Connecticut Contractor License

Written by: Nik Ventouris

Connecticut Contractor License

Considering a career as a contractor in Connecticut? You’ll need to start with a clear understanding of the state’s unique licensing requirements.

Our Connecticut Contractor License guide is designed to help you navigate through the complexities of the local licensing landscape with ease, detailing both: when you’ll need to register as a contractor, as well as how to go about doing so.

So let’s take a closer look.

Tip: If you’re planning to work as a general contractor in Connecticut, we recommend forming an LLC. This is an affordable business structure that protects your personal assets against debt and/or lawsuits.

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Do You Need a Contractor License

In Connecticut, not all contractors are required to obtain a specific license. Instead, licensing requirements vary depending on the type of work being done and the scope of the project in question.

We’ve explored these considerations in greater detail below.

General Contractors

For General Contractors in Connecticut, it’s important to understand that the state does not issue a specific “General Contractor License.” Instead, depending on the scope of their projects, general contractors may need to consider one of three primary state-level licenses (explored below).

Keep in mind that smaller scale projects, work on personal property, and tasks that don’t affect the structural integrity of a building, can be performed without a state license.

Having said that, it’s always advisable to check your local municipality’s specific rules or permit requirements in order to ensure that you’re operating in a way that is compliant with your local area’s laws.

Major Contractors

Contractors in Connecticut engaging in large-scale construction projects have to register as a Major Contractor. This registration applies to projects significantly impacting infrastructure and public safety, such as:

  • Building constructions that exceed certain height and size thresholds, like structures over four stories or 60 feet in height
  • Projects with a wide spatial scope, involving clear spans of more than 150 feet
  • Developments designed to accommodate a large number of people, typically over 1,000, such as in schools, hospitals, and large commercial buildings

Furthermore, the scope of the major contractor license extends to subcontractors working under a general contractor for tasks that significantly impact a structure’s integrity. This includes specialized work such as roofing, masonry, and constructing structural frameworks.

Note: For more information, you can visit the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s official Major Contractor Registration Application page.

Home Improvement Contractors

For those looking to undertake home improvement projects in Connecticut, it’s important to understand what exactly falls under the category of a Home Improvement Contractor License.

This term refers to professionals who modify and enhance residential properties, with projects ranging from updating driveways and pools to installing new roofs.

Keep in mind that this license does not apply to work done by homeowners on their property, subcontracted work, or projects worth under $200.

Additionally, work covered under a trade license or work carried out on commercial properties does not require a Home Improvement Contractor license.

Note: For more information, take a look at the Home Improvement Applications section on the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection website.

New Home Construction Contractors

If your business specializes in constructing new residential properties, including single-family homes, duplexes, condominiums, and modular homes, you will need to obtain a New Home Construction Contractor License.

Keep in mind that this license does not extend to consumer-driven projects on their own property, work under real estate licenses as outlined in Chapter 392 of the Connecticut General Statutes, or activities by mobile home dealers governed by Chapter 412. Furthermore, this license does not apply to contracted work that has a value that does not exceed $3500.

Note: New Home Construction Contractors in Connecticut have the option to include home improvement services by updating their service offerings through their account on the Connecticut eLicense website.

How to Get a Contractor License in Connecticut

Becoming a general contractor in Connecticut is relatively straightforward since the state doesn’t mandate a license. This means there are no specific age, experience, or education qualifications that you must meet at a state level to be able to offer these services.

However, if you intend to perform any work in a specialist trade (i.e., Major contractor, Home Improvement Contractor or New Home Contractor), there are certain steps your business will need to follow in order to get licensed. While the specifics of these steps vary between each trade, you will generally need to do the following:

Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure

Before starting the application process for a contractor license, you’ll first need to decide on the structure of your business. Since this decision will impact your liability, tax obligations, and how you run your business, it’s vital you’re informed about the details of each structure so that you can effectively determine which one is best suited to your needs.

Many contracting businesses in Connecticut, particularly smaller ones, decide to structure themselves as an LLC because it grants them tax flexibility, limited liability protection, and credibility in the eyes of their clients.

Recommended: More than 72% of our readers form their LLC using a professional filing service. Our recommended service provider is:

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Step 2: Meet the Basic Requirements

After forming your business, you’ll need to confirm that you meet the minimum basic requirements. While the specifics of these requirements will vary depending on the license you are trying to obtain, you’ll generally need to:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be a US citizen or legally reside in the country
  • Have no convictions of a disqualifying offense

Note: Applicants must submit two credit references by using designated forms available on the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection website.

Step 3: Submit an Application

Once you’ve confirmed that you meet the basic requirements of the license your business needs, the next step is to complete and submit the appropriate application form to the relevant regulatory body along with any associated fees.

Here’s a list of a few of Connecticut’s specialist trades:

  • Major Contractor Registration: To apply for Major Contractor Registration in Connecticut, complete and submit the application online through the Department of Consumer Protection’s eLicense portal
  • Home Improvement Contractor: To apply for your Home Improvement Contractor license, use this detailed guide provided by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection
  • New Home Construction Contractor: To apply for your New Home Construction Contractor license, refer to this guide offered by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection

Step 4: Pass a Licensing Exam

While not a universal requirement, many contractor licenses in Connecticut require applicants to pass a licensing exam in order to qualify. For example, electricians must take an exam administered by PSI after their application has been approved by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

Many candidates struggle with these exams as they will often test both their knowledge of the trade and their understanding of Connecticut’s specific regulations and laws. To avoid this, many applicants take advantage of online study guides and preparatory courses in order to get ready for these exams.

Interested in getting started? Kick-start the preparation for your contractor licensing exam today with comprehensive study courses and learning materials.

Step 5: Satisfy Insurance Requirements

In order to protect both your business and the client in case of accidents and damages, most contractors in Connecticut will need to provide proof of insurance coverage in order to get licensed. For example, major contractors must provide proof of general liability insurance to safeguard public welfare, with the certificate holder designated as the Department of Consumer Protection, 450 Columbus Blvd, Ste 901, Hartford, CT 06103.

Additionally, you may have a surety bond requirement based on the kind of work you will perform. For example, home improvement contractors file a $15,000 surety bond with the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection before they can be licensed.

Step 6: Keep Your Contractor License Valid

Once you obtain your license, it’s essential to keep it active. This often involves renewing it every few years, paying associated renewal fees, and meeting continuing education requirements.

For example, major contractors, home improvement contractors, and new home construction contractors all need to renew their licenses on an annual basis in order to continue offering their services without interruption.

Congratulations! You’ve now successfully obtained the professional license needed to work as a contractor in Connecticut. However, your licensing journey doesn’t end here, as there are additional licensing requirements your business will need to satisfy in order to operate legally.

Other Licenses You May Need

Below, we’ve explored the various additional licenses and permits that your Connecticut contractor business may need in more detail.

State Business Licenses

While general contractor licenses aren’t required at a state level in Connecticut, there are certain state business licenses you may need to obtain before you can get up and running.

For example, since the building materials and services a general contractor provides to clients as part of a construction project are generally taxable, you’ll likely require a sales tax permit.

Additionally, your general contractor business may require an environmental permit from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection if it takes on certain types of projects with the potential to impact the environment.

To better understand your contractor business’s licensing requirements, we recommend checking out the Information for Businesses section on the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services’s website.

Note: There are a range of different fees associated with registering your business in Connecticut. To get an idea of how much it would cost to get your contracting business off the ground, you can find these fees on the Secretary of State’s Business Filings & Trademarks Fee Schedule page.

City and Municipal Licenses

Many local municipalities often impose their own additional requirements that you may be required to satisfy for your business to operate legally in that area.

For instance, in Bridgeport, contractors involved in utility or sewer work requiring road or sidewalk excavation must secure a city-specific license and coordinate with the Engineering Department.

Similarly, New Haven has its own set of requirements and forms for contractors, covering various activities from street excavation to hauling services.

Note: You can use the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities to find your city’s government website and read more about its specific licensing requirements.

Connecticut Contractor License FAQ

Do contractors need a license in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, contractor licensing depends on the project scope and type. While a state license isn’t always mandatory, specific registrations are required for major construction, home improvement, and new home construction projects. Additionally, local city regulations may necessitate further licensing. Interested in finding out more? Check out our How to Get a General Contractor License article.

What is a major contractor license in CT?

A major contractor license in Connecticut is a registration for contractors handling large-scale construction projects. This includes work on structures over four stories or 60 feet in height. For more information take a look at our Connecticut Contractor License article.

Do you need a license to be a handyman in CT?

Handymen in Connecticut don’t need a state license for minor repairs and non-structural work. However, for home improvement tasks like roofing or remodeling, registration as a Home Improvement Contractor with the Department of Consumer Protection is required.

Do you need a license to paint in Connecticut?

For general painting jobs in Connecticut, a specific state license is not required. Having said that, we recommend checking your local city’s and municipality’s regulations, as some areas may have their own requirements.