how to get the Alabama General Contractor license

Alabama Contractors License – Fast Track

Table of Contents

Construction contractors in the state of Alabama are governed by the:

  • Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors

The following trades have their own specific licensing boards:

Who Needs a Contractor's License in Alabama?

Anyone charging over $50,000 for a project.

If you are applying for a Residential, HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, or Landscaping license and do not plan on taking on projects over $50,000 you may simply apply with the respective board.

If you do plan on doing projects over $50,000 in one of those categories you must get licensed with your specific trade board AND the Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors

Alabama Contractors License Classifications

License classifications in Alabama are separated into 5 categories:

  • Building Construction
  • Highways & Streets
  • Municipality & Utility
  • Heavy & Railroad
  • Specialty Classifications

Building Construction

  • Construction of commercial or industrial building structures intended for use for shelter, protection, comfort or convenience; 
  • Excavation and Foundations for building construction; and work incidental to Building Construction.

Highways & Streets

  • Construction of Roads, Streets, Alleys, and Sidewalks 
  • Curb & Gutter, Guardrails, and Fences 
  • Parkways, Parking Areas, and Runways 
  • Bridges, Grading, Drainage, and Landscaping 
  • All work incidental to Highway and Street Construction

Municipality and Utility

  • Clearing, grubbing, and grading 
  • Paving, curbs, gutters, walks, and driveways 
  • Swimming pools, sewer projects, and water projects 
  • Gas projects, electric projects, and telephone projects 
  • All work incidental to Municipal and Utility Construction

Heavy and Railroad

  • Construction of Railroads, Bridges, and Foundations 
  • Pile Driving, Piers, Abutments, and Retaining Walls 
  • Viaducts, Tunnels, Subways, Drainage Projects, and Aqueducts 
  • Irrigation and Flood Control Projects 
  • Water Power Development, Hydro-Electric Development, Transmission Lines, and Pipe Lines 
  • Locks, Dams, Dikes, Levees, Revetments, Channels, Breakwaters, Docks, and Harbors 
  • Industrial Projects, Excavation, Clearing, and Grubbing 
  • all work incidental Heavy and Railroad Construction

Specialty Classifications

  • Swimming Pools
  • Sprinkler Systems
  • Sheet Metal
  • Roofing/Siding
  • Painting
  • Underground Piping
  • Demolition
  • Golf Course
  • Recreational Areas
  • Remodeling
  • Renovations
  • Maintenance & Repair
  • Drainage
  • Concrete
  • Clearing/Grubbing
  • Earthwork and Excavation
  • ROW Maintenance 
  • Traffic Control and Safety
  • Structural Steel
  • Masonry
  • POL dispensing systems
  • Bridges

Alabama Contractor's License Requirements

You must meet the following requirements:

  • 18 Years of Age
  •  Valid Drivers License OR USA Issued Identification
  •  Social Security Number
  • Not Currently on Probation Parole

You must also have:

  •  3 Work Job References verified by either a licensed general contractor, registered professional engineer, registered architect, or qualified person
  • Minimum $10,000 net worth and working capital

Journeyman Level Experience

Construction worker in white hardhat plastering the ceiling. Alabama has no journeyman requirement for contractor licensing, but you must have a journeyman level knowledge to be succesful on the examination

Alabama does not have an experience requirement for Contractors. However, the trade examination you will be required to pass will present questions to you as if you are a journeyman. 

While different regions may have varying definitions for what a journeyman is, typically this is someone who:

  • Can perform all of the duties associated with their trade
  • Has worked un-supervised performing their trade
  • Has supervisory level experience
  • (in some cases) has completed a Journeyman certification

Prime Contractor vs. Subcontractor

A prime contractor is anyone looking to perform commercial or industrial projects over $50,000 in labor or materials. OR someone seeking to do residential projects for more than $10,000.

A subcontractor that performs work for a licensed general must also hold a subcontractor license if the project total is more than $50,000.

Alabama Contractors License Application Processing 

The application process is as follows:

  • Step 1: 

Complete either the Prime Contractor or Subcontractor Application

  • Step 2:

Complete a Qualifying Party Form

  • Step 3:

Complete a Financial Statement

Applications must be sent 30 days prior to a scheduled board meeting. Check board meeting dates & deadlines

Upon acceptance from the Alabama Contractors Board, you will then be allowed to register for an examination.

Fees & Insurance

  • $300 Application Fee (non-refundable)
  • Proof of current liability insurance

Completed applications and fees can be sent to:

2525 Fairlane Drive

Montgomery, Alabama 36116

Download Application

Proving Your Financial Solvency 

contractors looking to get licensed in alabama must complete a financial statement

You will need to prepare a financial statement demonstrating your net worth.

  • Financial Statement demonstrating net worth of at least $10,000
  • Statement must be prepared by a Certified Public Accountant or Licensed Public Accountant
  • Statement must be no more than 12 months old
  • Click here to download the Financial Statement Booklet

Alabama Contractors License Examination

All contractors must pass the Alabama Law and Business exam:

  • 50 Questions
  • Open Book
  • Computerized Test
  • 70% Score Required to Pass
  • 120 Minutes

The business and law test covers a range of topics including:

  • Licensing 
  • Estimating and Bidding 
  • Liens 
  • Financial 
  • Payroll and Taxes 
  • Personnel and Labor 
  • Project Management 
  • Contracts 
  • Business Organization 
  • Risk Management 
  • Safety
  • Record keeping 
  • Environmental regulations


Alabama currently accepts the NASCLA examination for General Commercial Building Contractors and Electricians. 

This means that if you are applying for a general building or electrical licensure from out of state, you may be able to waive your Alabama trade examination. 

For more information, check out this complete guide toNASCLA

Exam Site Locations

  • Birmingham (Vestavia Hills)

100 Center view Drive, Suite 100

Vestavia Hills, AL 35216


  • Huntsville 

4900 University Square, Suite 4

Huntsville, AL 35816


  • Mobile

Dorsey Center 6051-B Airport Blvd.

Mobile, AL 36608


  • Montgomery

500 Interstate Park Drive, Suite 530

Montgomery, Alabama, 36109

Alabama Business License

If you are applying for an Alabama contractor's license as a business, the state board will require you to have an established business entity.

This can be set up through the Alabama Secretary of State

You will choose a name and then select the type of entity you want. Typically, construction companies choose either:

  • Sole Proprietor – License held through an individual
  • Partnership – License held through a partnership
  • LLC – License held through a company that exists as its own entity
  • S-Corporation – License held through a corporate entity

when setting up a construction business in alabama, you will have the option of establishing yourself as either a sole owner, partnership, LLC, or corporation

For a deeper look at the advantages and disadvantages of each business entity, check out this free guide!

Worker's Compensation laws for Alabama Contractors

Alabama requires all construction companies with 1 or more employees to hold worker's compensation insurance.

This also includes LLCs. However, If you apply as a sole proprietorship and have no employees you may be exempt.

Contractors must be insured through a commercial provider, self-insured carrier, or through the Alabama Department of Labor

Alabama contractor license search

The Alabama Licensing Board for Contractor's number one responsibility is protecting the consumer public.

The agency exists not only to enforce rules on construction contractors but also to ensure that homeowners are not being overcharged by unlicensed contractors.

If you are looking to verify a contractor license in the state of Alabama, you can check a license here

Alabama contractor license renewal

Once your Contractor license is active, you will be responsible for renewing it on an annual basis. Make sure that you begin the renewal process 30 days in advance to make sure there is no gap in your licensing.

Alabama contractor license renewal portal


If you are entering the construction industry without any experience, you should absolutely explore starting out in an apprenticeship!

One of the best ways to build a solid foundation and position yourself to earn an excellent living in a short time frame is by investing in your education.

Apprenticeships can provide you with valuable training in a variety of different trades including Electrical, Plumbing, Concrete, Landscaping, Painting, HVAC, Roofing, Carpentry, and much more!

If you are one day looking to get the Alabama General Contractors license, you must demonstrate skillsets beyond just your specific trade. 

Check out our online course library:

online trade skills courses for contractors looking to get licensed in the state of Alabama

If you are new to the construction industry and have heard the term “journeyman” or “apprentice” and are not sure what these terms mean, or perhaps where to even start.

Each state may have different requirements and standards for what is considered a journeyman, check your state laws.

To learn more about the step-by-step path from an Apprentice to Journeyman!

What You Need To Know About Contractor License Schools

if you are looking to get an alabama contractors license, you may want to enroll in contractors classes

If you are looking to prepare for your Alabama contractors license exam, taking contractor classes could be a huge help.

Schools typically provide

  • Home study materials
  • Online classes taught by industry professionals
  • Application assistance 
  • Insurance and Business services

Many tradesmen find themselves a bit confused when faced with questions about construction accounting, balance sheets, workers compensation, employee rights, job site safety, and Alabama state construction law. 

These topics can be learned quickly. Studying consistently in the weeks leading up to your exam day will help you greatly.

Practice exams and study guides breaking down everything you need to know can be found here.

Blueprint Reading Course

online blueprint reading course for alabama contractors

For anyone looking to become a licensed general contractor, learning how to read blueprints is critical…

Blueprints communicate important information about the way in which a structure is built as well as what materials are necessary or have been used for its construction.

Being comfortable with construction blueprints is an invaluable skill especially for those looking to get into engineering or architecture.

See our Free Blueprint Reading Course!

Alabama OSHA

Statistically, 21% of all work-related fatalities are in construction.

That equals about 1 and 5 worker deaths on average.

In the construction industry, the leading cause of worker deaths is reported as falls, struck by an object, electrocution, and caught-in/between.

online osha course for those looking to get an alabama contractors license

Safety is taken very seriously by construction authorities in Alabama.

Whether it be HVAC, roofing, painting, landscaping, carpentry, electrical, or any other trade.

If your workers are not properly trained, it can place unnecessary risk to not only your personal safety but your bottom line as a business. 

For employment with a licensed general contractor, you may be asked to complete some level of Alabama OSHA Training

Alabama Contractor's License Reciprocity

You may qualify for reciprocity:

If you have had a license for three (3) consecutive years, which is still in good standing, with any of the following Boards, you may qualify for reciprocity: 

  • Arkansas 
  • Louisiana 
  • Mississippi  
  • Tennessee  
  • North Carolina State Board of Electrical Contractors

The Qualifying Party for Alabama must be the same as the Qualifying Party for the reciprocal state.

Applications for Reciprocity in Alabama must be on file, with a completed Out of State License Verification form. Applicants must also meet all of the basic licensing requirements

Learn more about Contractor License Reciprocity

Get Started on Your Construction Career

Applying to the Alabama Board of General Contractors can be a huge first step up in starting your own business.

The construction industry is very lucrative. There will be more and more opportunities for skilled tradesmen in the future.

The key is to use the information you have now and take action from beginning to end. 

If you have found this article, be sure to let us know! and check back for more updates in the future.