Alabama has several designated state agencies that govern the various areas of construction activity:
- Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors
- Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board (All Residential Construction)
- Alabama Board of Heating, Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration
- Alabama Electrical Board
- Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board
- Department of Agriculture (Landscaping)
Residential construction above $10,000 falls under the jurisdiction of the Alabama Home Builders Board
Types of Home Builders Licenses
There are currently three license types:
- Unlimited License
- Limited License
- Roofer's License
"A residential home builder who holds a current and valid residential home builders license without limitation may engage in the business of residential home building regardless of the scope of the construction"
- Allows you to engage in repair or improvement projects over $10,000
- Projects involving more than one trade
- Projects affecting the structural integrity
- Register for the Unlimited License
"A residential home builder who holds a current and valid residential home builders license with limitation may only engage in the business of residential home building in the scope of repair, improvement, and re-improvement"
- Allows you to engage in repair or improvement projects over $10,000
- Projects involving no more than one trade
- Projects that do not affect the structural integrity
- Register for the Limited License
"Residential Roofing. The term “residential roofing” as used in these rules shall mean installing products or repairing surfaces on the external upper covering of a residence or structure that seals, waterproofs, or weatherproofs the residence or the structure, when the cost of the undertaking exceeds$2,500"
- Any roofing project over $2,500
- Register for the Roofing License
General Contractor License vs Home Builders License
In the state of Alabama any contractor taking on a project over $50,000 must register with the Alabama Board of General Contractors.
If your project is under the $50,000 mark than you fall under the jurisdiction of the Alabama Home Builders License Board
"Builders who construct or offer to construct more than four (4) residences on a single lot, including site-built homes, condominiums, duplexes, or multi-unit residential buildings consisting of more than four (4) residential units are subject to the jurisdiction of the Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors"
Alabama Home Builders License Requirements
You must meet the following requirements:
- 19 Years of Age
- Valid Drivers License OR USA Issued Identification
- Social Security Number
You must also:
- Pass the Alabama Home Builder's Examination
- Complete a Credit Report check (unlimited and limited license only)
- $10,000 Bond required with application (roofing license only)
- All applications must be notarized
- Certificate of compliance with Dept of revenue (corporations only)
Fees & Insurance
- $100 New license Application Fee (non-refundable)
- $250 Annual license fee
- Check or money order only
Completed Applications and fees can be sent to:
Home Builders License Board
445 Herron St
Montgomery, Alabama 36104
How To Pass The Home Builders License Test
All contractors must pass the Alabama home builders license law test. The exam will be:
- 80 Questions Law & Business (2 hours allowed)
- 80 Residential Construction Skills (4 hours allowed)
The law & business test covers the following topics:
- Business Organization
- Contract Management
- Estimating & Bidding
- Financial Management
- Labor Laws
- Project Management
- Risk Management
- Safety (Reporting)
- Board Rules
- Tax Laws
The Residential construction skills exam covers:
- Plan Reading
- Site-work & Foundations
- Concrete and Reinforcement
- Interior Finish
- Exterior Finish
- Associated Trades
Alabama currently uses the NASCLA Law & Project Management for Residential Construction Exam.
NASCLA stands for the National Association of State Contractor Licensing Agencies. NASCLA a non-profit organization whose purpose to establish license uniformity for state agencies that regulate the construction industry.
For more information, check out this complete guide to NASCLA
Exam site locations
- Auburn University
112 SouthCollege 238 Biggin Hall
- Jefferson State Community College
Jefferson Campus Lurleen WallaceHall - Room 3222601
Birmingham, AL 35215
- Jefferson State Community College Shelby
HooverCampus General Studies Building,Room110
4600 Valleydale Rd
- Enterprise State Community College
600 PlazaDrive Enterprise, AL 36331
- University of Alabama in Huntsville
301 Sparkman Drive Wilson Hall, Room202
Huntsville, AL 35899
- University of South Alabama
555 UniversityBlvd.North AlphaHall East- Room 326
- Alabama State University
915 S.Jackson Street McGeHee Hall 105
- North Alabama Electrical JATC 1805
E.17th Street Sheffield, AL 35660
- University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
3017th Avenue, Houser HallSuite 2000
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487
There are certain individuals who are exempt from licensing requirements, they are:
Anyone who is employed by a person holding either a general contractor license or builders license
Employees of Government Entities -
No residential home builders license is required for employees of the United States, the State of Alabama, or any municipality, county, or other political
General Contractors -
Those holding an Alabama general contractor license are exempt from the jurisdiction of the home builders board
Real Estate Agents, Architects, and Engineers -
No residential home builders license is required for real estate licensees, licensed engineers, and licensed architects when operating within the scope of their respective licenses on behalf of clients
Owners of property when acting as their own contractor and providing all material supervision themselves, when building or improving one-family or two-family residences on such property for the occupancy or use of such owners and not offered for sale. Homeowners claiming this exemption may not sell their property within 1 year of project completion
Alabama Business License
If you are applying for an Alabama home builders license as anything other than an individual sole proprietorship, you will need to establish yourself as a 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
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 workers compensation insurance.
This also includes LLC's. 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 home builders search
The Alabama Home Builders License Board'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 over charged by unlicensed contractors.
If you are looking to verify a builders license in the state of Alabama, you can check a license here
Once your builders license is active, you will be responsible for renewing it on an annual basis between October 1st and December 31st.
You can learn more about the renewal process below
Apprenticeships in Alabama
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:
If you are new to 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 prepare for your Alabama home builders license test, 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 tradesman find themselves a bit confused when faced with questions about construction accounting, balance sheets, workers compensation, employee rights, job site safety and Alabama home builders license law.
These topics can be learned quickly. Studying consistently on 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
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!
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.
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
If you plan on taking on projects over $50,000 you would then qualify for an Alabama contractors license. If you want to work out of state, 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:
- 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 Home Builders License Board 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 tradesman 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.