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How to Obtain a North Carolina General Contractors License

Posted by My Contractors License on 9th Dec 2022

How to obtain a North Carolina General Contractors License.

  • Are you looking to secure a General Contractor’s license in the state of North Carolina?
  • Each license requires the following:

  • Testing requirements
  • Application process
  • Monetary limitations
  • Limits and scope of work that the license holder must follow
  • These requirements can also vary from license to license within one state.

    Why do I need a General Contractor’s license in North Carolina?

    Licensing Information:

    You will need pre-approval from the state prior to taking any state Trade Exam. Please visit the North Carolina State Licensing Board for details. License Board

    Application A North Carolina General Contractors License is required by those who plan to bid upon, construct, superintend or manage the construction of any building, highway, public utilities, grading or improvement of a structure costing $30,000 or more.

    General contractors license can be issued to an individual, sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, LLC, or LLP. The license is only valid for the entity to which the license is granted. A licensed entity cannot allow an unlicensed contractor to use their license.

  • Secretary of State Registration:

    Companies applying for a license must be properly registered to conduct business in North Carolina. Copies of the Articles of Organization, Articles of Incorporation, or Certificate of Authority are required.

  • Limitation and Classification:

    Licenses have a limitation and a classification. The limitation is based on the financial information demonstrated and determines the dollar size of the projects for which the license is valid.

  • Qualifiers:

    Qualifiers are the individuals who pass the exams on behalf of a license. Qualifiers are not license holders unless the license is applied for and granted to the individual.

  • Renewal:

    All licenses expire on January 1 each year and go invalid 60 days after expiration. The license renewal process begins in October of each year. There is a $10 per month penalty fee required for any renewal applications filed on or after January 1 of each year. New licenses will continue to be issued in the month of December unless it is explicitly requested that new license issuance be held until January. Licenses issued in December are required to renew the license for the following year.

  • How are the licenses classified?

    Limitations of Licenses:

  • Limited License:
  • Valid for individual projects up to $500,000 each
    Requires $17,000 Working Capital or $80,000 Net Worth or $175,000 Surety Bond
  • Intermediate License:
  • Valid for individual projects up to $1,000 each Requires $75,000 Working Capital demonstrated by an Agreed-Upon Procedure Report, or audited financial statement, or a $500,000 Surety Bond
  • Unlimited License:
  • Valid for individual projects of any size Requires $150,000 Working Capital demonstrated by an Agreed-Upon Report, an audited financial statement, or a $1,00,000 Surety Bond.
  • What experience do I need?
  • Experience Requirements:
    All applicants are required to submit three (3) Letters of Reference

    Letters of Reference should demonstrate to the Board that the applicant is possessed of good character and is qualified in areas of competency, ability, and integrity. Reference letters should provide an evaluation of the applicant regarding the referrals’ general experience with the applicant. Reference letters must be no older than 12 months from the date of receipt of the application by the Licensing Board. Reference letters must be written on the providers’ business letterheads or the providers’ signatures must be notarized. Reference letters should not be from family members or interrelated companies (for example, parent/subsidiaries and their employees).

  • Form letters will not be accepted.
  • Applications without the required number of references will be considered incomplete and will be returned.
  • State Requirements
  • Qualifiers and Classifications:
  • Qualifiers are defined as responsible managing employees, officers, or members of the personnel who have passed the necessary exams on behalf of a license.
  • Responsible managing employees and members of the personnel must be W-2 employees.
  • Consultants or independent contractors cannot be used as qualifiers. Please review the Laws and Regulations packet NCGS §87-10 and NCAC Title 21 Chapter 12A.0205 for more information.
  • Financial Statements:
  • To qualify for a license, the applicant must meet a financial requirement as defined in NCAC Title 21 chapter 12A.0204. Review InformationPlease review the Laws and Regulations packet for further information.

    Financial statements must be in the name of the applicant. Consolidated financial statements of affiliated corporations are not accepted unless the statement provides a breakout for the financial statements of the affiliated entities.
    Financial statements with subsidiaries cannot be accepted unless the entity applying is the parent company or the financial statement provides a breakout financial statement of the subsidiaries. Applicants must meet a working capital or net worth requirement based on the limitation of license. (Working Capital = Total Current Assets – Total Current Liabilities; Net Worth = Total Assets – Total Liabilities)

  • Limited License: $17,000 working capital or $80,000 net worth.
  • Intermediate License: $75,000 working capital.
  • Unlimited Limitation: $150,000 working capital.
  • Fees:
  • New license application fees are based on the limitation of license being sought.
  • Limited: $75
  • Intermediate: $100
  • Unlimited: $125
  • Surety Bonds must be for the following amounts based on limitation:
  • Limited: $175,000
  • Intermediate: $500,000
  • Unlimited: $1,000,000
  • North Carolina Residential License NC Res
  • With this license, you are authorized to build all types of construction that pertains to the construction of residential units that are single and not multi-unit structures. License holders must conform to the residential code adopted by the Building Code Council which includes the following: all site work, driveways, and sidewalks ancillary to the residential structure. This also includes work done as part of such residential units under the classifications of ‘Insulation’, ‘Masonry’ and ‘Swimming Pools’.
  • North Carolina Builders NC Builders
  • With this license, you are authorized to build all types of structures. If you are considering taking the NC Builders exam, we highly recommend you take the NASCLA exam instead. The NASCLA exam will serve as your trades exam for the NC Builders license and from experience we believe this is an easier exam to pass.

    You will need an Unlimited License here. You must present an audited financial statement and show that assets exceed liabilities by $75,000.

  • NASCLA - North Carolina General Contractor NASCLA
  • With this license, you are authorized to build all types of structures in North Carolina Residential and Commercial. Passing the NASCLA exam means you have passed the North Carolina Builders exam for the state of North Carolina. The NASCLA Accredited contractor examination was created to improve the quality of construction examinations in addition to meeting other licensure requirements. The NASCLA license has reciprocity across the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands and West Virginia.

  • Financial Requirements:
  • With a Limited License, financial limit per project is at $500,000. To qualify, you must submit an audited financial statement and show that assets exceed liabilities by $17,000. Limited license applicants may meet the statutory requirement by using net worth in lieu of working capital. The minimum net worth is $80,000.

    With an Intermediate License, financial limit per project is at $1,000,000. To qualify, you must submit an audited financial statement and show that assets exceed liabilities by $75,000

    With an Unlimited License, there is no limit on project size. To qualify, you must submit an audited financial report and show that assets exceed liabilities by $150,000

    The North Carolina Licensing Board accepts the NASCLA exam and there will be a waiting period after the board receives the documents for approval.

    You must provide the necessary NASCLA documents or have the respective State Board complete an Examination Waiver form.

    If you are applying using an exam waiver, you must pass the North Carolina Business and Law Exam. Eligibility letters for the Business Law Exam are mailed after a complete license application is received and processed by the board.

  • How do I secure a license for the NASCLA?
    1. Purchase and study for the NASCLA course
    2. Register for the NASCLA trades exam at a PSI Center near you
    3. Pass the NASCLA with a minimum of 70%
    4. Take the Business Law & Project Management exam after the NASCLA exam and after approval from the state. You need to score a minimum of 70% to clear the exam
  • Candidates may take their test at any of the PSI testing locations found in the North Carolina Candidate Information bulletin PSI Bulletin
  • (Link to )

    Call PSI: 1-800-733-9267

    To apply, contact the state of North Carolina at 919-571-4183 or download the application at North Carolina Application Application
    Board Contact Information:
    North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors
    5400 Creedmoor Road
    Raleigh, NC 27612

    Phone: 919-571-4183
    Fax: 919-571-4703
    Website: North Carolina Contractors Board Click Here