If you are a Utah citizen and want to engage in the construction business, you must have a contractor’s license. The license helps you to work as a professional contractor and protects the consumers. This license is set to be granted by the state, not you. If you are serious about pursuing a career in construction, it will be necessary for you to get a license. To get a contractors license in Utah, you must complete an application, pass the exams, do business registration, and pay fees. You will also have to prove that you are financially capable of carrying out the activity that you want to engage in. This license will help you to operate as a professional and give you the authority to erect buildings.
Here is how to get a contractors license in Utah.
1. Complete the Application
There is a division within the Department of Commerce called the Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing. This division handles all licensing processes in the state. All you need to do is to visit their website and download the application form. Please fill up the application form and submit it. The application is free and valid for 3 years.
You need to determine the kind of business you will be running. If you are going to do home repair, you can do that. If you want to do commercial building, you can’t. You need to choose the type of business that suits your interests in this field. The business license types fall under these categories;
– General Building Contractors License: You can work on any building structure. You can hire a one-person crew and do the job. The type of work that you can do is limited only by your imagination and skills.
– Residential & Small Commercial Contractors License: You are allowed to work on any size of house. The commercial side is limited to buildings that don’t exceed 3 stories or have more than four occupants.
– Electrical, HVAC, and Plumbing Contractors License: You can work on any house or building. The main focus of your work will be on the wiring, heating and cooling systems, and plumbing.
– Landscaping Contractors License: You can work on any property size. The type of work that you can do is limited to landscaping only.
2. Meeting the Requirements
The requirements that you need to meet to get the license are;
– Be at least 18 years old.
– You need to have accumulated 4 years of experience in the field that you want to engage in. The experience can be in a full-time or part-time job. If you have a degree in construction, that will be substituted for 1 year of experience.
– You need to have a clean criminal record. If you have been convicted of a felony, that will be an automatic disqualification.
2. Pass the Exam
A 25-hour continuing education requirement is necessary to maintain your contractor’s license. This requirement is met by completing a Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) approved course. The course can be taken online from Rocketcert or in a physical classroom. The exam is open-book and has 100 multiple-choice questions. You will be required to score 70% to pass the exam.
3. Register for a Business License
After meeting all the requirements, the next step is registering your business. You need to have a business location, and you need to decide on the business name. The business name has to be unique and should not be similar to any other business in the state. After that, you must apply for a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number is used for tax purposes.
4. Pay the Fees
The fees for the license are as follows;
– General Building Contractors License: The application fee is $200, and the exam fee is $100.
– Residential & Small Commercial Contractors License: The application fee is $100, and the exam fee is $50.
– Electrical, HVAC, and Plumbing Contractors License: The application fee is $100, and the exam fee is $50.
– Landscaping Contractors License: The application fee is $100, and the exam fee is $50.
5. Get Bonded and Insured
You need to get a surety bond to protect your customers from any losses they may incur because of your work. The band is in the form of a contract between you and the surety company. The company agrees to pay the customer if you fail to do your work according to the contract. The bond is usually for 1 year, and the state determines the amount. The minimum amount is $5,000, and the maximum is $10,000.
The State of Utah Department of Commerce (DOC) requires that you obtain a license before receiving any job. If you are inexperienced, starting working without a license is not recommended.