Connecticut’s contractor licensing requirements are complex, but we’ll do our best to straighten them out for you here. Here’s how to get a contractor’s license in Connecticut.
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Definition of Contractor
The term “general contractor” isn’t particularly meaningful in Connecticut, which has its own set of definitions:
- A major contractor is a contractor who is authorized to work on commercial and institutional projects, like apartment buildings and hospitals, as well as residential projects.
- A minor contractor specializes in single family homes and small multi-family units, like two or three family homes.
Minor Contractors are further classified as either New Home Construction Contractors or Home Improvement Construction Contractors.
Who Needs a Contractor’s License?
In Connecticut, the type of license you’ll need as a contractor is determined by the type of work you do. If you do more than one type of work, as Connecticut defines it, you may need multiple licenses.
Specialty contractors such as an electricians, plumbers, and HVAC technicians (among others) also must be licensed to work in Connecticut, but the details of that process are beyond the scope of this article.
There is no license specifically for minor contractors, but there is a registration requirement. Every minor contractor must register for either new home construction, home improvement construction, or both. If you meet the definition of a major contractor and also do residential work, you may also need to register as a minor contractor for new construction and/or home improvement.
Both contractor licensing and registration are the responsibility of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.
In addition to licensing and/or registration as a construction contractor, bear in mind that all business entities must register with the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. This is how you obtain a federal employer identification number, sales and tax permits, and meet other requirements of a business owner in Connecticut.
How to Get a Major Contractor’s License
It’s easiest to apply online. Or you can download the Major Contractor’s License Application form and complete it. You’ll also need to obtain a total of five reference letters that are less than 30 days old:
- One from a bank or financial institution
- Three from former employers or clients who can attest to your contracting skills
- One from a supplier or contractor who has worked with you in the past
You’ll also need to provide information any current or past contracting projects (within the past five years) you’ve worked on.
Additionally, you’ll need to provide proof that you have purchased general liability insurance and provide information about the legal structure and ownership of your company (i.e., sole proprietorship, corporation, LLC, partnership, or limited partnership).
The application fee is $500 and must be paid when you submit your application form and required documents.
How to Get Registered as a Minor Contractor
The requirements and procedure for registering as a New Home Construction Contractor are the same as those for registering as a Home Improvement Contractor. You may register online or by downloading and completing the appropriate application form. Different application forms are used for those registering as individuals or sole proprietors and those registering a legal entity such as a corporation or LLC. The application fee for Minor Contractors is $220.
Is a Contractor’s License Bond Required?
There is no state requirement for a contractor’s license bond in Connecticut. However, some municipalities require contractors to obtain surety bonds to work on certain public works projects, and there is a bonding requirement for out-of-state contractors hired for projects within the state of Connecticut.
If you learn that you do need to obtain a surety bond to work in Connecticut, you can rely on the experts at Surety Bond Professionals to help you get it. Contact us today to discuss your bonding requirements or request a quote.