How to Become a Licensed Contractor in Minnesota


A boom in housing means it’s a good time to be a contractor in Minnesota.

Housing trends for 2017 and beyond predict an increase in the need for housing for both millennials and baby boomers. With fewer homes on the market and Minnesota one of the states expecting to see an increase in the necessity for homes, that makes it a good time to get licensed as a contractor. Once licensed, a contractor has to complete continuing education courses to maintain a license. Finding a convenient, cost-effective contractor school to do to helps avoid extra expense and a possible lapse.

Contractor Licensing in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry handles licensing for residential building and/or remodeling contractors and roofers in the state. While an individual may become licensed, businesses may be licensed by designating one individual in the company as a qualifying person. It does not matter if the company is a partnership, limited proprietorship, corporation or limited liability company. The qualifying person in a company has the responsibility of taking the required continuing education courses to renew the license every two years.

Who Can Serve as a Qualifying Person?

The owner or employee who manages the business may serve as qualifying person in an individual proprietorship. In a partnership, it may be one of the partners or the managing employee. The head manager or a managing employee may serve in this capacity in an LLC, while in a corporation, it may be the employee who manages the business or the chief executive officer. The definition of “managing employee” means that the employee must be regularly employed and actively engaged in the business and a W-2 employee. An independent contractor cannot be the qualifying person of a company.

The Prelicensing Exam

No particular experience or education is required to take the exam as a remodeler or building contractor in Minnesota. The initial exam is available at offices of the DLI in St. Paul, Duluth, Detroit Lakes, St. Cloud, Owatonna and Granite Falls for a fee of $50. The exam has 110 questions that are multiple choice. A 70 percent or higher score is necessary in order to pass, and four hours is allotted to take the exam. A copy of the 2015 Minnesota State Residential Code is provided for test takers to use as a reference during the test. Those who fail must wait 30 days before taking it again and must once again pay the fee.

Forms to Submit for Licensing in Minnesota

All documents must be submitted as one submission, whether they are mailed or uploaded through the renewal process online. Submitting documents separately will result in a delay or interfere with processing. All the following documents are required, along with the appropriate fee: 


Roofers require special licensing to install downspouts, gutters, fascia and soffits.

Minnesota Residential Roofing License

Roofing contractors must also be licensed by the Minnesota DLI, although they can perform roofing if they have a residential building contractor or residential remodeler license. Subcontractors must be registered, but a license is not required. However, those with a roofer’s license may not install downspouts, gutters, fascia or soffits without a remodeler or residential building contractor license. There are some licensing exemptions for certain types of roofing work and gross income requirements. 

Contractor School Continuing Education

PDH Contractor Academy offers pre-approved continuing education courses online for Minnesota builders, remodelers, and roofers, including the OSHA Safety Course and the Residential Construction Course. Together, they fulfill the requirements for license renewal and offer a contractor the ability to study whenever and wherever it is most convenient. We electronically report the results of your successful completion of the courses to the Minnesota DLI and supply you with copies of the completion certificates. You must achieve a grade of 70 percent to pass. Start a course by clicking the link.


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