How To Obtain Your Contractor’s License In Wisconsin

So you recently decided to take your business to the next level and apply for a license as a concrete contractor. You already have years of experience working under plenty of qualified professionals. You are also very knowledgeable when it comes to pouring and repairing concrete. However, you’re not exactly sure where to begin and you could use some help throughout the licensing process.

We know that you want to get your business up and running right away. Here is a brief yet comprehensive to help get you started:

Why You Need

A License

The simple answer is that without a license, you will encounter a lot of trouble finding work. In Wisconsin, a contractor’s license is a must-have. You will need to meet certain standards when it comes to experience and training. These requirements are in place to ensure legal and financial protections for both contractors and clients.

Here are the protections that a contractor’s license provides:

  • It protects clients from under-qualified and under-experienced contractors
  • It protects clients from fraudulent behavior
  • It protects contractors from being undervalued and underpaid

Business insurance is another major requirement when it comes to obtaining your license. This includes general liability insurance which will cover you if any accidents, injuries, or damages occur. Without liability insurance, you could end up paying out of pocket, and you will potentially lose all of your money or file for bankruptcy.

Essential Steps To Obtaining

Your Contractor’s License

We understand the challenges of meeting every requirement. However, we want to provide you with a guide that takes you through the different steps to obtain your license. This will help make the entire process a lot easier:

Check Specialty

License Requirements

We are mostly focusing on the requirements for concrete contractors, but we also want to mention that specialty projects also have a unique process when it comes to applying for licensure. Wisconsin recognizes the following as specialty trades: Electrical, Elevator, HVAC, and Utility. If you are unsure which license you’ll need, we recommend that you contact the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.
required documents

Complete The Qualified

Contractor Course

You will need to take a qualifier course. This consists of 12 hours’ worth of in-person training and instruction from one of the state-approved course providers. After you complete the 12-hour course, you can then move on to the next step:

Apply For

The Qualifier Certificate

Before you can begin filling out your application, you will need a qualifier certificate. This will essentially validate those 12 hours of required learning. This certificate is good for two years. This is how you apply for a qualifier certificate:

  • Fill out the application and pay the associate fees ($15 application fee and $30 credential fee)
  • Show proof that you completed an approved course
required documents

Choose The Classification of

Your License

Now you need to determine the classification of licensure that is suitable for the type of work you plan on performing. There are two primary categories for licensure: The Dwelling Contractor Restricted license and the unrestricted Dwelling Contractor license.

With the Dwelling Contractor Restricted license, you can work on projects that are smaller in scope. Here is what you need and what the license allows you to do:

  • You can take on projects without having general liability insurance
  • You must have a surety bond between $5,000 and $25,000
  • You can’t work on any projects that exceed $25,000 in total value

The Dwelling Contractor license is unrestricted in terms of the size and scope of your projects. Here is what you need and what the license allows you to do:

  • You can take on larger projects
  • You will need additional insurance coverage (higher minimums)
  • You must have a surety bond of at least $25,000 for every project

The classification you choose is completely your decision. We recommend that you take some time to consider your options. A restricted license has lower financial obligations. However, if you want to take on larger, higher-paying jobs, then you will want to apply for an unrestricted license.

Prepare To

Submit Your Paper

Once you settle on a classification of licensure, you will then need to submit certain documents and information to the state of Wisconsin. Here is what the application will ask from you:

  • Business information from the applicant (what is your role in the company?)
  • Proof that you have workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance
  • Proof that you have a surety bond with a minimum amount corresponding to your license
  • Proof that you have general liability insurance (if applicable)
required documents

Submit Your Application And Renew

Your License Annually

Once you gather all the proper documentation and materials, you can now fill out your application and submit it. You will also need to pay the $15 application fee in addition to the $25 credential fee. You will also need to renew your license every year.

If you have any unanswered questions, check out the state’s Department of Safety and Professional Services website.

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