To perform work as a contractor in Virginia, you will need to obtain a license from the Board for Contractors at the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR).
When applying for a Virginia contractors license, you will need to choose a license class and specialties you want to apply for. You will also need to provide proof of experience for these specialties, pass an exam, submit a contractor license bond, and more.
See our detailed guide to getting your Virginia contractors license below!
Virginia Contractors License Types and Requirements
Before you apply for your license from the DPOR, you need to be aware of the license types and specialties issued in Virginia, as well as the requirements for different types of employees in your business.
Licenses are divided into three general classes based on the single contract or project value allowed, and the total value within a year. These are:
- Class A – single contract/project value of $120,000 or more; or a total yearly value of $750,000 or more
- Class B – single contract/project value of $10,000 or more, but less than $120,000; or a total yearly value of $150,000 or more, but less than $750,000
- Class C – single contract/project value of $1,000, but no more than $10,000; or a total yearly value of no more than $150,000
In addition to these license classes, applicants for a contractors license must also pick a specialty – i.e. the type of work that the contractor wants to perform.
Specialties are broadly divided into “trade-related”, “non-trade related”, and “other”, with each of these including specific types of work that can be performed.
Qualified Individuals (QIs)
To hold a particular specialty, contractors need to appoint a qualified individual (QI) who has experience in that field. This person must either be a bona fide full-time employee or a member of the responsible management.
The required amount of your QI’s experience differs, depending on the license class you are applying for:
- 5 years of specialty experience for Class A
- 3 years of specialty experience for Class B
- 2 years of specialty experience for Class C
Apart from the duration of experience, certain specialties also require that a QI holds a certain license or certificate and/or has passed an exam. Without satisfying these requirements, you will not be able to apply for your desired license class or specialty.
Responsible Management and Designated Employee
Your company’s responsible management are all managers, officers, partners, owners, etc. These people are responsible for the business’s legal compliance. When completing your license application, you will need to provide their details, such as names, addresses, contact information, etc.
Applicants for Class A and B licenses must also appoint a designated employee. This individual must be part of the company’s responsible management or a bona fide full-time employee. When applying for Class A or B licenses, the designated employee must pass a business exam.
Virginia Contractors License Application
The following are the steps you need to take to obtain a contractor license in Virginia, regardless of the class or type of specialty.
1. Register your business in the state
Before you can apply for a business license, you must register your business as an entity through the Virginia Business One Stop portal. If you will hire employees, you will also need to register at the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC).
2. Make sure you meet all the requirements for your license class and specialty
As explained above, you will need to decide on your license class and specialties in advance because these will determine the licensing requirements you will need to complete.
You will not be able to proceed with your application if your QI does not have the necessary qualifications and experience for the specialty you choose. Check the detailed breakdown of requirements for qualified individuals to make sure you’ve covered the eligibility criteria.
3. Complete the pre-licensing education course
Applicants for all types of contractor license must pass an 8-hour pre-license education course. The course must be taken either by a member of the responsible management or the designated employee (for Class A and B applicants).
4. Pass the business exam
Designated employees for Class A licenses must pass the General, Virginia, and Advanced sections of the exam, whereas for Class B only the General and Virginia sections are required.
Class C applicants are not required to pass an exam.
Exam fees are: $85 for three parts of the exam and $72 for two parts.
5. Meet net worth requirements or obtain a surety bond
To be issued a license, applicants need to meet minimum net worth requirements or post a surety bond.
- Class A applicants must demonstrate net worth/equity in the amount of $45,000
- Class B applicants must demonstrate net worth/equity in the amount of $15,000
- Class C applicants do not need to demonstrate net worth/equity
If instead of fulfilling the net worth requirements, as a Class A or B applicant, you prefer to post a surety bond, then you must obtain a $50,000 contractor license bond. Read more about the bond below!
6. Complete the license application and attach additional documents
Once you’ve covered all of the above requirements, you can proceed with completing your license application form which can be found on the Board’s website. Application forms come in two formats – interactive (can be completed and submitted electronically) and static (must be printed and completed by hand).
Along with your application, you will also need to submit:
- A financial statement form proving your net worth OR a $50,000 surety bond (only for Class A and B applicants)
- A contractor experience verification form
7. Submit your application and pay fees
If you’ve opted to submit your application by post, you must mail the completed forms to:
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 400 Richmond, Virginia 23233-1485
When submitting your application, you will also need to pay a non-refundable license fee in the following amount:
- $385 for Class A
- $370 for Class B
- $235 for Class C
It takes about 30 days on average for applications to be processed and approved, after which your license will be issued and mailed to you. Licenses are issued for two years from the month in which they are issued.
Virginia Contractors License Bond Requirement
Class A and Class B Virginia contractors have the choice to either demonstrate a certain amount of net worth or obtain a contractor license bond. The bond must be in an amount of $50,000 and its purpose is to guarantee that the licensed contractor will comply with all their legal obligations.
The cost of getting bonded is much lower than the bond amount, though. Usually, for applicants with a high credit score, the cost may be as low as .75% to 1.5% of the total bond amount. Applicants with a somewhat lower score will be offered a rate of up to 5% of the total bond amount.
If you want to get a precise and free quote on your bond, simply complete our bond form and we will get in touch with you shortly!