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image shows title of the blog post and arizona dessert in the background. guide covers everything contractors need to know about getting licensed in bonded in arizona and navigating the arizona registrar of contractors

What do you need to become a Licensed Contractor in Arizona?

To get a contractors license in Arizona you will need to:

  • Qualifying Person - This person can either be a licensed contractor, employer, fellow employee,  supervisor, journeyman, foreman or someone that has the required level of experience and can personally vouch for your level of experience
  • Required Level of Experience - In Arizona each license classification requires a different level of experience. Most licenses require at least 4 years experience at the journeyman level. You will need to be able to prove this experience with documentation at the AROC's request.
  • Pass an Exam - You will need to pass a two-part exam (Business Management/Trade) with a score of 70% or higher. . Some classifications only require that you to take the business management license.  To see whether or not your trade requires both exams, see below. You can apply for these exams through PSI's website. See Below
  • Criminal Background Check All applicants in Arizona have to pass a criminal background check. It is not impossible to get a contractor license in Arizona if you have a criminal record, just be hones ton the application. However, charges associated with: Fraud, Embezzlement and Forgery are big red flags
  • Form a Legal Entity - Arizona only issues licenses to legal entities. This includes: Sole Proprietorships, Limited Liability Companies, S-Corp, C-corporations and partnerships. To learn how to set up a business click here.
  • Contractor Bond - All Contractors in Arizona are required to have an active construction bond in place for a license can be activated. The amount for your contractor bond depends on the classification you are applying for. To learn more about construction bond requirements in Arizona, read below
  • Pay License Fees - Contractor license fees are paid every two years. The amount you have to pay depends on the classification you apply for, however they typically range between $580  and $1050. To see a the full breakdown of Arizona license fees click here.
  • Identification - You must have a USA issued form of identification along with a social security. You must be at-least 18 years of age and you cannot currently be on probation or parole.
  • Complete Application - You can find the license application form here. It can be either sent to:
  • Registrar of Contractors
    P.O. Box 6748
    Phoenix, AZ 85005-6748
    or delivered to:
    1700 W. Washington Street
    Suite 105
    Phoenix, AZ 85007-2812

Application Costs

The license fees in Arizona are as follows:

NEW LICENSE APPLICATION
CLASSIFICATIONAPPLICATION FEELICENSE FEERECOVERY FUND ASSESSMENT*TOTAL**
General Commercial $200$580$0$780
Specialty Commercial $100$480$0$580
General Residential $180$320$370$870
Specialty Residential $80$270$370$720
General Dual $200$480$370$1,050
Specialty Dual $100$380$370$850

Data from Arizona Registrar of Contractors Website

RENEWAL LICENSE APPLICATION
CLASSIFICATIONLICENSE FEERECOVERY FUND ASSESSMENT*TOTAL**
General Commercial $580$0$580
Specialty Commercial $480$0$480
General Residential $320$270$590
Specialty Residential $270$270$540
General Dual$480$270$750
Specialty Dual $380$270$650

Data from Arizona Registrar of Contractors Website

Who Needs A Contractor License In Arizona?

This includes:

  • Building
  • Altering
  • Repairing
  • Wrecking
  • Adding to
  • Subtracting from
  • Moving 
  • Demolishing

According to the AROC website: Any Building, Highway, Road, Railroad or Structure must hold a Contractor License in Arizona.

This also applies to anyone contracting for services involving erection of scaffolding, utility services, metering devices, sewer lines and mechanical or structural service. 

Arizona Contractor License Classifications

In the state of Arizona, construction work is separated into six categories:

  • Specialty Residential
  • Specialty Commercial
  • Specialty Dual License


Commercial License

  • Allows you to bid on all Commercial Construction Projects
  • Work related to electrical, plumbing, air conditioning systems, boilers, swimming pools, spas and water wells must be subcontracted to an appropriately licensed contractor. 

Residential License

  • Allows you to bid on all Residential Construction Projects
  • Work related to electrical, plumbing, air conditioning systems, boilers, swimming pools, spas and water wells must be subcontracted to an appropriately licensed contractor.

Dual License

  • Allows you to bid on all Residential and Commercial Construction Projects
  • Work related to electrical, plumbing, air conditioning systems, boilers, swimming pools, spas and water wells must be subcontracted to an appropriately licensed contractor.

Specialty Licenses

The following licenses only require you to pass the Arizona business management exam:

  • Swimming Pool Services 
  • Acoustical Systems 
  • Awnings, Carports, Patio Covers 
  • Drywall
  • Ornamental Metals 
  • Lightweight Partitions 
  • Plastering 
  • Insulation
  • Finish Carpentry 
  • Appliances 
  • Fencing 
  • Excavating, Grading, and Oil Surfacing
  • Sheet Metal 
  • Water Well Drilling 
  • Water Conditioning 
  • Welding
  • Finish Carpentry 
  • Appliances 
  • Fencing
  • Signs 
  • Wrecking 
  • Asphalt Paving

The Following Classifications require you to pass a Business Management and Trade Exam:

  • General Contractor
  • General Engineering Contractor
  • Boiler, Steam Fitting and Process Piping
  • Carpentry
  • Septic Tanks
  • Roofing
  • Ceramic, Plastic and Metal Tile
  • Comfort Heating, Ventilating and Cooling
  • Sewers, Drains and Pipe Laying
  • Carpentry, Remodeling and Repairs
  • Glazing
  • Low Voltage
  • Reinforcing Bar and Wire Mesh

Arizona Contractor Exam

Depending on your trade you may only need to take the Arizona Business Management exam.

The examination is facilitated by a third party company named: PSI

The exam covers:

  • Arizona Registrar of Contractors Statutes 
  • Arizona Registrar of Contractors Rules
  • Workmanship Standards
  • Business Management
  • Business Mathematics
  • Contracts and Agreements
  • Insurance and Bonding
  • Safety, Record Keeping and Employment Regulations
  • Financial Management 
  • Tax Laws
  • Liens
  • Environmental Regulations

Arizona Business Management Exam

  • Multiple Choice / On Computer
  • 80 questions 
  • 70% score is required to pass
  • 180 minutes
  • On test day you must bring two forms of identification
  • You will be given a piece of scratch paper and pencil
  • Non programmable calculators are permitted
  • No electronic devices are allowed inside the testing area
  • You get 3 attempts to pass the exam
  • PSI charges $66 to take one exam and $116 to take two exams
  • If you do not pass after 3 attempts you have to wait 180 days to take the exam again
  • The exam is multiple choice and taken on a computer

Where do you take the Contractor License exam in Arizona?

YUMA

Yuma - Arizona Western College

2020 SE Avenue 8E

Yuma, AZ 85365

TUCSON

2601 N. Campbell Avenue,

Suite 201-3

Tucson, AZ 85719

TEMPE

Mill Avenue Business Center

40 W. Baseline Road, Suite 221

Tempe, AZ 85283

PHOENIX - MIDTOWN

5727 N. 7th Street,

Suite 301

Phoenix, AZ 85014

GLENDALE

Glendale-Arizona Flight Training Center -

Glendale Airport

6799 N Glen Harbor Blvd

Glendale, AZ 85307

FLAGSTAFF

Northern Arizona University

Du Bois Building 64, Room 140306

E. Pine Knoll Drive

Flagstaff, AZ 86011

Arizona Contractor Bond

  • All licensed contractors in the state of Arizona must hold a Construction Bond
  • All Construction Bonds must be continuous with no termination date

What Is a Contractor Bond?

  • A construction bond is a security deposit issued by a surety company. 
  • Bonds are designed to protect the consumer public against contractor default.
  • Construction bonds act as protection mechanisms for clients from unethical or illegal actions performed by contractors.
  • Construction bonds also ensure that subcontractors get paid for their work. They also ensure or that a contractor performs his duties as stated in a contract.
  • Construction bonds protect employees, suppliers, sub-contractors or clients against a contractor's failure to abide by an agreement.

Learn more about Construction Bonds!

Forming an Entity

In Arizona the following entities must hold a contractor license in order to place bids on construction projects:

  • Sole Proprietor (individual)
  • Partnerships
  • Corporations
  • LLC (Limited Liability Companies)

To apply for a contractor license in Arizona through a Corporation or LLC you must first be registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission

a carpenter laying planks on a roof. the Arizona Registrar of contractors offers licenses to sole proprietors, partnerships, and corporations

Construction Businesses must be licensed in Arizona

Similar to California Contractor Law, In Arizona a Corporation may apply for a license as long as they have a regularly employed person that has the experience and skills necessary.

This person is known as a Responsible Managing Officer.

Anyone listed as apart of the business or who owns 25% or more of the Construction Business is legally responsible for the activities of the business.

Recap: Steps To Getting Licensed in Arizona
  • Determine Which Exam You Must Pass
  • Apply for an Exam Date 
  • Complete a Background Check
  • Form a Legal Entity 
  • Submit Application with your passing score (at least 70%), Contractor Bond Number, and Background Check
  • Application Processing typically takes between 20-30 days

Applications can be mailed to:

Registrar of Contractors, P.O. Box 6748, Phoenix, AZ 85005-6748

Or hand delivered to:

1700 W. Washington Street, Suite 105, Phoenix, AZ 85007-2812

You can check your application status here at the AROC Website

What Is The Arizona Registrar of Contractors?

Logo of the Arizona registrar of contractors which are members of the california contractor license reciprocity agreement

Arizona Registrar of Contractors

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors is the governing agency that regulates construction activity in the state of Arizona.

The agency was established in 1931 to regulate the construction industry of Arizona.  

Its mission is to protect the health and safety of the public by ensuring that construction contractors are qualified, licensed and bonded.

The Agency is responsible for:

  • Processing Contractor License Applications in Arizona
  • Resolving Disputes and Complaints
  • Enforcing Contractor License LAW in Arizona
  • Regulation of the Industry 

Arizona Contractor License Reciprocity

featured image has a picture of california. Blog post about how contractors from other states can get licensed in california and the truth about california contractor license reciprocity

In the context of licensing, it means that a contractor who is licensed in one state, may not need to retake an exam to get licensed in another state.

Learn more about California's Contractor License reciprocity agreement with Arizona!

Conclusion

This article will continue to be updated as time goes on.

Getting licensed in Arizona is relatively easy compared to other states like California. Making sure that you complete your contractor license packet and study consistently for your exam! 

Getting a contractor license can be a huge asset for you if you are RMO

Getting licensed in Arizona can also help you expand your business and take on larger clients!

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