How to Get a Virginia Contractor License
Interested in the construction industry in Virginia? Starting your contracting business in the state requires obtaining a Virginia contractor license.
The licensing process is needed to ensure that contractors comply with the legal framework and to guarantee their customers a high degree of safety. More specifically, contractors should comply with Chapter 11 of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia.
Additionally, contractors often need to obtain licenses from their city or municipality authority. Getting a Virginia contractor license entails meeting a range of requirements, including posting a contractor license bond.
Let’s delve straight into the steps you need to undertake to meet the licensing criteria and launch your construction business.
Choose your Virginia contractor license type
The first step before you delve into the application process itself is to establish what type of Virginia contractor license you have to obtain.
There are three types of state licenses that you can choose from: A, B and C:
- Class C license allows you to work on projects below $10,000 per contract and below a total of $150,000 within 12 months
- Class B license gives you the right to execute projects below $120,000 per contract and below a total of $750,000 within 12 months
- Class A license does not restrict the projects you can work on, thus it gives you the most possibilities
Each license type has different requirements in terms of experience and finances. However, it’s crucial to choose the right type of license, as exceeding your contract amounts is a violation.
Besides choosing the limit of contracts, you also need to select the specialty field you will be working in. You will be allowed to perform only jobs that fall in this category. In order to get licensed, you will need to pass a specialty Virginia contractor license exam as a Qualified Individual (QI) to prove your knowledge and experience.
Comply with Virginia contractors license requirements
Once you’ve identified the state license types you’d like to apply for, it’s time to complete the Virginia contractors license application. Together with it, you will have to submit also the Individual Experience Verification Form.
In most cases, you will also need to provide paperwork for the following:
- Business entity documents
- Registered business name
- Business entity responsible individuals – owners, managers, officers, etc.
- Qualified Individual for each specialty you would like to get licensed in (either a full-time employee or one of the responsible management persons)
- Class A and B: Designated employees for each specialty you would like to get licensed in (either a full-time employee or one of the responsible management persons), who have to pass the relevant exams
- Pre-license education course passed
- Payment of relevant fees
Depending on your location, you might also need to obtain a license with your city or local authorities. The requirements will vary from place to place.
Get your Virginia contractor bond
In Virginia, there are no state-wide contractor bonding requirements. However, you are likely to need to post a Virginia contractor bond to get licensed with your local authorities. Some cities that require bonding include Falls Church, Chesapeake, Fairfax County, Prince William County and Roanoke, and some counties like Prince William County and Fairfax County. Additionally, if you need to obtain a land use permit, you may also have to post a land use permit bond.
The purpose of the bond is to provide a safety net for the licensing body and for your clients. It guarantees you will comply with applicable regulations and fulfil your contractual obligations.
In most places, the bond requirements are between $1,000 and $10,000. In any case, you won’t need to cover the full bond amount in order to get bonded. This means that your surety bond price will be only a percentage of this amount. If you qualify for standard bonding, you can expect to pay a premium of around 1%-5%.
The bond cost is formulated on the basis of your personal and business finances. Your surety takes into consideration your credit score, assets and liquidity and professional experience. If your overall profile is solid, your bond rate is likely to be lower.
Are you ready to start your licensing process? If you need to post a bond, you can immediately get a free online bond quote. For any questions you might have, don’t hesitate to call us at (877)-514-5146.