How to Get a Contractor license in Arkansas?

The building construction industry is huge all over the world. General contractors or home building contractors are in high demand to oversee projects that require constructing buildings and residential homes. A general contractor or home builder is responsible for overseeing a construction project’s entire process from start to finish. Before you can start submitting bids to home buyers, you will need a license from your state’s regulatory body. In Arkansas Board of Contractors regulates the building construction industry. The board entrusts the Licensing and Certification Division to process licensure applications as a Building Contractor or Residential Builder.

The Arkansas Board of Contractors issues general contractor licenses, which allow individuals to work as general contractors legally. The board also investigates and disciplines violators of the Arkansas Construction Code Act. Residents and nonresidents can apply for a license from the Board of Contractors.

How to Get a General Contractor License in Arkansas?

In this section, we break it down into steps in order to get the contract license in Arkansas State. So let get started!

Determine the Type of Contractor License You Need

The first thing you need to know is what type of license are you looking to apply for. There are different of licenses as below:

Residential Builders License: This licensed contractor could build a new single-family residence and perform structural changes, remodels, or additions to all construction projects over $2,000. A residential builder’s license will not permit a commercial project over $50,000.

Residential Remodelers’ License: This license lets you do major structural changes to single-family residences that are over $2,000.

A residential contractor’s license is not sufficient for large commercial projects or new construction.

Home Improvement License: If you’re a licensed contractor who wants to work on single-family homes, this license is for you. You’ll need it if the project costs more than $2,000.

A home improvement license will not enable you to do commercial projects, new builds, or major alterations.

Commercial license: This authorizes you to work for projects over $50,000.

Subcontractor registration certificate: This license allows a subcontractor to work in Arkansas who’s contracted with someone else who has an Arkansas contractor’s license. A subcontractor’s registration certificate is only valid if the prime contractor holds the appropriate license for every contracted project.

Therefore, you need to determine the types of licenses you want to apply for as each type of license may have different licensing requirements and supporting documents.

Submit the Arkansas Contractors License Application Form

After you have determined the types of license to be applied, you will need to submit the application form and mail to the below address:

CONTRACTORS LICENSING BOARD

4100 RICHARDS ROAD

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS 72117

Main Phone Number (501) 372-4661

FAX Number (501) 372-2247

Web Site: www.arkansas.gov/clb

As mentioned above, there are some different requirements for each types of contractor license in Arkansas.

Requirements to Apply for Residential Builder License

You must complete the application form in the office 3 weeks prior to the committee meeting to be reviewed. You can find the schedule of committee meeting by checking the website:  www.arkansas.gov/clb

Below are the requirements to apply for the residential builder license in Arkansas:

  • If you already have a commercial license, you just simply need to add the residential builder in the commercial license;
  • On the residential application form, you need to complete page 3,7 and 8 (if applicable), 9, and page 10 (for both the Affidavit and the Affidavit Regarding Bidding or Performance of Work);
  • Pay the filing fee of $100 to the Contractor Licensing Board. The fee is non-refundable;
  • Provide 3 reference forms. The reference must provide proof of your 4 years-expense in construction. The reference should not be obtained from supplier or bankers unless they have engaged and observed your work;
  • Proof of Arkansas Business and Law passed test score;
  • Provide a current compiled Balance Sheet. No Income Statement is required. You can fill out the Balance Sheet Form. You can print out the blank Balance Sheet form at t www.arkansas.gov/clb
  • Attach a copy of the articles/filings from the entity’s Secretary of State’s Office if your application is for a Corporation, LLC, or LLP. If you register as a fictitious name, you need to attach a copy of the fictitious name registration;
  • Must provide workers’ compensation insurance if you have one or more employee;
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Requirements to Apply for Commercial License

Like the residential builder license, you must complete the application form in the office 3 weeks prior to the committee meeting to be reviewed. You can find the schedule of committee meetings by checking the website:  www.arkansas.gov/clb. The commercial license is divided into restricted and unrestricted commercial licenses. The limited commercial license can only do work less than $750,000 including, but not limited to, material and labor. While unrestricted commercial licenses can do commercial projects of any size. The two licenses have slightly different requirements.

Below are the requirements to apply for the restricted commercial license in Arkansas:

  • On the commercial application form, you need to complete page 2, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12 (if applicable), 13, and page 14 (for both the Affidavit and the Affidavit Regarding Bidding or Performance of Work);
  • Pay the filing fee of $100 to the Contractor Licensing Board. The fee is non-refundable;
  • Provide 3 reference forms. The reference must provide proof of your 4 years-expense in construction. The reference should not be obtained from supplier or bankers unless they have engaged and observed your work;
  • Provide a fully executed $10,000 contractor’s bond;
  • Proof of Arkansas Business and Law passed test score;
  • Must submit a compiled financial statements from CPA. The date of the financial statements is prepared must be less than one year old. The financial statement should include the following:
    •  Report letter from independent CPA;
    • Balance Sheet prepared in accordance with GAAP or an Income Tax Basis
    • No footnotes are required
  • Submit a Bond in lieu of a financial statement. You can your surety bond in lieu of a financial statement at www.arkansas.gov/clb under FORMS.
  • Attach a copy of the articles/filings from the entity’s Secretary of State’s Office if your application is for a Corporation, LLC, or LLP. If you register as a fictitious name, you need to attach a copy of the fictitious name registration;
  • Must provide workers’ compensation insurance if you have one or more employee;
  • If you also apply for a residential license with a classification or specialty difference from that of the commercial license, you will need to complete a new application for a residential license. In this case, there is no additional fee is required; however, you must be completed and references given for the appropriate classification or specialty(s) requested to work in the Residential industry.

For unrestricted commercial licenses, the licensing requirements are the same as the restricted commercial license except on the financial statement submission. For unrestricted commercial license, a complied report on a financial statement from CPA must include the following information:

  • A reviewed report or audited opinion letter from an independent CPA;
  • Balance Sheet prepared in accordance with GAAP or an Income Tax Basis (Accrual Method);
  • All footnotes on the Balance Sheet are required.

Requirements to Apply for Residential Remodeler License

Just like the residential builder and commercial licenses, you must complete the application form in the office 3 weeks prior to the committee meeting to be reviewed. You can find the schedule of committee meetings by checking the website:  www.arkansas.gov/clb. The residential remodeler license is divided into restricted and unrestricted residential remodeler licenses. The limited residential remodeler license can only do the residential home improvement projects with a value less than $50,000 including, but not limited to, material and labor. While unrestricted residential remodeler license can do residential home improvement projects of any size. The two licenses have slightly different requirements.

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Below are the requirements to apply for the restricted residential remodeler license in Arkansas:

  • On the residential remodeler application form, you need to complete page 2, 5, 9, 10 (if applicable), 11, and page 12;
  • Pay the filing fee of $50 to the Contractor Licensing Board. The fee is non-refundable;
  • Provide 3 reference forms. The reference must provide proof of your 2 years-expense in construction. The reference should not be obtained from supplier or bankers unless they have engaged and observed your work;
  • Proof of Arkansas Business and Law passed test score;
  • Attach a copy of the articles/filings from the entity’s Secretary of State’s Office if your application is for a Corporation, LLC, or LLP. If you register as a fictitious name, you need to attach a copy of the fictitious name registration;

For unrestricted residential remodeler licenses, the licensing requirements are the same as the restricted residential remodeler license. However, there are two additional requirements as below:

  • Provide current compiled Balance Sheet less than 1-year-old. In Income Statement is required. You can find the blank Balance Sheet Form at www.arkansas.gov/clb
  • Must provide workers’ compensation insurance if you have one or more employee;

Requirements to Apply for Home Improvement Specialty License

Just like the above residential builder, commercial, and residential builder licenses, you must complete the application form in the office 3 weeks prior to the committee meeting to be reviewed. You can find the schedule of committee meetings by checking the website:  www.arkansas.gov/clb. The home improvement specialty license is divided into restricted and unrestricted home improvement specialty licenses. The limited home improvement specialty license can only do the residential home improvement projects with a value less than $50,000 including, but not limited to, material and labor. While unrestricted home improvement specialty license can do residential home improvement projects of any size. The two licenses have slightly different requirements.

Below are the requirements to apply for the restricted home improvement specialty license in Arkansas:

  • On the home improvement specialty application form, you need to complete page 2, 5, 8, 9 (if applicable), and page 10;
  • Pay the filing fee of $50 to the Contractor Licensing Board. The fee is non-refundable;
  • Circle “Specialty” on page 6;
  • You must prove your experience for specialty being requested on page 7. If you are seeking multiple specialties, it would be necessary to provide information on more than one project;
  • Attach a copy of the articles/filings from the entity’s Secretary of State’s Office if your application is for a Corporation, LLC, or LLP. If you register as a fictitious name, you need to attach a copy of the fictitious name registration

For unrestricted home improvement specialty licenses, the licensing requirements are the same as the restricted home improvement specialty license. However, there are two additional requirements as below:        

  • Provide current compiled Balance Sheet less than 1-year-old. In Income Statement is required. You can find the blank Balance Sheet Form at www.arkansas.gov/clb
  • Must provide workers’ compensation insurance if you have one or more employee;

Requirements to Apply for Commercial Subcontractor Registration

Just like all the above licenses, you must complete the application form in the office 3 weeks prior to the committee meeting to be reviewed. You can find the schedule of committee meetings by checking the website:  www.arkansas.gov/clb.

Below are the requirements to apply for the commercial subcontractor registration in Arkansas:

  • Pay the filing fee of $100 to the Contractor Licensing Board. The fee is non-refundable;
  • On the commercial subcontractor registration form, you need to complete page 4, 7, 8, and 9 (if applicable);
  • Circle page 5 and 6 on classification for which the contractor is registering;
  • Provide a fully executed $10,000 contractor’s bond and this must be signed by the principal along with the title and federal ID number;
  • Must provide workers’ compensation insurance if you have one or more employee;
  • Provide documentation from your entity’s Secretary of State’s office indicating that the Corporation, LLC, Partnership, LP, or LLP is in good standing with said Secretary of State.
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Pass the Contractor License Examination

For both commercial and residential contractor licenses, you will need to take and pass the business and law test. For a home improvement specialty license, there is no requirement to pass the business and law test.

The business and law test is given by an independent test company called P.S.I. If you have any questions about the test, you can call to 1-855-257-1620.

The examination fee of the business and law test is $84. This is non-refundable fee.  P.S.I will send the test result immediately after finish the test.

NASCLA accepted?

The NASCLA stands for the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies. The NASCLA was created to establish uniformity and consistency in-state contractor license laws. All fifty states are members, and many offer their own state contractors licensing exam. Yes, Arkansas does accept the NASCLA, and it is possible to take the exam in Arkansas. What should I do if I fail a test?

Suppose you fail the Arkansas contractor licensing exam. In that case, there are ways to make it easier to pass the exam and qualify for a license on the next attempt. By attending a NASCLA approved training course, your grade will be erased from your record. There is no time limit for taking the training course, so you have plenty of time to complete the course and re-take the test.

Besides NASCLA approved courses, individuals can take advantage of the free material offered by NASCLA found on their website. The website includes information on how to pass the current Arkansas contractor licensing exam and old exams that might have helped you pass other states’ licensing exams.

Obtain Your Arkansas Contractor License Bond

In Arkansas, the contractor license bond is required only for commercial license; for both restricted and unrestricted commercial license as well as commercial subcontractor registration. The bond is at $10,000 must be signed by an owner, officer, member, or partner of the company, prior to mailing the original bond to the board’s office. If you do not execute the $10,000 bond, your license will not be released even though it has been approved.

Arkansas Contractor License Renewal

In Arkansas, all contractor licenses shall need to be renewed annually. The online renewal will be available approximately 15th days prior to your expiration date. Below is the license renewal fee for each type of license as well as the late fee:

  • Commercial license: The renewal fee is $50 and a late fee is $100
  • Residential Builder: The renewal fee is $50 and a late fee is $100
  • Home Improvement – Remodeler: The renewal fee is $25 and a late fee is $50
  • Home Improvement – Unlimited: The renewal fee is $25 and a late fee is $50
  • Home Improvement – Limited: The renewal fee is $25 and a late fee is $50

Reference and Useful Links

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