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Louisiana general contractor license and insurance requirements

Matt Crawford image
By Matt Crawford
Sep 14, 2020 min read

There are more than 10,000 people with a general contractor license in Louisiana. If you’re interested in joining them, you’ll find plenty of opportunities in the market right now between commercial and industrial growth in the oil and gas industries and an uptick in residential projects.

The Louisiana State Licensing Board for General Contractors is the agency that approves licenses. Continue reading to learn what you need to know before you apply, including:

  • The types of general contractor licenses in Louisiana
  •  Louisiana general contractor license requirements
  • How to obtain a general contractor license in Louisiana
  • The insurance you need for your general contractor’s license

If you are considering working outside of Louisiana, visit our guide for general contractor license requirements by state

Types of Louisiana general contractor licenses

There are several types of general contractor licenses 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.

Home Improvement Registration: If you plan to do any home repair or improvement projects valued between $7,500 to $75,000, and you 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. 

How to get a general contractor license in Louisiana

Once you know which license you need and you’re ready to apply, there’s a three-step process:

  1. Fill out your application
  2. Pass the exam
  3. Get approval from the Louisiana State Licensing Board for General Contractors

While that sounds straightforward, there are a few things to consider as you go through the application process. 

First, make sure you have all the necessary information in your application packet ready to go (see more on the requirements below).

From there, prepare for your tests. 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 10 testing centers throughout the state. 

You can refer to the Louisiana general contractor study guide for a list of classifications to see if you are required to take an exam for the work you plan to do.

Once you have everything set, you can send it to the board for approval. The board convenes every month and reviews applications during that time.

What are the requirements to get a general contractor license in Louisiana?

To get your general contractor license, Louisiana, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

Select your classification: On your 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.

Prepare 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. 

Choose your legal representative: Choose a qualifying party to be the legal representative for your contracting business. This does not necessarily mean that 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. 

Pass the board’s exam and vetting. You will need to undergo vetting by the board and will have to pass an exam. They can decide if you can engage in contracting activities based on your experience and records. 

Get insured. You must have proof of general liability insurance coverage and a certificate of insurance for active workers’ compensation insurance (see more details below).

Pay fees. Pay appropriate fees, which will vary depending on the type of classification you choose (residential or commercial, etc.), plus exam costs and processing fees. The costs run from $400 to $700. 

Pass all the exams. Pass the required exams, including the business and law exam, plus any specific trade exams.

Once you have fully completed your application, you may submit it for board approval before you have taken the required exams.

How long does it take to get a general contractor license?

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. 

Common challenges for obtaining a license

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.

Insurance requirements for Louisiana General Contractors

As part of the licensing process, you will need the following insurance coverage types. 

General liability insurance for Louisiana contractors

General liability insurance is required for licensed general contractors in Louisiana. This coverage can help cover expenses for anyone, excluding employees, who is 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 workers’ compensation insurance coverage in compliance with Title 23 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950. This ensures employees are covered if they are hurt, become sick or die on the job. 

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. 

How Next Insurance supports Louisiana general contractors

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

Start an instant quote online to explore options for your business and you can get a certificate of insurance within minutes. 

Matt Crawford image
By Matt Crawford
Matt Crawford is Associate Content Director at Next Insurance and a small business insurance specialist. He has worked throughout his career to help small business owners grow and protect their businesses.
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