and insurance requirements

By Ashley Henshaw
May 17, 2022
8 min read
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The construction industry is booming in Kentucky. The outlook for this industry is strong, with plenty of construction and renovation in the works, including industrial, higher education and healthcare projects.1

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 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 electrical, plumbing and HVAC contractors must have a license from the state’s Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction.2

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. 

It’s important to comply with local rules and regulations in order to make sure all of your projects are carried out legally and avoid project disruptions.

How to get a general contractor license in Kentucky

The process to get a Kentucky general contractor license 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.

How to get a Louisville, Kentucky general contractor license

To get your contractor license in Louisville, you must apply through the Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government.3 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.

How to get a Lexington, Kentucky general contractor license

You must register as a general contractor with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government.4 To apply for this registration, complete these steps:

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

How to get a Bowling Green, Kentucky general contractor license

To become a general contractor in this area, you must obtain a contractor license from the Bowling Green-Warren County Contractors Licensing Board.5 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).

Kentucky general contractor license requirements

The requirements for Kentucky 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. 

Louisville, Kentucky general contractor license requirements

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 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 $40.

Lexington, Kentucky general contractor license requirements

Your Lexington, Kentucky 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 $115 ($40 initial fee + $75 annual fee).

General contractor, residential only

This registration permits you to construct up to four-family homes or perform home remodeling. The total application fee is $240 ($40 initial fee + $200 annual fee).

Bowling Green, Kentucky general contractor license requirements

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

General contractor license renewal requirements

Most local municipalities require annual renewal for general contractor licenses or registration. Check with your city or county government for more details on fee requirements and how to renew.

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 protect your business. The following types of insurance are recommended for most general contractors in Kentucky.

General Liability insurance

General liability insurance covers some of the most common work-related accidents on construction projects, such as damage to someone’s property and client injuries.

Workers’ Compensation insurance

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

Tools and Equipment insurance

General contractors typically get tools and equipment insurance to cover repairs and replacements for their gear in case theft or damage occurs.

Commercial Auto insurance

Commercial auto insurance covers accident-related expenses, such as towing, rental reimbursement, and repairs, so it’s recommended if you drive for work.

Commercial Property insurance

Commercial property insurance provides coverage for damage and vandalism to property that you own or rent for your business.

What is the certificate of insurance requirement 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 Insurance offers the general contractor insurance that you need to satisfy Kentucky licensing requirements and protect your business.

We make it easy to get self-employed general contractor insurance or general contractor business insurance coverage at affordable rates. We’ve helped thousands of business owners across the country 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.

Sources

1 The Lane Report

2 Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction

3 Louisville-Jefferson County Contractor License Application

4 Lexington-Fayette County Application for Contractor Registration

5 Bowling Green-Warren County Contractor License Application

Kentucky 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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