How to Get Your General Contractor’s License in Georgia

Getting a contractor's license in Georgia involves several steps, including passing an examination.

This licensing process is handled by the Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors under the guidance of the Secretary of State, and with our expertise, we can offer valuable insights to help guide you through the process.

Who Needs a Contractor’s License in Georgia?

General contractors performing work over $2,500 and all residential contractors need to obtain a license at the state level.

Types of Contractor Licenses

There are four types of licenses for Georgia contractors (two for general contracting and two for residential contracting). They are all state licenses, but they differ in the types of construction projects a licensee can take on, the type of work they can perform, and contract amounts they are eligible to bid for.

The first step is to determine which type of professional licensing you need as all have different application forms.

Type of Contractor License Permission
General Contractor License Allows work on private, commercial, industrial, public and other building projects that exceed $2,500. You cannot perform HVAC, plumbing, electrical or utility contracting work with this license.
General Contractor Limited Tier License Permits the same work as a General Contractor but is limited to contracts of no more than $1,000,000.
Residential Basic License Allows contractors to work on detached one-family and two-family residences and one-family townhouses (no more than three stories in height), including their accessory structures.
Residential Light Commercial License Permits work covered by the Residential Basic License in addition to work on multifamily and multi-use commercial buildings (no more than four stories in height and 25,000 sq. feet in floor space), including accessory buildings and structures.


How to Apply for a Contractor's License in Georgia

Below is an overview of the application process, education requirements, and other licensing requirements needed to become a licensed contractor in Georgia.

1. Meet The Requirements and Collect The Documentation

There are a few requirements that you’ll need to apply for a Georgia contractor license, regardless of the category. Here are the basic requirements:

  • Must be at least 21 years
  • Must be a US citizen or qualified alien
  • Must successfully undergo a criminal background check
  • Must submit the non-refundable application fee

Apart from these, you will have to meet the additional requirements and present the documentation below:

Provide Proof of Net Worth

All applicants are required to show financial responsibility.

General Contractors must submit a notarized CPA reference letter or a report from a CPA (both forms are provided in the application) that discloses a minimum net worth of $150,000.

General Contractor Limited Tier applicants must confirm a minimum net worth of $25,000.

Applicants for the Residential Basic Contractor License or Residential-Light Commercial Contractor License can submit a bank credit form showing two years of banking history (provided in the applications). Another option is to submit a letter of credit, affirmation of minimum net worth, or a contractor license bond in the amount of $25,000.

Obtain a Certificate of Insurance

You are required to provide proof of general liability insurance and submit it with your application.

General Contractor, General Contractor Limited Tier, and Residential Light Commercial applicants must show proof of a minimum amount of $500,000 per occurrence. The amount for Residential Basic is $300,000 per occurrence.

Contractor Insurance

There are several types of insurance coverages that are recommended for contractors, but the recommended coverage will vary based on your operation.

If you’d like to learn more about all of the insurance coverages available to you, please read our contractor insurance guide.

Provide Proof of Workers’ Compensation

You must attach a certificate of workers’ compensation insurance if required to carry one by state law. For further information, please contact Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

Provide Work Experience Information

Depending on the license, you will need to provide one to four years of relevant work experience. To do so, you must complete the Employment/Projects Affidavit and send it with your application. The form, as well as further information, can be found within each application packet.

Complete the Consent Form

All license applicants must complete the Consent Form provided in the applications and grant background check permission to the Board. The form must be sent with the application.

Additional Requirements

If applying for a General Contractor License, General Contractor Limited Tier, or Residential Light Commercial License, you will also need one of the following:

  • A four-year degree from an accredited university or college in engineering, architecture, construction management, project management, building construction (or other related field), plus one year of relevant work experience.
  • Four years of work experience in a construction industry-related field.
  • A combination of academic accredited courses and relevant work experience equaling at least four years in the aggregate.

Note: In support of any of the above education/experience options that you choose, you will need to provide at least one recommendation letter from a registered architect or engineer (guidelines are provided in the application). If you are applying based on education, you will need to submit (in a sealed envelope) proof to the Board. This could be an official transcript, diploma, or certification.

Local-Level Requirements

Some cities in Georgia may have additional local-level requirements to work as a contractor. If you work in one of the following cities or counties, you must file an additional bond with them directly before receiving your local contractor compliance license.

2. Access Georgia License Application

After meeting all requirements and documentation, you need to fill out the specific license application form. All application forms can be accessed via the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.

  • General Contractor individual application forms
  • General Contractor Limited Tier application forms
  • Residential Basic application forms
  • Residential Light Commercial application forms

3. Get Your Contractor License Bond

All applicants are required to provide proof of their net worth. However, Residential Basic & Light Commercial license holders may furnish a surety bond of $25,000 instead. And here is where we can help you.

The Georgia contractor license bond must be in the individual’s name or – if applying as a qualifying agent – in the business organization’s name.

The cost of a Georgia Contractor License is a flat fee that equates to a small percentage (generally 1% - 10%) of the total bond amount ($25,000). The bond cost varies depending on your financial strength, e.g. personal credit.

We recently assisted a client in obtaining their Georgia Contractor License, and it was a truly collaborative effort. Understanding the intricacies of the bond cost, we tailored a customized strategy for them, breaking down each step and requirement. Through a thorough assessment of their financial standing and business plan, we guided them every step of the way, ensuring a seamless process.

You can also take a look at our most frequently asked surety bond questions.

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4. Submit Your Application

Please complete your application plainly in ink.

Make sure you provide your email in the designated place in your application (under the Applicant Information section). The Board will send you important information via email regarding application status, confirmation, and exam details, and will contact you once your license has been issued.

Licensing and Application Fees

Payments (check or money order) must be made payable to the Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors and submitted with the application.

  • $200 application fee (non-refundable)
  • $96 Business and Law exam fee (payable to PSI)
  • $106 NASCLA exam fee (payable to PSI)

Mailing Address

General Contractor or General Contractor Limited Tier - Send your application along with all supporting documentation to:

237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217

Residential Basic or Residential Light Commercial - Send your application and all supporting documentation to:

237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217

5. Pass Exam

To obtain your contractor license, you need to pass two contractor exams: Business and Law and NASCLA Construction exam.

Once your application is approved by the Board you will receive an email confirmation and further details for scheduling and taking the relevant exams. You have up to one year after the confirmation email to take the license exam.

The exam is administered by PSI, which has examination locations in Atlanta, Macon, and Tifton. You have two attempts to pass in order to obtain your licensure. There is a one-year waiting period for re-application for those who fail the second attempt.

For more information, you can contact PSI at 800-733-9167 or check out the Secretary of State FAQ licensing page.

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