Obtaining Your License As A Concrete Contractor In Illinois

If you plan on applying for a contractor’s license in Illinois, then you will need to do it through your city or county regulators. The state of Illinois does not handle construction licensure. That being said, you still need to possess the necessary certifications and licensing to become a concrete contractor.

You will need to meet different requirements, but the licensing process itself will vary depending on where you live in the state. Before you decide to provide contracting services, you should contact your local city or county officials to ensure that your business is following the law. We want to outline some important information that will help you navigate the licensing process.


License and Registration

You must register your business with the Illinois Secretary of State if it falls under the following structures: Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships, Limited Liability Corporations, Corporations, and Not-for-Profit business entities.
To operate a business in the state of Illinois, you must also register for one or more tax-specific identification numbers, licenses, or permits. We recommend that you contact the Illinois Department of Revenue to learn more about your tax obligations. Additionally, you will need to possess workers’ compensation and general liability insurance. You can get coverage through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis, or through the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission.

General Contractor’s License


To get a better idea of what the licensing process entails in Illinois, we want to take a closer look at Chicago’s criteria. You will need to disclose your business structure to the city, which will naturally require you to have a business license. The City of Chicago Department of Buildings is then going to request certain information from you, including:

  • A description of the contracting services you intend on providing (i.e., concrete repair and installation)
  • Specify the classification of the license you need
  • Clarify your business structure, including information on the company and your partnerships
  • Verify that your business is in good financial standing
  • Provide a certificate of insurance
  • Sign and complete your application before submitting it and paying the licensing fees

We strongly advise that you don’t omit any information, otherwise this will delay the licensing process. The city will review your application and approve/reject it within a month’s time. If approved, the city will mail you your license. Then you will need to get additional insurance and surety bonds. The cost of the bonds will depend on the kind of work that you perform.

Types of Contractor’s Licenses

Issued By Chicago

The Chicago Municipal Code asserts that a general contractor is someone who: “arranges or submits a bid or offers to undertake […], through himself or through others, to erect, construct, alter, repair, move, install, replace, convert, remodel, rehabilitate, modernize, improve or make additions to any building.”

The city has five classifications for general contractors. The classifications are based on upon single contract project value:

  • Class A License – No limitation to any single contract project value.
  • Class B License – Construction of any single contract project value not to surpass $10,000,000.
  • Class C License – Construction of any single contract project value not to surpass $5,000,000.
  • Class D License – Construction of any single contract project value not to surpass $2,000,000.
  • Class E License – Construction of any single contract project value not to surpass $500,000.

The City of Chicago Department of Buildings also offers trade licensing for electricians, plumbers, mason contractors, crane operators, and private alarm contractors. Depending on the specifications of your trade, you may need to pass a licensing exam. Make sure that you have your license before you begin bidding and undertaking any projects.

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Licensing and

Registration Fees

The fees will vary according to the classification of your license. The fees will increase with a higher general contractor classification. You should mail your fees, along with your application, to the mailing address designated to receive general contractor’s applications for the city of Chicago (or your local municipality).


We understand that licensing process can take some time to complete, but we can assure you it’s worth it. Once you possess the proper licensing and insurance, you can begin your career as an independent concrete contractor. However, remember that these requirements will vary according to where you live in the state of Illinois. Also, if you are unsure if you need to take a licensing exam, then we recommend that you ask your local municipality or county representatives.
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