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Contractors working with a North Carolina contractor license

How to get a North Carolina General Contractor License

This North Carolina general contractor license guide is for informational purposes only. SuretyBonds.com does not regulate or manage licensing for general contractors in North Carolina. Contact the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors for the state's latest official general contractor license requirements.

North Carolina Statutes Section 87-1(a) requires general contractors who work on projects worth $30,000 or more to obtain a license. You don't need a license if you exclusively accept contracts valued less than $30,000. The North Carolina general contractor license holds general contractors accountable for their conduct on the job and helps to prevent fraudulent general contractors from taking advantage of home and business owners.

You must complete the following steps to become a licensed general contractor in North Carolina.

How to get a North Carolina General Contractor License

How do I get a general contractor license in North Carolina?

Step 1: Determine the limitation for your general contractor license.

Your license limitation indicates the maximum project amount you can undertake as a general contractor.

  • A limited license allows you to act as a general contractor for any single project valued up to $750,000.
  • An intermediate license allows you to act as a general contractor for any single project valued up to $1,500,000.
  • An unlimited license allows you to act as general contractor without restriction as to value of any single project.

Step 2: Identify your qualifying individual.

Your license application must include a qualifying individual (managing employee, owner, officer, or other personnel member) who has passed the necessary exam that corresponds to the desired license classification. Responsible managing employees and other personnel members must be W-2 employees. Qualifiers cannot be consultants or independent contractors and may not qualify for more than 2 licenses at a time.

Qualifying individuals may qualify for up to 2 licenses if they're a managing employee, owner, officer, or member of an LLC or partnership. Qualifiers hold a qualifying credential that is required for licensure. Qualifying exams can be added or removed from licenses, but licenses themselves cannot be transferred.

You only need 1 qualifier for general contractor licensure, but a general contractor licensee is not restricted to the number of qualifiers it can have on file. Qualifiers are not general contractor license holders until the state officially issues the general contractor license.

If a qualifier leaves a company or organization, the qualifier and general contractor licensee must inform the Board within 10 days. The general contractor license will become invalid 90 days later unless a new qualifier has been added to the license.

Step 3: Purchase your North Carolina general contractor license surety bond.

North Carolina general contractors must file a surety bond if they're unable to meet the state's financial qualifications for licensure. Your surety bond amount depends on your general contractor license classification.

  • Limited License: $175,000 surety bond
  • Intermediate License: $500,000 surety bond
  • Unlimited License: $1,000,000 surety bond

You can apply for your North Carolina general contractor license bond online 24/7 with annual premiums starting at $1,750. Once you pay your invoice, your official surety bond will be sent to your email.

Step 4: Apply for your general contractor license.

You'll submit your new general contractor license application online at nclbgc.org. If you don't have all required application information, you can return to your online application later to fill out the missing information.

Step 5: Determine which application registration documentation you need to submit.

You'll need to submit registration documentation along with your application.

  • Domestic (in-state) corporations must submit their Articles of Incorporation.
  • Domestic (in-state) limited liability companies (LLC) must submit their Articles of Organization.
  • Foreign (out-of-state) corporations or limited liability companies (LLC) must submit their Certificate of Authority.

Step 6: Pay your licensing fee.

Your license application fee is based on your general contractor license classification.

  • Limited License: $75
  • Intermediate License: $100
  • Unlimited License: $125

All fees are nonrefundable. Checks must be made out to the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors. A bad check incurs an additional $35 penalty fee. If you issue a bad check, your license will not be granted or will be made invalid until proper payment is provided.

Step 7: Submit your application to the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors.

You can submit your application and all required application materials online or by mail.

North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors
5400 Creedmoor Rd
Raleigh, NC 27612

Once you submit your application packet with your required fees and documents, the Board will take 2 to 3 weeks to review it before notifying you of their licensing approval or denial. If you're approved, your qualifying individual must pass the North Carolina general contractor license exam, which is administered by PSI PSI Examination Services.

When do I renew my North Carolina general contractor license?

All North Carolina general contractor licenses expire on January 1st annually and become invalid 60 days after expiration if not renewed. You'll receive a renewal application in your NCCLiC online license account annually during the first week of October.

New licenses will be issued in the month of December unless you explicitly request your new license issuance be held until January. If your license is issued in December, you must renew your license for the following year.

The state enforces a $10 per month penalty fee for any renewal applications filed on or after January 1st.

How do I contact the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors?

You can contact the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors by calling 1(919)571-4183 or emailing [email protected] or [email protected].

Last Updated: September 25, 2023

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