Mississippi general contractor license and insurance requirements

Mississippi general contractor license and insurance requirements

Courtney Westlake
By Courtney Westlake
Feb 1, 2024
8 min read

If you have experience in building or construction and want a job that offers flexible working hours and competitive pay, now’s a great time to get a Mississippi general contractor license.

Mississippi has many of the same requirements as many other states for becoming a general contractor. It’s more straightforward than most states because you can get your commercial or residential contractor license mainly through the Mississippi State Board of Contractors (MSBOC). You might need to undergo a slightly different process in a specialty trade.

Wondering where to start? Read on for information about Mississippi general contractor license requirements:

Do you need a license to be a general contractor in Mississippi?

Mississippi offers both commercial and residential general contractor licenses. The Mississippi State Board of Contractors (MSBOC) regulates licensure and makes the difference between the two simple.

A residential contractor license is required for anyone working on residential construction projects totaling $50,000 or more, or residential remodeling or roofing over $10,000. Residential electrical, plumbing or HVAC work is regulated by the city or county where the work is done.

The commercial contractor license is for contractors working on commercial jobs over $50,000. A commercial license is also needed for construction, reconstruction, repair or maintenance of fire sprinkler systems on public projects over $5,000 and private projects over $10,000.

See more MSBOC classifications.

How to get a general contractor license in Mississippi

There are a few steps to getting a Mississippi contractor license. The MSBOC encourages applicants to review an instructional video prior to beginning the application process to reduce the rate of rejection.

First, you must apply to the MSBOC. The general contractor license application requirements include:

  • Proof of employment for each qualifying party. A qualifying party is anyone responsible for construction work and will sit an exam for the company. 
  • Three reference letters. One must be from your bank. Two should be from someone familiar with your work.
  • Mississippi sales tax number or Mississippi use tax number.
  • Mississippi income tax ID number or federal income tax ID number.
  • Proof of general liability insurance coverage.
  • Proof of workers’ compensation insurance if the applicant has more than 5 employees.
  • The application must be notarized.

For applicants who are corporations, LLCs or LLPs only: 

  • Certificate showing proof of good standing with the Mississippi secretary of state.

For commercial applications only: 

Another license requirement is a list of your experience in the classification you’re applying for. The five major classifications are:

  1. Building construction
  2. Electrical
  3. Highway, street and bridge construction
  4. Heavy construction
  5. Mechanical, municipal and public works

After the MSBOC receives your completed application, they will send you the candidate information bulletin from PSI exams that outlines everything you need to know about registering for and taking the Mississippi business and law and trade exams.

A general building contractor may choose to take the NASCLA-accredited examination for commercial general building instead of the Mississippi Building Construction exam.

Once you pass the contractor exams and submit all the required documents to the MSBOC, they’ll issue your Mississippi general contractor license.

General contractor license fees

The application fee for a commercial general contractor license is $400, while the residential application fee is just $50.

For either application, adding an additional classification will cost $100 each.

There are also fees for the licensing exams. Each portion of the exam costs $120.

How long does it take to get a license in Mississippi?

Mississippi has a relatively quick turnaround time for getting your general contractor license.

After the MSBOC receives your application, they send you the information to schedule your exams. PSI exams have multiple testing days per week and locations across the state. You can schedule your exam as soon as you are ready. 

You must pass the exam within six months of the date MSBOC approves you to take it. If you don’t pass the first time, don’t give up! You can take the test as many times as you need within that six-month window.

You’ll receive your exam score as soon as you finish the test. Then, you must send the MSBOC your passing exam score. The board reviews your application in seven to 10 working days and then issues your license.

Local contractor license requirements in Mississippi

You won’t need to get a separate contractor license in most of Mississippi’s towns and cities, but you’ll need to register your business. You’ll also need to check to see if any other local codes apply to your business, i.e., zoning, debris removal, construction permits etc.


General contractors operating in the city of Jackson don’t need a separate occupational license but must apply for a local business license. This can be done digitally to expedite approvals. Generally, you will need the following to apply:

  • Secretary of State Certificate of Good Standing or current annual report (All businesses except sole proprietors and general partnerships)
  • Business ID number (All businesses except sole proprietors and general partnerships)
  • Articles of incorporation (LLCs or corporation only)
  • Partnership agreement (general partnerships only)
  • Copy of lease or deed if there is a physical location
  • Privilege tax form (notarized)


If you’re setting up a business in Gulfport, you’ll need to submit a Privilege License Application to the General Finance office. 

Mississippi general contractor license renewals

You have to renew your license annually. The MSBOC mails a general contractor license renewal application about 60 days before your license expires.

Once you have the renewal application, fill it out and mail it back with any required documentation and the renewal fee.

Alternatively, you can renew your license online. If you do, you’ll need to upload all the necessary documents.

The renewal fees vary. A commercial license renewal costs $400, and a residential license renewal is $100.

If your renewal is over 180 days late, you’ll have to apply for a new license.

General contractor license reciprocity

Thanks to innovative laws to encourage workforce development, this state has a robust reciprocity program.

If you or a member of your family earned a general contractor license from another state while in the military, Mississippi will recognize it. The same applies to people who established residency after July 1, 2021.

It’s important to note that reciprocity doesn’t mean your general contractor state license from another state will automatically transfer to Mississippi. Instead, it means MSBOC will waive the trade exam.

To take advantage of the reciprocity opportunity, submit your license application with a reciprocity verification form and an additional $25 fee.

You still take the Mississippi business and law exam, but you can apply to waive your trade exam. There is a $50 fee for each waived exam.

Insurance requirements in Mississippi

All license applicants require Mississippi business insurance. What types of insurance do they need?

General Liability insurance

General liability insurance can help protect your business if you are held responsible for common workplace risks, such as third-party injuries or property damage.

For residential contractor applications, you must provide a certificate of general liability insurance. There is no minimum required coverage, however, the certificate of coverage should indicate that MSBOC should be notified in the event of cancellation of coverage.

If you’re applying for a commercial general contractor license, the MSBOC requires a certificate of insurance for general liability with a minimum coverage of $300,000 per occurrence and $600,000 aggregate.

Learn more about general liability for contractors.

Workers’ Compensation insurance

Workers’ comp insurance can help cover medical expenses and lost wages if an employee gets hurt on the job. 

General contractors in Mississippi are required to have workers’ compensation insurance if they have five or more employees.

Learn more about Workers’ Comp for construction workers.

Commercial auto insurance

If you’re using any vehicle for commercial purposes, you’ll also need commercial auto insurance to cover any liabilities for injuries or property damage. 

In Mississippi, all vehicles must have minimum auto insurance coverage of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage.

How NEXT supports Mississippi general contractors

At NEXT Insurance, we specialize in small business insurance for construction professionals. We’re here to help you find coverage customized to fit your needs. You can learn more about Mississippi business insurance.

You can apply online and get a certificate of insurance within 10 minutes.

Get an instant quote on your computer or mobile device.

Do you have projects in a different U.S. state? Visit our summary of general contractor license requirements in every state.

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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Courtney Westlake
About the author

Courtney Westlake is a writer and journalist with 10+ years of experience crafting content, specializing in B2B and financial writing. She's contributed to Stripe, HSBC, BigCommerce, Woman’s Day and the TODAY Show.

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