If you are interested in obtaining your Arkansas contractors license, there are numerous requirements that you’ll be required to meet. This article will assist you with understanding each of the requirements and should help get you on the right path to becoming a contractor in Arkansas.
In Arkansas, all contracting is governed and managed by the Contractors Licensing Board. This government office is responsible for licensing new contractors, renewing licenses, and dealing with complaints and the legal issues that go with unlicensed contractors. They will be your main point of contact as you work to receive your contractors license.
Who Needs a License?
Before you even begin taking the required steps to become a contractor in Arkansas, it’s important to understand who needs a license and who doesn’t. Unlike some states, the guidelines in Arkansas are pretty simple and straightforward.
1. If you are building a house from the ground up, you need to have a residential contractors license. If you are only doing improvements on existing homes, such as remodels, you do not need an Arizona contractors license.
2. If you are planning to work on any commercial building (new construction or improvements) where the value is greater than $20,000 (this includes labor and the cost of materials), you will need to have a commercial contractors license.
Many potential contractors plan to complete both residential and commercial work and Arkansas has two different applications, but if you plan to work on both homes and commercial buildings, you’ll only need to complete the commercial application. Here is where you can access the residential contractors license application and here is where to download the commercial contractors license application.
Arkansas Contractors License Requirements – Commercial Contractors
Remember, these guidelines apply to those who would like to receive a commercial contractors license AND to those who want BOTH a commercial and a residential license. If you are planning to be involved in commercial construction in Arkansas, it makes sense to also get your license to do residential work at the same time.
Before you even begin the application process, there are two important things that you should take note of.
1. You MUST submit your application at least 7 days before a scheduled committee meeting. If you don’t have your application in 7 days before a meeting, it will wait until the next meeting to be reviewed and the committee meets twice a month to review commercial applications.
2. Your application must be COMPLETELY filled out with all pertinent information and attachments included. If it is not complete, you will have 90 days to fix your application and resubmit missing information. If you don’t fix your application within the 90 day timeframe, you will be required to resubmit a brand new application.
Following is a list of information and requirements that you’ll need to meet in order to be granted your Arkansas contractors license.
1. A $100 application fee. This can not be refunded. That means if you do not complete the application properly within 90 days and have to resubmit your application or you don’t meet the requirements and can not be issued a license, you can not get this money back.
2. Three written references that can verify that you have 5 years of experience that relates to the license you wish to receive. These references should come from people who have seen your work.
3. A copy of your PASSING score on the Arkansas Business and Law test score. You must take and pass this test before you submit your application.
4. A $10,000 contractors bond.
5. A financial statement for your business that has been audited by a CPA. The State of Arkansas requires an audited opinion letter signed by a CPA and a balance sheet that is less than a year old. The state will figure the expiration date of your license based on the date that your financial statements were prepared, which means that the more recent the statement, the better.
6. You must also prove your net worth in order to get a commercial Arkansas contractors license. The amount of your net worth depends on the classifications that you are filing for, but HALF of your net worth must be available in cash. As an example, if your required net worth is $50,000, you must have at least $25,000 in the bank.
7. You will need to provide proof of workers compensation insurance if you have, or plan to have, employees. Also, if you are applying for a residential contractors license, you must have workers compensation insurance even if you have NO employees.
8. If you are applying as a corporation or LLC, you will be required to submit articles of incorporation as well.
Once you have the application completely filled out with all supporting documentation, you should submit it to the Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board. They will review your application and notify you of your status after it has been reviewed.