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South Carolina 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
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In South Carolina, the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations is responsible for the licensing of all contractors. General, mechanical, specialty and manufactured housing contractors must be licensed in order to work in the state.

1

Determine the Type of Contractor License You Need

  • General/Mechanical Contractor - required for anyone who is performing commercial construction with a value of over $5,000.
  • Specialty Contractor - repairs, improvements and construction work, valued at more than $200. Specialty contractors include – but are not limited to – HVAC, plumbers, and electricians.
  • Note: Specialty contractors are not authorized to subcontract in the state of South Carolina.

  • Manufactured Housing Contractor - installs and repairs manufactured homes. There are several manufactured housing licenses including home installer, home contractor and home repair.

2

Pass Your Examination

You can find everything you need to know about examination requirements, fees and processing in the following PSI Candidate Information Bulletin. After registering for your exam you will receive an Eligibility Letter from PSI. Call the number which is included at the bottom of the letter and schedule an appointment at the testing site most convenient for you. Once you have passed your exams, submit your score sheets along with the other required documents for your application.

Prior to sending in your application, you must pass a Technical exam and the Business Management and Law exam.


3

Access South Carolina License Application Forms

All contractor license application forms can be found at the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation website.

  • General and Mechanical contractor license applications can be found here.
  • Specialty contractor license applications can be found here.
  • Manufactured Housing contractor license applications can be found here.

4

Fulfill Requirements and Obtain Required Documents

General and Mechanical Contractor License:

  • A financial statement is required for general contractors not bidding for jobs over $100,000 and mechanical contractors not bidding for jobs over $30,000. You can find the financial statement balance sheet form (DOC #172) here. For larger jobs, an accountant must prepare your financials.
  • If you have a registered corporation, partnership or LLC with the South Carolina Secretary of State, you can attach a copy of the certificate (optional).

Specialty Contractor License:

  • Copy of your driver’s license, Passport or State Issued ID card.
  • Copy of your social security card.
  • Completed and notarized Verification of Lawful Presence Form.
  • If you have been arrested or convicted, you may need a Statewide Criminal Background check, depending on the specialty contractor license you are applying for. The background check should be from the state where the incident occurred, in a sealed envelope from the state agency along with your written explanation. The report should pulled using your full name, date of birth and security number.
  • You must show proof of experience depending on the specialty contractor license you are applying for.
  • Three letters of reference which reflect your character, knowledge and skills. Letters should reflect your hands-on experience and should be signed and dated with the name of the individual providing the reference.

Note: Depending on the specific license type you are applying for (electrical, heating and air conditioning, plumbing, etc.) requirements and required documents may vary.

Manufactured Housing Contractor License:

  • Copy of your driver’s license, Passport or State Issued ID card.
  • Copy of your social security card.
  • A SLED background check is required. Please visit the SLED website or call (803)-737- 9000 for more information.
  • Statewide Criminal Background check(s) from every state you have resided in for the past 7 years.
  • Credit card report
  • Proof of registration with the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
  • Proof of successful completion for repairer, installer, or contractor training.

5

Submit Your South Carolina Contractor License Application

How to fill out your application

Your application can be submitted in one of two ways; you can either submit it online through the South Carolina Labor, Licensing and Regulation website or you can send in a paper application.

Licensing and Application Fees

  • General and Mechanic contractor:
    • $350 licensing fee
    • $175 licensing fee if less than 12 months in licensing period

    Note: Examination fees will vary depending on the type of license you are applying for. Visit the South Carolina Contractor’s License Bulletin for detailed information on examination fees.

  • Specialty contractor (Builder, Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing):
    • $160 license fee if the license is issued on or between July 1st of odd numbered years to June 30th of even numbered years (e.g. 07/01/2015 - 06/30/2016)
    • $80 license fee if the license is issued on or between July 1st of even numbered years to June 30th of odd number years (e.g. 07/01/2016 - 06/30/2017)
    • $100 application fee

    Note: All fees are non-refundable. A returned check fee of up to $30 (or an amount specified by law) may be accessed on all returned funds. Certified Check or Money Order for the $100 application processing fee should be made payable to SCRBC.

  • Manufactured Housing contractor:
    • Manufacturer - $300 license fee
    • Contractor - $100 license fee
    • Installer - $100 license fee
    • Repairer - $100 license fee
    • License Update/Duplication fee $10, Credit Report $10, Licensee List Request Form $10

    Note: All fees are non-refundable. A returned check fee of up to $30 (or specified by local law) may be charged. Certified Check or Money Order for the $100 application processing fee should be made payable to SCRBC.

Mailing Address

General and Specialty Contractor Licenses:


South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
P.O. Box 11329
Columbia, S.C. 29211


Manufactured Housing Contractor License:


Residential Builders Commission
PO Box 11329
Columbia, S.C. 29211-11329


6

Obtain Your Contractor License Bond

You must obtain an original surety bond if jobs exceed $5,000. The surety bond must be the original document signed by the applicant in the amount of $10,000, with the power of attorney attached and your name listed as principal. You cannot list the principal as a company or business.

Note: Hand written bonds are not accepted. Your insurance provider can fill out the license bond form here.

License Expiration and Renewal

Licenses can be renewed online or mailed in. Renewal notices are typically mailed out approximately 2-3 months before licenses expire, though it is the licensee’s responsibility to ensure that licenses are renewed on time. Late penalties may apply if a license is not renewed on time.



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