If you’re dreaming about country roads, West Virginia might be calling you home. For those in the construction department, you may be in luck. According to the Institute of Economic Research, contractors in WV make a generous $112,950 on average – that’s roughly $54 per hour, plus overtime.
For those wondering how to become a contractor in West Virginia, it can be done in a few simple steps.
- Pass a contractor’s exam
- Obtain your Business Registration and Tax Number
- Submit insurance coverage
- Hold a bond
- Complete the application
Now let’s dissect each step further.
Do You Need a Contractor’s License in West Virginia?
According to the Virginia Legislature, all persons who want to perform contracting work must be duly licensed to ensure skilled craftsmanship for both public and private projects.
The exemptions include work by a federal or state employee, selling finished products which are not a permanent part of the home, work performed by the owner/lessee of agricultural property, and other entities listed under section 30-42-6.
Becoming a West Virginia Contractor
Contractors in West Virginia are monitored by the WV Division of Labor, so you must follow these steps to become licensed and legal worker in the state.
- Contractor’s Exam
All contractors must take and pass the ProV contractor’s exam before applying for a license. Depending on your classification, you may also have to take a trade exam.
To determine which exams you need, contact the WV Contractor Licensing Board via email at CLBoard@wv.gov. After explaining your scope of work, they will verify your classification(s) and tell you which exams are required.
Sometimes, the person applying for a contractor’s license will not be the person taking the exam.
For example, if you would like your registered business to hold a contractor’s license, you can list a qualifying party to take the exam on behalf of the business. This person must be an owner, member, officer, or another full-time employee of the business. They must meet the testing requirements through their work experience and also oversee all contracting work completed by the business.
Once you know who your qualifying party is and which exams they need to take, call ProV at 866-720-7768 or 304-404-0190, extension 3 to schedule the exams.
- Business Registration & Tax Number
All entities need a Business Registration Tax Number. For information on how to get this number, call 304-558-3333 or 800-982-8297.
Most entities need to register with the WV Secretary of State. To see if this applies to your business, call 866-767-8636 or visit the WV One Stop Business Center online or in person.
- Insurance Coverage
Your business must have proof of Worker’s Compensation, Unemployment Compensation, and general liability insurance.
- Worker’s Compensation information through the WV Insurance Commissioner’s Office
- Unemployment Compensation information through Workforce West Virginia.
If you are covered by another state and are exempt from WV’s insurance requirement, you must submit proof of coverage elsewhere.
Those performing commercial construction with employees need to verify their wage bond status through the DOL Wage & Hour Section. Others will need a wage bond status affidavit.
- Complete the Application
Once you have completed steps 1-4, you can complete your WV contractor license application. Follow all instructions, pay the fee, and sign wherever indicated before submission.