In Maryland, general contractors do not need a license to perform work in the state. A license is only required if you wish to work on home improvement projects or do electrical, plumbing or HVACR work. The licensing process is handled by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR).
Determine the Type of Contractor License You Need
- Home Improvement License - Contractors performing any work that involves repair, replacement, remodeling or alteration of any part of a residential building are required to have a Maryland Home Improvement License.
- Master Electrician License - To perform electrical work you are required to obtain a master electrician license.
- Plumber’s License - If you wish to do plumbing work you must get a master or journey plumbing license.
- HVACR License - To perform HVACR work you must obtain either a master (restricted), limited contractor or a journeyman license.
Access Maryland License Application Forms
- The Home Improvement License application, financial statement and surety bond forms can be found here.
- For Master Electrician License application page and further information click here.
- For Plumber License application page and further information you can click here.
- Application forms and additional information for HVACR License can be found here.
You can also request a mailed application by calling (334) 272-5030. Both general contractor and subcontractor license applications include a detailed list of requirements.
Fulfill Requirements and Obtain Required Documents
Applicants for Home Improvement License are required to take the following steps:
- Register your business name
Contact the Maryland Home Improvement Commission to check name availability (at 410-230-6309) prior to registering your name. Once your name is confirmed, register with the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation.
- Provide proof of net worth
To obtain your Home Improvement License you are required to provide a financial statement with your application. Note that the net worth (assets - liabilities) must be at least $20,000.
Note: If you are not able to provide a positive net worth, you may obtain a two year $20,000 surety bond instead.
- Provide real estate and bank statements
If real estate is listed on your financial statement you must provide a copy of your current property assessment notice(s). You are also required to enclose copies of the last three months of personal bank statements. Note that business accounts are not taken into consideration.
Note: Your application should have a notarized signature of co-owner(s) of real estate, bank accounts or other assets (if any).
- Provide a credit report
Along with your application you will need to submit a current, original credit report (no older than 90 days). You can obtain a credit report via Annual Credit Report.
- Submit certificate of liability insurance
Proof of general liability insurance of $50,000 or more must be submitted. The certificate must include the name of the applicant and the company’s name and the Maryland Home Improvement Commission should be designated as the certificate holder.
- Submit a copy of conviction records
You are required to provide a copy of all conviction records regarding felonies (and any misdemeanor convictions relating to a home improvement transaction) along with a letter of explanation of each conviction plus proof of completion of parole/probation.
To obtain your Home Improvement License, you must pass a contractors’ exam covering laws and regulations. The examination services are handled by PSI and the exam is given daily from Monday through Friday. Testing centers are located in Baltimore, College Park, Salisbury, Frederick, Hagerstown, Lanham and Crofton. Test dates are by appointment only and confirmed in writing.
To take the exam you must make an appointment with PSI by contacting them at 1-800-367-1565, by email at [email protected] or via their website. A confirmation of the exam date and time will be sent in writing.
Note: After receiving a passing score on the exam you have two years to apply for a license before the test score expires.
Obtain Your Contractor License Bond
In the state of Maryland all Home Improvement License applicants must provide a positive net worth statement with their contractor license bond application.
A two year surety bond in the amount of $20,000 can be filled in place of the financial statement in the event you do not meet the required net worth. The bond must show the person and business name, and be signed by the applicant. The surety bond forms can be accessed here.
There may also be local requirements for contractor licensing and bonding. Please contact the city or county where you anticipate working for complete information.
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Submit Your Maryland Contractor License Application
How to fill out your application
- Please complete and print (plainly in ink) your Home Improvement Application. Make sure all fields are completed and all supporting documentation is attached.
- The Master Electrician and Plumber License applications have to be completed online.
Licensing and Application Fees
A check or money order (with the application fees) must be made payable to the Maryland Home Improvement Commission and sent with the application.
- New license application:
- Application fee: $250
- Guaranty Fund Contribution: $100
- Processing fee: $20
- Exam fee: $63
Further information regarding fees can be found on DLLR’s Forms & Fees page.
Submit your Home Improvement License application package along with a photo and relevant fees to:
Maryland Home Improvement Commission P.O. Box 17409 Baltimore, Maryland 21297-1409