Maryland Home Improvement Contractor (MHIC) License [2020 Guide]
Do you want to start a home improvement business in Maryland? You need to obtain a MHIC license from the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) in order to get the right to operate.
In Maryland, there is no state requirement for licensing for general contractors. However, the DLLR requires licenses from home improvement contractors, electrical contractors, HVACR specialists, plumbers and gas fitters.
In the guide below, you can find out the essential steps that you have to take in order to obtain your Maryland home improvement contractor license.
The MHIC License Requirements
The licensing authority that you have to apply with is the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC). It imposes the criteria that you have to fulfill.
Business Entity Registration
Before you start the licensing process, you have to register your business entity in the state. You can do so through the Maryland Business Express portal. If you want to form a corporation, LLC, LLP, or LP, you have to register with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). Sole proprietors and general partnerships are exempt from this.
If you want to operate under a trade name, you need to register it with the Department of Assessments and Taxation.
For your application with the MHIC, you have to fill in the form Contractor’s Personal Financial Statement. You also have to provide a recent credit report, as well as real estate and bank statements.
You have to pass the state MHIC license test. You need a minimum score of 70%.
Proof of Experience
You need to provide proof that you have at least two years of relevant experience or education. It can be in home improvement or construction.
Complete the MHIC license application
Once you’ve obtained all necessary paperwork, you have to fill in the application form.
Then mail it to:
Maryland Home Improvement Commission
P.O. Box 17409
Baltimore, Maryland 21297-1409
License and Registration Fees
The fees that you have to cover are the following:
- $250 license fee (for one location)
- $100 guaranty fund assessment fee
- $20 application processing fee
Provide a Surety Bond and Insurance
In addition to the requirements set in the previous sections, you also have to obtain insurance and may need to get a surety bond.
Worker’s compensation insurance
If you’re going to hire employees, you will need to get worker’s compensation insurance from the Worker’s Compensation Commission.
General liability insurance
The MHIC requires contractors to get a general liability insurance policy of at least $50,000.
You have to showcase financial solvency (meaning net worth) of at least $20,000. If you cannot prove it, you can alternatively obtain a Maryland contractor license bond in that amount.
In order to get bonded, you don’t have to pay the whole amount. Instead, you have to cover a small percentage of it, which is called the premium. The rates are typically between 0.75% and 5% for applicants with stable finances.
Do you want to see the exact cost of your contractor license bond? Fill out the short form below!
How to verify your MHIC license
You can check whether your license is active and visible by conducting a MHIC license search. The search can be by contractor personal name, contractor trade name, contractor location, salesperson personal name, and contractor license registration number (MHIC number).
License Renewal and Expiration
Your Maryland home improvement contractor license is valid for two years from the time that you obtain it. If you want to continue your operations beyond that, you have to renew it. The MHIC mails renewal notifications about 60 days before the license expiration date. You can renew your MHIC license online.
Do you have more questions about obtaining your MHIC license and bonding? You can reach us at 877.514.5146.
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