Hawaii Contractor License: The Full Guide (2024)

Published: Jan 05, 2022

hawaii contractor license


If you want to engage in residential or commercial construction in Hawaii, you have to undergo a licensing procedure with the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. It is the authority that issues the Hawaii contractor license. 

There are three main types of licenses that you can choose from :

  1. General engineering contractor 
  2. General building contractor
  3. Specialty contractor 

All of thesemain types of contractors also have certain subtypes of license. In order to obtain any of the Hawaii contractor license classifications, you have to fulfill a list of requirements.

For an overview of the criteria and the process, you can consult with the appropriate sections below. 

The Hawaii Contractor License Requirements

The licensing authority is the Contractor License Board at the Professional and Vocational Licensing Division of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. It has determined the criteria that you have to meet in order to get your state of Hawaii contractors license. 

Business Entity Registration or SSN

You have to register your entity with the Business Registration Division (BREG), Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. This applies for corporations, partnerships, LLPs and LLCs. 

If you’re applying as a sole proprietor, you must provide your social security number (SSN). 

Trade Name 

In case you’re planning to use a trade name, you have to get a filed-stamped copy of current trade name registration approved by the BREG.

Financial Statement

Obtain a compiled, reviewed or audited financial statement. It has to be less than one year old.

You also need to submit an independent accountant's report. 

Credit Report

For each officer, partner, manager, or member, you need to file a current and complete credit report covering the last 5 years.

The report has to be issued within the last 6 months. 

Tax Clearance

If your company is more than 1 year old, you need to provide a current Hawaii State Tax Clearance with an original State Department of Taxation stamp. It should be issued within the last 6 months. 

RME/Entity Appointment

You have to appoint a responsible managing employee for your business. If you don’t have such a Hawaii RME license yet, you have to complete the Responsible Managing Employee application. This is applicable for all entities other than sole proprietorship. 

Place of Business

You need to maintain a physical location where you display your contractor’s license. 

History and Experience

In case you are applying as a sole proprietor, you have to demonstrate at least 4 years of experience as a supervisor. You need to submit at least 3 notarized certificates in support of your supervisory experience. You also have to provide a chronological history of your projects. Sole proprietors need to pass the Hawaii contractors license practice test themselves (instead of their RME).

Complete the Hawaii Contractor License Application

hawaii contractor licenseWhen you have collected all necessary documents listed above, you can move to the actual application process. You have to complete an application form provided by the Hawaii Contractors License Board. There are two kinds, depending on your entity:

Send all paperwork to the Board by mailing it to:

Contractors License Board
DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801

Alternatively, you can deliver it in person to:

335 Merchant St.,
Room 301,
Honolulu, HI 96813 

NOTE: The Board meets every month, except for December. You have to send your documents on or before the first Tuesday of the month before the scheduled meeting date. You can find out its schedule online.

Licensing and registration fees

Together with your completed form, you have to pay a $50 non-refundable application fee for each application. 

The Board sets your licensing fees after approval. 

Next stepsThe Board has to review your application. If approved, the RME has to register with a testing agency for an exam and to take it the following month. In case they pass it, you receive the licensing requirements, which are detailed in the next section. When you fulfill all of them, the Board issues your Hawaii contractor license. 

Provide a Surety Bond and Insurance

The additional licensing requirements entail providing two types of insurance and a surety bond. 

Worker’s Compensation Insurance

All companies hiring employees have to get a certificate of workers' compensation insurance. Single-member and member-managed LLCs with no employees are exempt. 

Liability and Property Damage Insurance

You have to obtain bodily injury insurance with limits of $100,000 for each person and $300,000 for each occurrence, as well as property damage insurance with a limit of $50,000 for each occurrence. 

Surety Bond 

The Board may require you to obtain a surety bond. It sets the amount of the bond on a case-by-case basis. The minimum amount is $5,000. You have to provide it in the official formIn order to get a bond, you have to pay a small fraction of the required amount. This is your premium. If your finances are in good shape, you can expect rates between 0.75% and 5% of the bond amount.

Find out exactly what your contractor license bond will cost, by filling out our short application form below!

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How to Verify Your Hawaii Contractor License

You can check the validity of your license by Professional & Vocational Licensing Search. You can search by license number or business/individual.  

License Renewal and Expiration

You have to renew your license every two years if you want to continue your operations. The deadline for renewal for all licensees is September 30 of each even-numbered year. You need to send your renewal application before August 15 preceding that date. 


For any questions about obtaining a Hawaii contractor license and bonding, you can contact us at 877.514.5146.

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