How to Get a General Contractor License in Kentucky: License Requirements

When working in the construction industry, obtaining a Kentucky contractor’s license is a major step forward. It will allow you to take your contracting business to the next level by opening a door full of opportunities. Any plumbing, elevator, electrical, or HVAC contractor operating in Kentucky must be approved. General contractor licenses are regulated by the city/county, while this form of license is issued by the state.

Obtaining a license can be a difficult and intimidating operation. You’ll want to make sure you fill out the correct paperwork, apply for the appropriate license, and study for the exam with the appropriate study materials and practice tests.

If you want to own a contracting company, you’ll also need to comply with state and federal business and tax regulations, as well as receive contractor’s liability insurance. Follow the general contracting standards, licensing definitions, and related fees for the major cities and counties in Kentucky, and review liability insurance premiums for the particular locations that you will operate to ensure you are working under the state laws and regulations while doing general contracting work.

Before you can work in Kentucky, there are a few standards that must be met. You must have a state-issued license if you work in any of the following industries:

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning

Plumbing

Boilers

Elevator

Electrical

Fire protection

Why do I want to urge a Kentucky Contractors License?

Do you want to work as an electrician, plumber, elevator operator, or HVAC technician? If this is the case, you must obtain a license from the Kentucky Department of Housing, Building, and Construction. That’s right, folks, it’s a legal requirement.

But there’s a valid reason for it. Consumers are protected by the state from cons and dangerous working conditions. There are some advantages of working as a contractor as well. Consider the following scenario:

It safeguards your business and its employees.

Worst-case situations are certainly not what you want to consider. However, when starting a company, it’s vital to take precautions. After all, you never know when anything unexpected could occur. In the event of an accident, injury, or damage, you must have general liability and other business benefits, such as workers’ compensation.

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It lends credibility to your business.

A state seal of approval looks fantastic on your resume or CV. New customers will locate you in the state’s directory of approved contractors, and they’ll be more likely to recruit you if they see that you have the necessary qualifications and certifications.

Gives You Credibility

Clients would like you even if you have a license. A licensed contractor is more likely to earn jobs than a handyman. Clients are suspicious of recruiting someone who needs the requisite qualifications and certifications these days. Get a license to spare yourself the hassle!

Assists you in finding more jobs and better wages

Having a license would help you make more money. It would pave the way for bigger, more profitable ventures. Not to mention that without a warrant, you are unable to do any electrical, HVAC, elevator, or plumbing work. Getting one tends to prevent court problems.

Who Needs a Kentucky Contractors License?

The contractor registration and application process for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government is reasonably simple, and it only allows you to register and apply for one — or more — of three licenses.

General Contractor:

General contractors have the authority to supervise, arrange, and perform partial or complete work on multiple unrelated building trades or crafts. They must show proof of at least $500,000 in premises, product, and completed operations liability insurance coverage for each occurrence.

General Contractor, Residential Only:

For the building of single-family homes up to four-family homes, remodeling and supervising, arranging, and performing partial or complete work on more than two unrelated building trades or crafts are possible. Only for residents General contractors must provide evidence of $250,000 in property, commodity, and completed operations liability insurance for each incident.

Specialty Contractor:

For commercial, manufacturing, public works, and residential jobs, as well as those who specialize in two unrelated construction trades or crafts. Demolition, electrical, HVAC, framing, and other specialty contractor trades are available. Specialty Contractors must provide evidence of at least $100,000 in property, commodity, and completed operations liability insurance coverage for each incident.

How to Get a General Contractor License in Kentucky? – Licensing and Business Registration in Kentucky

In order to get a general contractor license in Kentucky, you must obtain a business license. Additionally, if you intend to run a contracting business, you can use Kentucky’s One Stop Business Portal to register your company, obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number, and complete all other tax requirements. In order to get a general contractor license, you need to fulfill the below requirements:

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Tax Identity Numbers and Registration in Kentucky

Businesses operating in Kentucky must obtain one or more tax-specific registration numbers, licenses, or permits, such as income tax withholding, sales and use tax (seller’s permit), or unemployment benefits tax. For more details on company identification and tax duties, contact the Kentucky Department of Revenue.

Unemployment Tax Conditions and Forms in Kentucky

In certain circumstances, businesses with employers are expected to pay unemployment benefit fees. You must file your company with the Kentucky Job Center’s Office of Work and Training if you are eligible to pay these taxes.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements and Forms in Kentucky

Workers’ compensation insurance is required for businesses with employees and may be purchased by a private carrier, self-insured, or from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Labor Cabinet’s Workers’ Compensation page.

Specific General Contractor License Requirements in Louisville, KY

In Louisville, the application and licensure as a general contractor are handled by the Louisville Metro Department of Codes and Regulations. In order to perform or conduct any general contracting work in this county, you will need to meet the required criteria in this county. Therefore, in order to become a general contractor in Louisville, the Louisville Metro Department of Codes and Regulations would require you to be bonded and insured, as well as meet the following requirements:

  • Obtain an occupational license number from the Louisville-Jefferson County Revenue Commission.
  • Provide evidence of unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits, or sign an affidavit stating that the business does not have any staff.
  • Provide proof of a certificate of insurance for a commercial general liability insurance policy with a minimum limit of $250,000 per individual or $500,000 combined, including coverage for goods and completed operations.
  • For specific types of projects, certain contractors may be needed to obtain a surety bond from bonding firm. Costs of bonds may vary by project and are not included in the cost of licensure.
  • Fill out an application form.
  • Finally, you need to pay all application and licensing fees.

Registration and Licensing Fee in Louisville, KY

In Louisville, there are two types of general contractor license. These are Building type A and Building type B. The license fee of these two types of license are difference. Below are the license fee of these two licenses:

  • Building Type A: The annual fee is $125
  • Building Type B: The annual fee is $50

Specific General Contractor License Requirements in Lexington/Fayette County

In Lexington/Fayette, you can obtain the contractor license through the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government. Following are the key licensing requirements to obtain the general contractor license in Lexington or Fayette:

  • Your company information: This include business name, business structure, partners, etc.
  • Any contractors’ licenses you’ll currently hold in Kentucky.
  • Proof of general liability insurance with a minimum limit of $100,000 and workers’ compensation insurance. Instead of workers compensation, you’ll sign and notarize an Affidavit of Exemption if you don’t have any staff.
  • An application form that has been submitted and signed.
  • All application and licensing fees are included.
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Registration and Licensing Fee in Lexington/Fayette County

The Lexington Fayette Urban County Government will charge an initial and annual fee for each contractor license. You must pay the following fees for each license offered:

  • General Contractor: $200 annual fee with initial fee of $40
  • General Contractor, residential only: $75 annual fee with initial fee of $40
  • Specialty Contractor: $30 annual fee with annual fee of $40

Specific General Contractor License Requirements in Bowling Green, KY

All contractor licenses in Bowling Green/Warren County will be approved and issued by the Bowling Green/Warren County Contractors Licensing Board. You must follow the rules and regulations of the licensing board before receiving any building permits for renovation, remodeling, or construction management. In Bowling Green/Warren County, there are only two licenses; general contractor and specialty contractor. The following things must be included in your Contractor License Application:

  • Name, business structure, partners, and other details about your company.
  • Any Kentucky contractor’s licenses you currently possess.
  • Proof of general liability insurance with a minimum limit of $100,000 and workers’ compensation insurance. Instead of workers compensation, you can sign and notarize an Affidavit of Exemption if you don’t have any staff.
  • An application form that has been submitted and signed.
  • All application and licensing fees are required.

Registration and Licensing Fee in Bowling Green, KY

The Bowling Green/Warren County Contractors Licensing Board will charge license fee for each contractor license. You must pay the following fees for each license offered:

  • Registration:  $250
  • Specialty Contractor: $100

Exam for Kentucky Contractors

Exams and education requirements are determined by your local governing agency because most licenses in Kentucky are regulated at the city/county level. To find out which contractor licenses require an exam, contact your local licensing agency.

Lookup and Verification of Kentucky Contractor Licenses

Visit the Louisville-Jefferson Government’s Online Permit Search to look up and check a contractor permit in Louisville/Jefferson County by license number, address, or name.

Visit the Official Municipal Website of Bowling Green, Kentucky’s contractor search database to identify participating contractors in Bowling Green/Warren County by company name, license form, or contractor name.

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