Arkansas Contractors License Guide

Before you can begin your career as a contractor in Arkansas, you must be licensed through the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board. SuretyBonds.com has created this step-by-step guide to consolidate all of the information you may need to quickly and easily get your Arkansas contractor’s license.

Do I need an Arkansas contractor’s license?

Arkansas requires all commercial contractors working on any project that is not a single-family residence, where the contract value is $50,000 or more, to have a contractor license. Arkansas considers “single-family residences” as any building that holds up to four residences.

Residential contractors require a license if they work on projects over $2,000; this includes the cost of materials, subcontractors, permits, and anything else needed for the project. Subcontractors can work with registration certificates instead of licenses as long as they are working under a properly licensed contractor.

What is required for a contractor’s license in Arkansas?

To become a licensed contractor in Arkansas, you must have the following:

  • Completed application

  • Passing score on exam

  • Certificate of Insurance

  • A surety bond

How do I get licensed?

  1. Complete your application.

    1. There are several types of licenses and subcontractor registration certificates available:

  2. Provide appropriate business-style affidavit and affidavit regarding bidding.

    1. Must be signed and notarized within 90 days

  3. Pay the filing fee.

    1. A $100 nonrefundable filing fee must be made payable to the Contractors Licensing Board

  4. Provide three written references.

    1. These cannot be from a supplier or banker

  5. Supply a copy of an Arkansas Business and Law passing test score.

  6. Obtain an Arkansas contractor’s surety bond.

  7. Produce an independent CPA report.

    1. Those applying for a restricted license must submit a compiled report

      1. Report letter from an independent CPA

      2. Balance sheet prepared in accordance with GAAP or on an income tax basis

  8. Supply a copy of the business’s articles/filings.

  9. Provide proof of insurance.

Please note that if you or your spouse are currently on active duty or a veteran, your application for licensure will be expedited. In addition, if you have a license in another state, you will automatically qualify for a similar license.

If you currently have a contractor’s license in another state, you may be able to obtain a temporary license while your Arkansas contractor’s application is pending.

How much will it cost to become licensed?

  • Filing fee (nonrefundable): $100

  • Exam fee: $84

Note: There may be additional fees incurred at the local or county levels.

Do I qualify for a waiver of licensing fee?

Pursuant to Act 725 of 2021, the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board has implemented a waiver of the initial licensing fee for applicants who qualify for the Workforce Expansion Act of 2021.

You may quality for a waiver if you meet any the following:

  • Are receiving assistance through Arkansas Medicaid

  • Are receiving assistance through Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • Are receiving assistance through WIC

  • Are receiving assistance through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program

  • Are receiving assistance through the Lifeline Assistance program

  • Were approved for unemployment within the past 12 months

  • Income does not exceed 200% of the federal poverty income guidelines

How do I get bonded?

Arkansas contractor bonds are required for commercial applicants and must be filed with the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board. This bond must be in an amount of $10,000 and ensures that the contractor will comply with all provisions under A.C.A 17-25-401 and all rules and regulations enforced by the ACLB.

Arkansas contractor bonds required at the state level are issued instantly and cost $75, while city or county bonds cost $100.

Many cities and counties in Arkansas have their own contractor bonding requirements separate from the state’s requirement. Contractors looking to work within certain areas should familiarize themselves with local license and bonding requirements to make sure they are complying with all relevant rules and regulations.

Payment bonds and performance bonds are often required for specific construction projects.

If you’re an Arkansas contractor in search of a surety bond, call 1 (800) 308-4358 to talk to a bond expert or get a free quote at SuretyBonds.com.