Determine the Type of Contractor License You Need
In the state of Virginia, contractors are licensed by the Board for Contractors, which recognizes two components of the contractor license: a class – which determines what, if any restrictions are placed on the size of contracts/projects that may be performed – and a specialty, which determines what type of work the licensed contractor is allowed to perform.
The Board of Contractors licenses individual tradesmen who work as plumbers, electricians, gas fitting workers, HVAC contractors backflow preventers and building energy analysts, or as elevator mechanics.
- Class A - works on single contracts for $120,000 or contracts totaling $750,000 or more
- Class B - works on single contracts for $10,000 or more but less than $120,000, or contracts totaling $150,000 or more but less than $750,000 over a one-year period
- Class C - works on single contracts for $1,000 or more but less than $10,000 or contracts totaling less than $150,000 over a one-year period
To receive a specialty on your license (identified as three letter abbreviations printed on the bottom of the license), the Qualified Individual must have experience in that particular specialty, and must either hold individual license/certification or pass an examination. It is vital to choose the correct classification and specialty, as any work outside the scope of this license may be subject to disciplinary and/or legal action.
Note: The State of Virginia has multiple reciprocity agreements with contractor licensing in other states. Detailed information on these reciprocity agreements can be found here.
Access Virginia Contractor License Application Forms
Fulfill Requirements and Obtain Required Documents
- Register a business entity: In the State of Virginia licenses for contractors are issued to business entities, not to individuals. Therefore, you must create a business entity. Find more information on how to do that here.
- Register the name of the company - After choosing a name for your business, you must then register it with the appropriate authorities:
- If your company is a corporation, LLC or limited partnership, you must register both your company and any names used by that company with the Virginia State Corporation Commission.
- Fictitious names of partnerships and sole proprietorships must be registered with the court in the jurisdiction in which the company is located.
- Appoint Responsible Management: You are required to identify the individuals taking part in your business - officers, members, partners, and owners. These individuals are responsible for the license and for ensuring that all regulations and statutes are met. Their identification depends on the types of business entity you choose to register.
- Sole proprietorships are only required to identify the individual (1) who owns the business
- Partnerships must identify the partners; corporations, the officers; LLCs, the members/managers, etc.
- Appoint a qualified individual - For each specialty desired on the license, you must have a Qualified Individual appointed. This individual could be a either:
- A full-time employee (minimum 30 hours per week) and not a 1099 employee
- One of the members of Responsible Management
- Class A - five years’ specialty experience
- Class B - three years’ specialty experience
- Class C - two years’ specialty experience
- Financial Verification - Financial verification is required for Classes A and B. You may either file your financial statement to verify net worth or post a surety bond in the required amount:
- Contractor Experience Verification
- Verification forms can be found here.
- Pre-license course: Regardless of class and type of license you are applying for, you are required to have an individual on your team who has successfully completed a pre-license education course which has been approved by the Board for Contractors. You may download a list of approved providers here.
Note: A professional – such as an attorney or CPA – can help you to determine what type of business entity will suit your needs best.
Note: Remember to attach any supporting documentation when you’re sending your application.
In order to complete the application, you must provide the names of these individuals, their birthdates, Social Security Numbers/Virginia DMV Control Number, and addresses, including a copy of a government-issued photo ID.
Each Qualified Individual must have experience in the specialty they will be linked to. For each license class, a different amount of experience is required:
Specialty experience that may be considered applicable can be found here.
When completing the application, you must provide the names of these qualified individuals, their birthdates, Social Security Numbers/Virginia DMV Control Number, personal address, and a copy of a government issued photo ID.
Note: If you plan to do work as an individual tradesman, you may also be subject to local ordinances, laws, and other requirements imposed by other state agencies, courts, and/or certain localities. Any queries about local specifications should be directed to the community in which you plan to practice your trade.
Submit Your Virginia Contractor License Application
You can choose between interactive and static application forms:
- Interactive: Interactive applications can be filled and sent electronically or downloaded for future reference.
- Static: Static applications can only be printed and completed by hand. The main advantage of this type of application is that you can access them on a variety of electronic devices, however processing will be slower.
Licensing and Application Fees
Class A exam - $60
Class B exam - $40
Class A license - $230
Class B license - $205
Class C license - $150
Tradesmen examination fee - $130
Tradesman reciprocity fee - $130
Note: Be sure to make your money orders and checks payable to the “Treasurer of Virginia”. Deposits don’t guarantee application approval.
Submit your printed and completed static license applications to:
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation 9960 Mayland Drive Suite 400 Richmond, Virginia 23233-1485
Email your interactive application to: [email protected]
Pass Your Examination
Qualified Individuals for the specialties listed in the Board of Contractors’ Requirements for Qualified Individuals – in addition to the experience requirements – must successfully complete a technical examination. Exams are given by PSI Examination Services. Tradesmen exam applications can be found here.
Obtain Your Contractor License Bond
Since April 2017, a new bill enables certain contractors in Virginia to post a surety bond, rather than providing financial statements to verify net worth, as an option to receive licensure. More information can be found here.
Bonding requirements vary between different cities in the State of Virginia. Some local authorities may require construction contractors to be bonded before they can be licensed. For example:
- The City of Falls Church requires home improvement, right of way, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas fitter and tree contractors to post surety bonds.
- Prince William County and Fairfax County - Home improvement contractors in both counties must be bonded.
- Roanoke County - the required bond amount for contractors varies depending on the type of construction work and the size of the contract.
You should verify the required amount of bond coverage prior to bonding.
License Expiration and Renewal
Contractor licenses are valid for 2 years from the last day of the month the license was issued.