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4 Contracting License Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by Bold Support on

To take on large-scale construction, demolition, and repair projects, you need to become licensed as a general contractor. Compared to an unlicensed contractor, you will appear more credible, more trustworthy, and more experienced to potential clients.

While a contractor’s license will lead to bigger projects and higher pay, if it’s not obtained correctly it could also lead to legal trouble. There’s a right way and a wrong way to become licensed, and what steps you should take immediately after can be confusing since the rules vary slightly from state to state.

Be sure to avoid these 4 common licensing mistakes to keep your contracting business from getting off to a rocky start.

1. Not being prepared for your exam

“Winging it” may have worked in grade school, but it won’t get you as far on your contractor licensing exam. Especially if you haven’t found yourself in a test taking environment in a long time, coming back to one can be a stressful experience. The biggest mistake you can make going into your exam is not studying beforehand. 

Studying doesn’t necessarily mean pouring over books for hours and hours on end. Today, there are alternatives, such as seminar and webinar courses, that are much easier to follow and understand. Take advantage of the resources available to you so that you don’t have to pay the exam fee more than once.

2. Not registering your business with the state

Once you’ve become licensed, register your business name with the state as soon as possible. What you register as, whether it be a sole proprietor, a general partnership or something else, depends on the type of work you’d like to do.

Passing your licensing exam is the easy part – it’s the legal work you have to wade through afterward that can be tricky, but it’s important that you go about it carefully and correctly to protect the future of your business. 

3.Working under the wrong state license

If you received a contractor’s license in one state, don’t assume that allows you to do work in any state. Luckily, being registered in one state usually automatically qualifies you to take the licensing exam in a different one.

Some states have different license classifications that allow you to take on different types of work. For example, the state of Tennessee has different licensing exams for residential, commercial, and industrial work. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the type of work that you want to do and know your state’s specific requirements so that you can become properly licensed.

4.Failing to renew your contractor’s license

Your license will need to be renewed before the set expiration date – renewing any later can land you in serious hot water. If you do any contracting work with an expired license, you may be subject to serious disciplinary action. Even if you don’t do any work while your license is expired, depending on the state you’re in you might still have to pay a delinquent renewal fee.

No matter where in the country you are and what the consequences may be, it’s a good idea to stay on top of your license’s expiration date and renew early to avoid any problems.

Get your contracting license the correct way

If you’re in need of a contractor’s license and want to go about it the right way, use the resources provided at There, we can help you prepare for the licensing program required in your specific state so that you can become properly accredited and start doing the work that you want to do as soon as possible. Anyone can succeed in this rewarding field with the right tools and information.

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