How To Obtain Your Contractor’s License In Tennessee

You recently decided that it’s time to make a change and embark on your journey to becoming a concrete contractor. However, you need to earn your license before you can get your business up and running. We want to help you get started.

All applications go through the review and approval process administered by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Board for Licensing Contractors. However, the Board has different classifications of licensure which involve monetary limits, fees, exam scores, and other state requirements. You will also need general liability insurance if you want to provide services as a concrete contractor in Tennessee. You will also need to establish a business structure and register with the Tennessee Secretary of State.

General Requirements For

Your Contractor’s License

The Licensing Board needs you to meet certain requirements before you submit your application. First, contractors in the state of Tennessee need to obtain a license if they want to bid on projects that exceed $25,000 in cost. For projects under $25,000, there are certain circumstances that will also require licensure. Here’s what the state needs from you:

  • Determine your business structure and register with the Tennessee Secretary of State. Examples include Corporations, LLCs, and Limited/General Partnerships.
  • Pass the Business and Las exam administered by PSI Testing Solutions. If you are obtaining a license for a specialty trade, then you will need to take an additional exam.
  • You will need to find a qualifying agent who must also pass the exam. This person can be an employer or a full-time employee.
  • You will need to specify the classification of the license that you need.
  • Provide a financial statement.
  • Produce a certificate of insurance that meets all the minimum requirements of your license. This also includes proof of workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Pay all the licensing and application fees.
  • Don’t forget to submit your paperwork and information before the deadline, which falls on the 20th of every month.

The Licensing Board will reject your application if you don’t meet all of the aforementioned requirements. The process in Tennessee is very similar to other states and jurisdictions throughout the country. The main difference is how they determine and structure the classifications of licensure.

Who Needs

A License?

Every state in the country has a varying yet similar definition when it comes to contracting. However, the necessity of a license will depend on where you live in the state of Tennessee as well as the cost and scope of your projects. Specialty trades have their own sets of classifications.

Here is an example: you are a concrete contractor and you need a license to do business in teh Nashville and Davidson County. For any projects under $25,000, you will need a Home Improvement License. For projects that exceed $25,000, you should apply for an alternative license. Listed below are the different licenses for general contractors in Tennessee:

Home Improvement Contractor – This license allows you to perform repairs, improvements, or additions during residential and remodeling projects between $3,000 and $24,999. You will not have the approval to provide electrical, plumbing, or HVAC repair work. This license is applicable in several jurisdictions throughout Tennessee.

Projects over $25,000 – General contractors will have three different options: Prime Contractor’s license, Subcontractors, and Construction Management.

  • Prime Contractor – This license allows you to bid on projects or provide contracting services directly with the “owner” of the project.
  • Subcontractor – This license is for anyone who works directly with the contractor, not the owner. Subcontractors can perform a wide range of contracting services, including electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, and masonry projects.
  • Construction Management – Anyone who wants to work on projects that exceed $25,000 in total value will need to apply for this license.


  • (BC) – This category is all-encompassing. It allows you to work on a variety of projects. It covers all 34 building categories, including masonry, landscaping, drywall, and carpentry. You can bid on any project with this license.
  • Residential (BC-A) – This allows you to work on projects that involve building, repairing, remodeling, or improvements of residential properties. Anything three stories tall or less is a residential property (according to Tennessee).
  • Limited Residential (BC-A/r) –This license also allows you to undergo the building, repairing, remodeling, or improvements of residential properties. However, you can only work on single-family homes and the project cannot exceed 125,000 in cost.
  • Commercial (BC-B) – This license applies to properties that are in use (or will be in use) by the general public. This license also covers all 34 subcategories.
  • Small Commercial (BC-b(sm)) – This license is similar to the previous license. However, You cannot work on projects that exceed $750,000 in cost.

Industrial (BC-C) – You will have the authorization to build, construct, remodel, and upgrade industrial buildings, such as factories and warehouses.

required documents
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