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Hawaii Contractor License: Step-by-Step Guide

  • Learn how to get licensed in a few easy steps
  • Understand the licensing requirements for your state
  • Learn how to stay compliant
  • Get a free license bond quote in minutes
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1

Determine the Type of Contractor License You Need

In the State of Hawaii you are required to be licensed in order to perform residential, commercial, or public works projects in construction, alterations, or improvements. The Board of Contractors distinguishes between three types of contractors:

  • General engineering contractors - work on tunnels, bridges, highways, harbors, water power projects and more.
  • General building contractors - involved with the construction of structures involving more than two unrelated building trades.
  • Specialty contractors - perform construction work that requires special skills. You can find a detailed list in the Description of Contractors Classification.

Each of these types of licenses could be issued for any of the following business categories:

  • Entity - the most common types of business entities are Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), Limited Liability Company (LLC), Joint Ventures or Corporation Partnerships.
  • Responsible Managing Employee (RME) - a qualified professional, employed by the contracting entity through whom the entity also qualifies for licensure.
  • Sole Proprietor - a person who solely owns the business's assets and is personally liable for its business's debts.

Note: The State of Hawaii does not have a reciprocity agreement with any other state. All applicants must meet the same licensing and examination requirements.


2

Access Hawaii Contractor License Application Forms

You can get your application form by requesting by email or telephone at (808) 586-3000 between 7:45 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Hawaiian Standard Time. You will need to provide the following information in order to get the application:

  • Mailing address
  • Which application you desire

Alternatively, you can download the necessary contractor application form, along with the required documentation:

  • Interactive Application for all contractors - form can be found here
  • Additional classification - application form can be found here
  • Reactivation, status change, bond waiver, conversion - application form can be found here
  • Address/name change/duplicate license request - application form can be found here

Business Category Applications:

  • Entity
  • Sole owner
  • Responsible Managing Employee
    • Application form can be found here
    • Chronological History of Projects Form can be found here
    • File Principal RME Designation - application form can be found here

Note: If you want to perform electrical or plumbing work in the State of Hawaii, you must also obtain an electrician (i.e. ES or EJ) or plumber (PM or PJ) license, or hire an RME if you are an entity.


3

Fulfill Requirements and Obtain Required Documents

Entity:

  • Register your business - you must choose a business type and register it with the Business Registration Division.
  • Liability and workers' compensation insurance - you must submit a certificate of insurance from an insurance company that fully covers comprehensive bodily injury and property damage liability. Below are the minimum limits of liability:
    • Bodily Injury Liability - $100,000 for each person, $300,000 for each occurrence
    • Property Damage Liability - $ 50,000 for each occurrence
  • Responsible Managing Employee (RME) - you must appoint a licensed professional to act as a Responsible Managing Employee. Your business entity must file a separate application form for the RME

Sole-owner:

  • Social Security Number - you must submit your Social Security Number to verify your identity for licensing purposes.
  • Chronological History of Projects - you must submit a form with the history of the projects that you have worked on. This is required for the documentation of your previous supervisory work experience.
  • Experience Certificate - you must fill in the form and submit it along with your application.
  • Financial Statement - you must fill in the form, which should also be submitted along with your application.

Responsible Managing Employee (RME):

  • Chronological History of Projects Form - you must fill in the form and submit it along with your application.
  • File Principal RME Designation - you must fill in the form and also submit it along with your application.

4

Obtain Your Contractor License Bond

If you want to engage in general contracting in the State of Hawaii, The Contractors License Board will require you to submit a Hawaii contractors license bond along with your application.

The minimum amount of the bond is $5,000. A bond form can be found here. Be sure to complete all sections of the form. Both you and your surety must complete and notarize page 2 of the form.


5

Pass Your Examination

In the State of Hawaii for some classifications of contractor’s license you must pass a two-part exam:

  • Part I – Business & Law
  • Part II – Trade

Your application must be approved by the Board before you sit the examination. After the approval of your application, you will be provided with materials for direct registration with the testing service.

The examinations are held every month on Oahu and the neighbor islands of Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. You can get more detailed information regarding the exam at www.prometric.com or by calling (808) 261-8182.


6

Submit Your Hawaii Contractor License Application

How to fill out your application:

Your application along with the additionally required documentation must be completed with black pen or typed. You are allowed to apply for more than one classification per application.

Additional instructions:

You should aim at submitting your application, fees and all supporting documents to the Board’s office before the first Tuesday of the month prior to the scheduled meeting date.

Note: No applications are reviewed in December.

Licensing and Application Fees:

  • Application fee for each application filed - $50
  • Examination fee - $75
  • License fee – Contracting entity
    • $545.00 if licensed between October 1st of the even-numbered year and September 30th of the odd-numbered year
    • $415.00 if licensed between October 1st of the odd-numbered year and September 30th of the even-numbered year
    • License fee - RME:
      • if licensed between October 1st of the even-numbered year and September 30th of the odd-numbered year - $335
      • if licensed between October 1st of the odd-numbered year and September 30th of the even numbered year - $255.00
    • Renewal fee
      • Contracting entities - $275
      • Responsible managing employees - $160
    • Examination materials
      • Hawaii Contractor's Reference Manual - $45
      • Hawaii Contractor's Part I Business and Law Practice Exam - $25
      • Hawaii Contractor's Study Guide - $50
      • Hawaii Contractor Study Program ( reference manual, practice exam and study guide) - $100

    Mailing Address:

    Mail your application with the attached documentation to:

    State of Hawaii
    Dept. of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
    Construction License Board
    335 Merchant St., Room 301
    PO Box 3469
    Honolulu, HI 96801

    License Expiration and Renewal

    All licenses expire on September 30th of even-numbered years.



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