How to get a Virginia Contractor License
This Virginia contractor license guide is for informational purposes only. SuretyBonds.com does not regulate or manage licensing for contractors in Virginia. Contact the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation for the state's latest official contractor license requirements.
Code of Virginia Section 54.1-1103 requires people who engage in, or offer to engage in, contracting work in Virginia to obtain a license from the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR).
Complete the following steps to apply for your Virginia contractor license with the state Board for Contractors.
How do I get a contractor license in Virginia?
Step 1: Create your business entity and register your name.
The Virginia DPOR Board for Contractors issues contractor licenses to business entities (not individuals), so all contractors seeking licensure must create a business entity. The most common forms of business entities are sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLC), partnerships, and corporations. You should ask a professional (such as an attorney or CPA) for help to determine which business entity is right for you.
After you establish your business entity, you must choose a business name, which could include a fictitious or “trading as” DBA name. You may choose any name allowed by law but must register it with all appropriate authorities. If your company is a corporation, LLC, or limited partnership, you must register both your company and any names used by your company with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. If you have a partnership or sole proprietorship, you must register your name with the court in the jurisdiction in which your company is located.
Your Board of Contractors application will require you to list your business name. You may be as creative as you'd like when choosing your name, but it cannot suggest you offer services that aren't allowed by your specific license class or specialty.
Step 2: Determine your license class and specialty.
All Virginia contractor licenses fall within 1 of 3 license classes that determines what, if any, monetary restrictions are placed on the size of contracts or projects you may perform. Most of the time your license type is based on the value or contract price of the projects your business works on, so it's important to select the correct class when applying for your license.
Class A contractors perform or manage projects when the total value referred to in a single contract or project is $120,000 or more or if the total value of all projects within any 12-month period is $750,000 or more. There are no monetary restrictions for Class A licenses.
Class B contractors perform or manage projects when the total value referred to in a single contract or project is $10,000 or more but less than $120,000 or if the total value of all projects within any 12-month period is $150,000 or more but less than $750,000.
Class C contractors perform or manage projects when the total value referred to in a single contract or project is over $1,000 but no more than $10,000 or if the total value of all projects within any 12-month period is no more than $150,000.
Each license class has different eligibility requirements. Although the Class A license might seem like the best option, you might not meet all criteria, so review all eligibility requirements before submitting your application. Additionally, if you later exceed the limits of your issued license, you could face disciplinary action from the state.
After you determine how much work you intend to perform under your license class, you'll choose your applicable specialty. Your Virginia Board for Contractors License Classification and Specialty will be printed on the bottom of your license as a 3-letter abbreviation. Your specialty must accurately describe the work your company will perform. Remember that your qualifying individual must have experience in your particular specialty and must demonstrate that knowledge by holding an individual license/certification or by taking an examination. If your qualifying individual does not meet these requirements, you won't be allowed to hold the specialty on your license.
Step 3: Identify your responsible management.
All contractors must identify their business entity officers, members, partners, and owners responsible for their license to ensure the business follows all state regulations and statutes. You'll have to identify these individuals based on the type of business entity established for your company. If your company is a sole proprietorship, you must identify the 1 individual who owns the business. If your company is a partnership, you must identify the partners, corporation officers, LLC members/managers, etc. You'll need to provide their names, birthdates, social security numbers OR Virginia DMV control number, address, and a copy of their government-issued photo ID.
Step 4: Determine your qualified individual.
You must have a designated, experienced qualified individual for each class and/or specialty listed on your application. One person can be the qualified individual for multiple classes or specialties.
Your qualified individual must be either a full-time employee or a member of responsible management of the business. They must have a minimum amount of work experience within their specialty's scope of practice.
- Class A license applicants must have at least 5 years of experience.
- Class B license applicants must have at least 3 years of experience.
- Class C license applicants must have at least 2 years of experience.
Your qualified individual must have an additional license/certification or complete a technical examination based on the work allowed by their particular specialty. You can find a list of specialties that have additional requirements for the qualifying individual and exam information on the PSI Contractor Specialty Examination Candidate Information Bulletin.
You must provide the name, birthdate, address, social security number or Virginia DMV control number, and a copy of a government-issued photo ID on your application for each qualified individual.
You can review the Virginia DPOR Requirements for Qualified Individuals to find additional information and requirements specific to your license class or specialty.
Step 5: Choose your designated employee.
Class A and Class B contractors must have a full-time employee or responsible manager as their designated employee. Class A designated employees must complete the general, Virginia, and advanced portions of the exam. Class B designated employees must complete the general and Virginia portions of the exam. Similar to your qualified individual, you must provide the designated employee's name, birthdate, address,
*Note: Designated employees are not required for Class C licenses.
Step 6: Complete a prelicense course.
All contractor classes must have a member of responsible management or designated employee (Class A and Class B licenses only) complete an 8 hour prelicense education course approved by the Board for Contractors.
Review the Virginia Board for Contractors Approved Contractors Prelicense Education Providers and choose the one that best meets your needs. You must request your provider to send proof of completion to the Board electronically so they can identify the course, provider, completion date, and name of the person who took the exam.
Step 7: Purchase your Virginia contractor license surety bond.
You can apply for your Virginia contractor license bond online 24/7 with premiums starting at $438 for the state-required 2-year term. Once your order is processed, your official Virginia contractor license bond will be sent to your email.
*Note: This Virginia surety bond requirement does not apply to Class C contractors.
Step 8: Complete your application.
Find your application form on the Virginia DPOR website. If you don't complete an application item, your application processing will be delayed. If you have any questions about your application, you can email the Board for Contractors at [email protected] or call the licensing staff at 1(804)367-8511.
Some application questions might require you to provide additional documentation. Ensure that you read and understand what additional information might be needed.
Step 9: Submit your application packet and fee to the Virginia Board of Contractors.
Each form requires you to pay a nonrefundable fee with your application submission. If you submit an application without a fee, it will be returned to you, and no additional action will be taken. If you submit an incorrect fee, it could delay your application processing.
- Class A: $385
- Class B: $370
- Class C: $235
Make your check or money order payable to the “Treasurer of Virginia.” Fees are valid for 1 year from the date they are received and will not be refunded if your license is not issued.
Mail your completed application packet and required fees to the following address.
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
9960 Maryland Drive
Richmond, VA 23233
Applications are processed on a first-in first-out basis. The average processing time for most applications is approximately 30 days but can be more or less depending on a number of factors. If you meet all eligibility requirements and submit a complete application, your license will be issued and mailed to you. If your application is incomplete, you'll receive a letter outlining what's missing and what the DPOR needs to finish reviewing and issuing your license.
When does my Virginia contractor license expire?
Your Virginia contractor license will expire 2 years from the month it was issued. You'll need to submit your license renewal fee no sooner than 60 days before your license expires. Checks should be payable to the "Treasurer of Virginia" and include your license number.
Mail your renewal payment to the following address.
Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation
9960 Maryland Drive
Richmond, VA 23233
If you don't renew your Virginia contractor license in time, you won't be permitted to work in the state once your license has expired.
Last Updated: October 19, 2023