How to Become a Contractor in Georgia – Get a contractor license in GA

As of 2021, Georgia was one of the top-10 inbound states for moves in the U.S. Whether you’re one of the new residents or looking to take advantage of GA construction job opportunities, becoming a contractor could be the career move for you. 

Georgia offers two types of contractor licenses in the state: General Contractor Licenses and Residential Contractor Licenses. In this article, we’ll help you break down how to become a licensed contractor in GA from start to finish. 

Do You Need a Contractor License in Georgia?

Licenses are required by law for any contracting in the state of Georgia. This includes the construction, alteration, or improvement of any structure, electrical system, plumbing, HVAC system, etc. 

Licenses are approved and overseen by the Georgia Secretary of State. There are two types of contractor licenses.

  • General Contractor License: General contractors provide unlimited service of any type of work requiring contracting licensure, so long as they meet those licensing requirements. 
  • Residential Contractor License: Residential contractors can be residential-basic contractors or residential-light commercial contractors. 

GA General Contractor License

For new applicants, you must apply for your General Contractor License through examination. The exam is 2-part: the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agency (NASCLA) exam and the Georgia Business & Law Exam. Some individuals may take the NASCLA exam before applying for the Georgia Business & Law Exam, but it is not necessary to do so.

You will apply for examination as an unlimited individual, unlimited qualifying agent, limited tier individual, or limited tier qualifying agent. The applications differ slightly depending on which you choose. 

  • Individual licenses are for those working in their own name or for sole proprietors. Individuals cannot work for a company (LLC, Inc.).
  • Qualifying agent licenses can only work for a registered company. Qualifying Agents are the responsible party.
  • Limited tier licenses limit contract amounts to $500,000 or less.

Requirements for Licensure in Georgia

To apply for your General Contractor License through examination, you must be 21+ and meet ONE of the following:

  • Have a 4-year applicable college degree and 1 year of work experience during which you were employed by a general contractor or similar
  • Have a combination of academic credits and work experience equaling at least 4 years
  • Have 4 years’ experience in a construction-related field, of which 2 years were supervised by a general contractor or similar

Additionally, each type of application has different financial requirements, listed on page 9 of the application. If you do not meet this requirement, you can instead submit a letter of explanation.

  • Unlimited Individual and Unlimited Qualify Agents applicants need a net worth of $150,000+ 
  • Limited Tier Individual and Limited Tier Qualifying Agents applicants need a net worth of $25,000+

Completing the Application

Once you meet the requirements, you can complete your application for examination. All applications can be found here. Below are the instructions specifically for those applying for an individual General Contractor License.

When applying as an individual, be sure to include:

  • All notarized signatures and information required on the application 
    1. The notarized signature of your previous general contractor employer, if applicable
  • The $200 non-refundable application fee
    1. Plus, either a $5 online processing fee or a $10 mail-in processing fee
  • A Certificate of Insurance
    1. General liability insurance should cover you as an individual with $500,000 per occurrence
  • Proof of Worker’s Comp, if applicable
  • Your ID as a Secure and Verifiable Document
  • Official school transcripts, if applicable
  • A “Project Reference Affidavit” (page 8 of the application) signed by your reference
  • The Financial Responsibility Form (page 9)
    1. A letter of explanation if you do not meet the net worth requirements

Submit your application online or mail everything to: 

Professional Licensing Boards Division, Residential/General Contractors

237 Coliseum Dr.

Macon, GA 31217

You will receive a notice within 15-30 days about your application status. Be sure to check the email you listed on your application for the notice. 

Once your application is approved, you’ll sit for the exam. After passing, you’ll receive your license.

Reciprocity

Georgia has reciprocal agreements with:

  • Louisiana – Commercial License
  • Mississippi – Commercial Contractor’s License
  • North Carolina – Building Contractor License
  • Tennessee – Contractor License

You’ll need to submit the Reciprocity Application with all required documents listed here.

GA Residential Contractor License

Residential contractors can perform contractor work on detached one- and two-family residences and one-family townhouses that do not exceed three stories, as well as their accessory structures.

As with General Contractor Licenses, you’ll first need to apply for the examination. 

There are also four ways to apply for a Residential Contractor License: as a Basic Individual, Basic Qualifying Agent, Light Individual, or Light Qualifying Agent. Light applicants can also perform work on multifamily and light, multiuse commercial buildings.

Applications vary slightly, especially in their financial requirements. For this section, we will focus on the application procedure for those applying as Basic Individuals. 

Requirements for Licensure in Georgia

  • Be 21+
  • Have at least 2 years’ experience working under a general contractor in your field
  • Prove the successful completion of at least 2 projects within the last 2 years
  • After your application is approved, you must take and pass the exam 

Completing the Application 

On your individual application, be sure to include:

  • All notarized signatures and information required on the application 
  • A Certificate of Insurance
    • General liability insurance should cover $300,000 per occurrence
  • Your ID as a Secure and Verifiable Document
  • The Affidavit of Citizenship or your immigration documents
  • The Financial Responsibility Form included in the application
  • Disciplinary sanctions and explanations, if applicable 
  • Proof of work experience and projects
  • Official transcripts, if applicable
  • A $200 non-refundable application fee

After submitting your application, you will await notice of approval. Once approved, you can schedule and take your exam. You’ll have to pass your exam to receive your license. 

Reciprocity

Georgia has reciprocal agreements for individual residential building contractors from Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. You’ll need to fill out a separate application for a reciprocal license.

Additional Documents and Information

Georgia offers a comprehensive list of both their residential contractor and general contractor forms online. You can find more information here about applications, renewals, fees, reinstatements, and more.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top