Louisiana general contractor license and insurance requirements

Louisiana general contractor license and insurance requirements

Amy Beardsley
By Amy Beardsley
Jan 17, 2024
1 min read

Louisiana is home to more than 27,000 general contractors. If you want to get your Louisiana general contractor license, you’ll find plenty of market opportunities, including commercial and industrial growth in the oil and gas industry and an uptick in residential projects.

The Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC) approves general contractor licenses. Jump ahead to learn more, including:

How to get a general contractor license in Louisiana

To get your general contractor license, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Select your classification: On the application, select the classification of work you want to perform from 10 options, including building construction, electrical work, mechanical work, plumbing work, specialty classifications or residential construction.
  2. Prepare your financial statements: Provide the board with your notarized financial statements for the past 12 months that prove you have at least $10,000, or a letter of credit, bond or other security in the same amount.
  3. Get insured. You must have proof of general liability insurance coverage and a certificate of insurance for active workers’ compensation insurance.
  4. Choose your legal representative: This does not necessarily mean you need to hire a lawyer. You can represent yourself. Or you can list a business partner, spouse or anyone else who is qualified to represent you.
  5. Pass the board’s exam and vetting. You will need to undergo vetting by the board and pass an exam. They can decide if you can engage in contracting activities based on your experience and records. Every contractor applicant must take the Louisiana Business and Law Exam, which is online. For any other required tests, you will have to go to one of 11 testing centers throughout the state. Refer to the Louisiana general contractor study guide for exam prep and a list of classifications to see if you are required to take a contractor exam for the work you plan to do.
  6. Pay the fees. Pay all appropriate licensing fees, which will vary depending on the type of classification you choose (residential or commercial contractor, etc.), plus exam costs and processing fees. The costs run from $400 to $1,100.
  7. Pass all the exams. Pass the required license exams, including the business and law exam, plus any specific trade exams.

Once you have fully completed your application, you can submit it for board approval before you take the required exams. The board convenes every month to review applications.

Although you can complete most of the general contractor application process online, you cannot submit it online. Some of the documents need to be notarized before you can submit them to the board. Also, you’ll need to take the required trade exams in person at one of the pre-approved testing centers throughout the state.

For in-state applicants, the process takes about four weeks start to finish. For those who live out of state and want a general contractor license, Louisiana has a 60-day waiting period, which begins once the board receives the application.

Once you have your license, you must renew it yearly. The board suggests preparing your renewal at least 30 days before the expiration date.

Any applications turned in 15 days or later than the expiration date will face an additional late fee.

Types of Louisiana general contractor licenses

Several types of general contractor licenses are available in Louisiana. The one you’ll need depends on the type of work you plan to do.

  • Commercial license: This license is required for commercial projects valued at $50,000 or more, all projects involving hazardous materials, and plumbing, electrical and mechanical projects over $10,000.
  • Residential license: This is required for residential construction projects valued at $75,000 or more.
  • Residential specialty licenses: These are a requirement for residential subcontractors undertaking projects in a specialized area, such as swimming pools, roofing, masonry, etc., that are valued over $7,500.
  • Mold remediation license: You’ll need this license for any mold remediation project that exceeds $7,500 in value.
  • Home improvement registration: If you plan to do any home repair or improvement projects valued between $7,500 to $75,000 and don’t have a residential or commercial license, you’ll need this license. However, if your project is valued at over $75,000, you will need a residential license.
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Louisiana general contractor license reciprocity

Out-of-state contractors can receive credit in Louisiana for approved classifications without taking the Louisiana trade exam and are also exempted from the 60-day waiting period. The contractor must:

  • Not have been sanctioned by the Board of the reciprocal state for the past three years for violations of their contractor licensing laws.
  • Meet all other requirements for licensure by the LSLBC.

Out-of-state applicants must still take the business and law course before the board issues a license.

The following states have agreements with Louisiana: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

louisiana reciprocity general contractor

Insurance requirements for Louisiana general contractors

As part of the licensing process, you will need business insurance in Louisiana, including:

General liability insurance for Louisiana contractors

General liability insurance is required for licensed general contractors in Louisiana. This coverage can help cover expenses for non-employees injured during a project or if there is any damage to property that doesn’t belong to you.

Residential contractors are required to have a minimum of $100,000 in coverage, mold contractors must have $50,000 and home improvement contractors must also have $100,000.

Workers’ compensation insurance

Residential, mold and home improvement contractors must submit certificates of insurance proving Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance coverage in compliance with state law. This ensures employees are covered if they become ill or get injured on the job.

Tools and equipment insurance

Tools and equipment insurance covers power tools, hand tools, and other items you might use in the course of your work as a general contractor in Louisiana. It protects the investment you made in your contracting or construction business and ensures you can continue to work in the event of loss or damage.

Commercial auto insurance for general contractors

Another type of insurance many general contractors in Louisiana consider is commercial auto insurance.

This type of insurance covers any vehicles that you use in the course of your business. It also can help to protect your business in case your employees get into an accident or are injured while driving.

Commercial property insurance

If you own or rent property for your contracting business, Louisiana commercial property insurance can protect you from damage and vandalism.

How NEXT helps support Louisiana general contractors

NEXT can help you quickly get the coverage you need to protect your business. We’ve helped thousands of general contractors find customized insurance packages to meet licensing requirements.

Get an instant quote online to explore options for your business and get a certificate of insurance in under 10 minutes.

Start a free quote with NEXT today.

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Amy Beardsley
About the author

Amy Beardsley, insurance expert and contributing writer at NEXT Insurance, is a content marketing writer who specializes in small business coverage. Leveraging her background in the legal field, Amy brings a deep understanding of laws, regulations, and compliance requirements to her work. As a content marketing writer since 2016, she has contributed to publications like Legal & General, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, Insurify, and NerdWallet. Her work has also appeared in CNBC, Kiplinger, and US News. When she’s not writing, Amy enjoys playing cards with her family and experimenting with new recipes.

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