In May 2015, Finance & Commerce reported that construction jobs in Minnesota surged by 6,600 the month before, adding to almost 50,000 jobs gained in the previous 12 months. Plentiful jobs and an exciting work environment might inspire you to consider getting your contractor’s license in Minnesota. How can you get started?
Decide Whether to Apply as a Company or Individual
In Minnesota, both individuals (sole proprietorship) and larger organizations can obtain contractor’s licenses. If you intend to work for yourself, you might want to apply as an individual. For contractors who work as part of a company, you must nominate one controlling partner to act as the “qualifying person” or QP. The QP takes the exam and manages all aspects of licensing.
Determine Whether You Want a Building Contractor’s License or a Remodeler’s License
A building contractor can create new structures in Minnesota, such as residential homes and detached garages, while a remodeler is licensed only to work on (repair or remedy) existing structures. A building contractor’s license gives you more freedom in terms of the types of jobs you can accept.
Prepare for the Exam
Take as long as you need to prepare for your contractor’s license exam. You can obtain study materials online or through a governing body, but make sure you know all the material before you sit the test. Taking the exam too early could result in a failure, which means you must take it again.
In addition to studying the material, learn about the structure and details of the exam. Knowing what to expect when you arrive for the test will help quell your nerves and ensure you are mentally prepared.
Take the Exam
You must schedule a day to take the contractor’s license exam, then appear on that day. Bring at least two valid forms of identification, including a driver’s license or state identification card. If you bring expired forms of ID, you will not be permitted to take the test.
Pay Your License Fee
The license fee for a contractor’s license in Minnesota ranges from $560 to $760 depending on your business’s revenue. Consult with an expert in Minnesota licensing to determine how much you must pay and when you must submit it. You should pay your licensing fee and submit your application at the same time.
Contractors and remodelers in Minnesota must carry liability insurance to protect themselves and their clients. For any adverse event, the state requires contractors to carry a minimum of $100,000 in insurance, plus $25,000 insurance for property damage. The total liability insurance minimum for all adverse events is $300,000.
Keep in mind that it’s sometimes beneficial to carry more than the minimum insurance requirements. If you’re involved in an adverse event that results in more damage than your policy can cover, you’ll have to cover it out of pocket and potentially defend a lawsuit.
Participate in Continuing Education
Minnesota contractors must participate in 14 hours of continuing education, or CE, every two years to maintain their licenses in good standing. If you haven’t completed yours yet, start your course now so your business can continue to operate as normal. If you haven’t yet obtained your Minnesota contractor’s license, get started now so you can take advantage of the plentiful job availability.