How to Get a Michigan Contractor License in 2023
To operate as а contractor in the state of Michigan, you will be required to be licensed. All types of contractor licenses in the state are issued and regulated by the Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department (LARA).
Commercial construction makes an exception, though. To perform such work you need to get licensed on the municipal level, rather than with the LARA.
Keep reading for an overview of the application and licensing process for contractors in Michigan!
1. Pick Your Michigan Contractor License Type
The Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department issues the following types of contractor licenses:
- Electrical/Fire Alarm/Sign Contractor
- Elevator Contractor
- Mechanical Contractor
- Plumbing Contractor
- Residential Building Contractor
- Maintenance and Alteration Contractor
Electrical, fire alarm, sign, elevator, and plumbing contractors all offer licenses in various stages: journeyperson, master, and contractor.
Commercial contractors in Michigan need to get licensed on the municipal level. All commercial contractors in Michigan will need to meet the specific city or county requirements.
2. Apply For Your Michigan Contractor License
Depending on the type of license you want to obtain, you will need to meet different requirements.
Journeyperson and master licenses are typically issued after proof of sufficient experience has been provided, and upon successfully passing a contractor examination.
To become a contractor in these categories, however, you do not necessarily have to have a master’s license. You can also employ someone to operate as a master contractor at your company.
Here are the Michigan contractor license requirements that you need to cover.
Register your business in the state
To operate a contracting business, you will need to register your business entity in the state. You can learn about the different types of entities and how to start your business from the Michigan Small Business Development Center’s detailed guide.
If you are operating under a different business name than the one you’ve used in your application with LARA, you need to file for an assumed name. Keep in mind that your county may also require you to get a separate business license, apart from the one you receive from LARA.
To launch a contracting business, you may need to register your business entity at the state Department of Treasury. See the following sources regarding general contractors and commercial contractors to determine whether this applies to you.
Meet the LARA contractor license requirements
Once you’ve covered the business registration steps, you can proceed with applying for your license from the LARA. These licenses include the electrical, elevator, mechanical, plumbing, building, and maintenance contractor licenses.
Depending on the type of license you wish to obtain, you will be required to meet different experience requirements.
Select the license you want from the Licensee and Registration Information page to find out which requirements apply to you.
If you cover the requirements, you can proceed with the application process. Download and complete the application form for your license type and examination. The full list of requirements which you need to meet will typically involve:
- Completing a pre-licensing education course
- Passing an examination
- Completing a license application form
- Obtaining liability insurance policies (if applicable)
- Getting a Michigan contractor license bond (if applicable)
- Paying a licensing fee and submitting your application to LARA
When you have covered these requirements, you can submit your licensing application at the Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department (LARA). After your application is reviewed, you will be notified when your license is issued. You will then be allowed to operate as a contractor in the state.
Meet local contractor license requirements
If you wish to operate as a commercial contractor in Michigan, you will need to contact your local city or county licensing office. This type of license is sometimes also called a general contractor license.
Typically, the licensing requirements for this license will more or less be the same as on the state level. Most contractors in the state do not require a surety bond when getting licensed.
However, in some places, such as St. Clair or in Oakland county, you will have to obtain a contractor license bond. This bond is a type of financial guarantee that you will comply with all state and local regulations.
Are you required to get a contractor license bond in the state of Michigan? You can get a free online quote on your bond by completing the form below! It’s fast, secured, and there is no obligation.
3. Renewing Your Michigan Contractor License
Most types of contractor licenses in the state are valid for one year after they have been issued. Depending on where you are licensed, you might get notified about your upcoming renewal by your licensing department. However, this is not guaranteed.
To avoid having your license revoked, make sure to set up a reminder and keep an eye on your next renewal date.
If you have any questions about getting your contractor license bond in Michigan, call us at 866.450.3412! We’ll be happy to help you!