How to Become a Contractor in Arizona – How to get your AZ contractor’s license

As of 2021, Arizona has a higher inbound rate of new residents compared to outbound. With many new construction and housing renovations across AZ, contractors can find plenty of work in this bustling state. If you’re wondering how to become a contractor in Arizona, this article will provide all the information you need to get working – legally – in AZ as soon as possible.

Do You Need a Contractor’s License in Arizona?

Any business or person who bids and offers contracts to change, construct, fix, add to, remove from, improve, move, or demolish any structure in Arizona must have a contractor’s license. Licenses are distributed by the Arizona Registrar of Contractors (AZ ROC).

Contractor Duties in AZ

General contractors enter into a contract to provide materials and labor for jobs on both private residences and commercial properties. Contractors can also supervise and manage other specialty contractors and workers. The average general contractor in AZ makes $95,600 per year.

Contractor duties in Arizona depend on your contractor license classification. Arizona has dozens of classifications divided up into 7 groups outlined in the section below.

Types of Contractor Licenses in Arizona

The 7 groups of contractor licenses in Arizona are split between residential work, commercial work, or both. The groups are as follows:

  • General Engineering Contractor 
  • General Commercial Contracting
  • Specialty Commercial Contracting
  • General Residential Contracting
  • Specialty Residential Contracting
  • General Dual Engineering Contracting
  • General Dual License Contracting
  • Specialty Dual License Contracting 

There are many classifications listed under each license group. Check out the full list, which includes the minimum years of work experience required to sit for each classification’s licensing exam. 

Getting Your Arizona Contractor’s License

Applying for your contractor’s license will be slightly different depending on whether you’re applying as an LLC/corporation or as a sole proprietor/partnership. 

Both types of applicants will first need to identify a “Qualifying Party” for the license. The qualifying party is an employed person – it could be the person applying, their employee, or another individual – who has the necessary knowledge and skills for contract work as defined by Arizona law. 

This person will be the responsible managing employee. A person can be the Qualifying Party for more than one entity only if the two entities share at least 25% of common ownership or if one licensee is a subsidiary of the other.  

Even if the Qualifying Party is not the business owner, the license will belong to the business. 

The Qualifying Party should:

  • Have 4+ years of practical or management trade experience, 2 of which should be within the last decade
    • This experience should deal with the type of construction involved in the license 
    • Technical training or studies may count for a maximum of 2 years of this experience
  • Take and pass the required exam for licensure

Arizona offers a monthly online Applicant Education Seminar to guide you through the application process. Register for the next available seminar here.

For questions not answered on the AZ ROC licensing page, call 877-692-9762 or email licensing@roc.az.gov. 

AZ Contractor Licensing for Businesses

Follow these to receive your AZ Contractor’s License on behalf of your business or entity. 

  1. Register your business as a legal entity through the Arizona Corporation Commission
  2. Choose your classification and make sure the Qualifying Party meets the experience requirements
  3. (The Qualifying Party should) pass the appropriate PSI exam with a 70% or higher
    1. The PSI contact number for AZ ROC candidates is 855-744-0310 or you can email examschedule@psionline.com 
    2. If the Qualifying Party already has a license from another state, use the Out-Of-State Waiver Request Form
  4. (The Qualifying Party should) complete the mandatory AZ Statutes and Rules Training Course and Exam
  5. Submit background checks for the applicant and all involved parties 
  6. Submit government IDs for the applicant and all involved parties
    1. See here for examples of accepted ID
  7. Submit proof of bond in the amount required by your classification
  8. Pay the fees
  9. Complete and submit your application online or via mail
    1. Applications can be mailed to Registrar of Contractors, P.O. Box 6748, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6748
  10. Await the AZ ROC’s decision – you will be notified whether or not your application is approved

AZ Contractor Licensing for Individuals/Partners

Applying for your individual or partnership contractor’s license has the same procedure as above, except that you won’t need to register your business with the AZ Corporation Commission. If you are a partnership, you’ll need to register with the Arizona Secretary of State instead. 

AZ Contractor License Application Checklist

When completing your license application, you’ll need to make sure you attach all supporting documentation. If your application is incomplete, it may be sent back to you. 

  • The Qualifying Party’s AZ Training Course results
  • The Qualifying Party’s PSI Exam results OR the waiver for the PSI exam
  • Copies of receipts for the background checks
    • Receipts are issued via email after you’ve completed the background check and are good for 90 days
  • Registration of your business or partnership, if applicable
  • Your bond verification form
  • All fees
  • Copies of ID
  • All necessary signatures
  • Supporting documents (optional depending on applicant)

Contractor License Fees

New license fees include an application fee, license fee, and – in some cases – a recovery and assessment fee. The total fees are as follows:

  • General Commercial: $780
  • Specialty Commercial: $580
  • General Residential: $870
  • Specialty Residential: $720
  • General Dual: $1,050
  • Specialty Dual: $850

Arizona Licensing Reciprocity

If you hold one or more licenses from another state, you may apply for exemption for the PSI exam. You’ll need to complete the Out-Of-State Waiver Request Form. 

This will not exempt you from the AZ Statutes and Rules Training Course and Exam, which the Qualifying Party will still need to take. 

Renewing Your AZ Contractor’s License

Contractor’s licenses are good for two years. You can renew online by completing a renewal application, showing proof of bond, and paying the renewal fee. 

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