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Wisconsin 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

A range of trades and professional services require obtaining a Wisconsin contractor license so that you can operate legally in the state. The two categories that require a contractor license bond, however, are the following:

Dwellings, Structures and Sites license general contractors can obtain a Wisconsin Dwelling Contractor, Dwelling Contractor-Qualified, or Dwelling Contractor- Restricted certificate. There are seven different classes of licenses and a separate license for manufacturers. More detailed information on each different class and manufacturers’ license can be found here.

Mechanical contractor’s license:

  • HVAC Contractors - if you want to register as a HVAC contractor,you must cover one of the following requirements:
    • Experience: you must have at least 1,000 hours per year for at least 4 years of experience in supervising or performing the design, installation, servicing or maintenance of HVAC systems or equipment.
    • Education: must have at least 4 years of attendance in a school of mechanical engineering or in an accredited college, university, or technical, vocational or apprenticeship school in an HVAC related program.
    • Experience and Education: you must have a combination of 4 years of experience and education.
    • More detailed information can be found here.
  • Liquefied Gas Suppliers: if you want to engage in the business of filling containers with liquefied petroleum gas that is intended to be used directly from the containers as fuel, you should be licensed as Liquefied Gas Supplier by the Department of Safety and Professional Service, unless:
    • Your business is engaged in only filling containers that have a water capacity of less than 4 pounds.
    • The filling of the containers with liquefied petroleum gas is for the person's or the entity's own use.
    • More detailed information can be found here.
  • Liquefied Gas Supplier Restricted: if you are licensed as a Liquefied Gas Supplier Restricted you will be limited to filling only Department of Transportation cylinders with liquefied petroleum gas.

2

Fulfill Requirements and Obtain Required Documents

Dwellings, Structures and Sites license:

  • Business Representative: as an applicant you must act as either an owner of the contracting business, a partner in the contracting business applying on behalf of a partnership, or the chairman of the board or chief executive officer applying on behalf of the contracting corporation.
  • Workers’ Compensation Requirements: you must attest by signing page two of the application that your business is in compliance with workers' compensation requirements
  • Unemployment Compensation Requirements: your business must be in compliance with unemployment compensation requirements. You can attest to that by signing page two of the application form.
  • Proof of Financial Responsibility: you must provide one of the following proofs of financial responsibility:
    • Surety Bond
    • Liability Insurance

Mechanical license:

  • Liquefied Gas Supplier
    • Business Representative: you are eligible for applying if you are the owner of the contracting business, a partner in the contracting business applying on behalf of a partnership, or the chairman of the board or chief executive officer applying on behalf of the contracting corporation.
    • Commercial General Liability Insurance: you should maintain commercial general liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence with an annual aggregate of $2,000,000 for compensating 3rd parties for bodily injury and property damages for incidents associated with the release of liquefied petroleum gas.
  • Liquefied Gas Supplier Restricted:
    • Business Representative: you are only eligible to apply for a Liquefied Gas Supplier license if you are the owner of the contracting business, a partner in the contracting business applying on behalf of a partnership or the chairman of the board or chief executive officer applying on behalf of the contracting corporation.
    • Commercial General Liability Insurance: if you are a retailer who only fills Department of Transportation (DOT) cylinders or who only fills containers for engine and recreational vehicle fueling systems, you must maintain commercial general liability insurance in the amount of $500,000 per occurrence with an annual aggregate of $1,000,000 for compensating 3rd parties for bodily injury and property damages for incidents that occurred during the release of liquefied petroleum gas.

3

Obtain Your Contractor License Bond

The total bond amount in the State of Wisconsin will depend on the bond category, the type of bond, and the size of your business. To get a Wisconsin surety bond, you must pay a certain percentage of the total bond amount, which depends on several factors, such as the bond category, the applicant’s credit score, and the applicant’s financial strength.

Dwelling, Structures and Sites - if you use a bond of less than $25,000, you are not allowed to perform any work on a dwelling for which the estimated cost of completion is greater than the amount of the bond and therefore work with a restricted license not full. In such case you are only allowed to apply for a Dwelling Contractor Restricted certification.

Liquefied Gas Supplier: a surety bond must be issued by a surety company listed as an acceptable surety for federal bonds in the most recently published U.S. Department of the Treasury Circular 570. The bond must be executed in the name of the State of Wisconsin in the amount of $500,000 per occurrence, with an annual aggregate of $1,000,000 for compensating 3rd parties for bodily injury and property damages.

Note: As some cities have their own bonding requirements (like Green Bay and Milwaukee), be sure to check with your local municipality for bonding requirements.


4

Pass Your Examination

There are no examinations for Dwellings, Structures and Sites licenses or Liquefied Gas Supplier licenses.


5

Access Wisconsin License Application Forms

  • Dwellings, Structures and Sites license - application forms can be found here.
  • Mechanical contractor’s license application forms:
    • HVAC license application forms can be found here.
    • Liquefied gas supplier license applications can be found here.
    • Liquefied gas supplier restricted license applications can be found here.

6

Submit Your Wisconsin Contractor License Application

Licensing and Application Fees

Dwelling, Structures and Sites:

  • Contractor:
    • Application fee - $15
    • Credential fee (based on a 1-year term from the date of issuance) - $25
  • Qualified:
    • Application fee - $15
    • Credential fee (based on a 2-year term from the date of issuance) - $30
  • Restricted:
    • Application fee - $15
    • Credential fee (based on a 1-year term from the date of issuance) - $25

HVAC:

  • HVAC Contractor:
    • Application fee - $15
    • Exam fee - $25
    • Credential fee (4-year term from the date of issuance) - $160
    • Late renewal fee - $25
  • HVAC Qualified:
    • Application fee - $15
    • Exam fee - $25
    • Credential fee (4-year term from the date of issuance) - $60

Liquefied Gas Supplier:

  • Application fee - $15
  • Credential fee based, on a 2-year term from the date of issuance - $60

Liquefied Gas Supplier restricted

  • Application fee - $15
  • Credential fee, based on a 2-year term from the date of issuance - $60

Mailing Address:

Mail all applications to:


Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
P.O. Box 78780
Milwaukee, WI 53293-0780



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