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what you must understand about the state of georgia general contractor license before you apply

#1 Georgia General Contractor License Roadmap!

Construction in state-wide is regulated by the:

  • Georgia State Licensing Board for Residential and General Contractors


There are 4 available licensing classifications:

  • General Contractor
  • Limited Tier General Contractor
  • Residential Basic Contractor
  • Residential Light Commercial Contractor
complete guide to your general contractor license in the state of georgia

General Contractor

May undertake residential, commercial, industrial construction projects with no bid limit. However work involving the following trades must be subcontracted to an appropriately licensed contractor:

  • Electrical and Low Voltage 
  • Plumbing 
  • HVAC 
  • Utility contracting

Requirements for the General contractors license

  • 4 Years of Journeyman level experience in Construction (2 years must be working directly under a general contractor)
  • Proof that you have supervised or management at least one commercial project within 5 years of application date
  • Minimum net worth of $150,000
  • Proof of General Liability Insurance minimum of $500,000


Experience can be substituted if you have:

  • Bachelor degree from an accredited four-year college or university in the field of engineering, architecture, construction management, building construction

Limited Tier General Contractor

May undertake residential, commercial, industrial construction projects under $500,000. Work involving the following trades must be subcontracted to an appropriately licensed contractor:

  • Electrical and Low Voltage 
  • Plumbing 
  • HVAC 
  • Utility contracting

Requirements for Limited Tier General Contractors

  • 4 Years of Journeyman level experience in Construction (2 years must be working directly under a general contractor)
  • Proof that you have supervised or managed at-least 2 projects within 5 years of the application date
  • Minimum net worth of $25,000 (Surety Bond, Line of Credit, Letter of Credit)
  • Proof of General Liability Insurance minimum of $500,000
  • Proof of Worker's Compensation Insurance

Residential Basic Contractor

May undertake construction work on detached one family and two-family residences and one-family townhouses not over three stories in height and their accessory buildings and structures. Work involving one of the following trades must be subcontracted to an appropriately licensed contractor:

  • Electrical and Low Voltage
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC
  • Utility Contracting

Requirements for Residential Basic Contractors

  • 2 Years of Journeyman level experience in Construction (2 years must be working directly under a general contractor)
  • Proof that you have supervised or managed at-least 2 projects within 5 years of the application date
  • Minimum net worth of $25,000 (Surety Bond, Line of Credit, or Letter of Credit)
  • Proof of General Liability Insurance minimum of $300,000
  • Proof of Worker's Compensation Insurance

Residential Light Commercial Contractor

May undertake everything listed under the Residential contractor license also including light commercial work including:

  • Multifamily and multi-use light commercial buildings and structures
  • Less than four stories in height; 
  • Less than 25,000 square feet in aggregate interior floor space
  • Constructed of wood or light gauge metal frame, brick veneer, prefabricated, or manufactured type of construction 
  • Pre-engineered steel buildings not exceeding 50,000 square feet of interior floor space

Requirements for Light Commercial Contractors

  • 2 Years of Journeyman level experience in Construction (2 years must be working directly under a general contractor)
  • Proof that you have supervised or managed at-least 2 projects within 4 years of the application date
  • Minimum net worth of $25,000 (Surety Bond, Line of Credit, or Letter of Credit)
  • Proof of General Liability Insurance minimum of $300,000
  • Proof of Worker's Compensation Insurance


Journeyman Level Experience

the Georgia contractor license exam will require you to understand your trade on a journeyman level

Georgia does not explicitly use the term "journeyman" in reference to contractor experience. 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

College Degrees and Construction Experience

You may substitute experience toward your Georgia general license if you have a bachelor degree from an accredited four-year college or university in the field of:

  • Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Construction management
  • Building construction 
  • Other field acceptable to the division 

You will also be expected to have at least one year of proven experience working as or under a Residential or General Contractor

Georgia General Contractors License Application 

The application process is as follows:

  • Step 1: 

Determine whether you are applying as an Individual or Qualifying Agent

  • Step 2:

Choose your Contractor License Classification 

  • Step 3:

Once your application is approved, you will then be notified of where and when you will schedule your examination

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Contractor's License In Georgia?

  • $300 Exam Application Fee  (non-refundable)
  • $200 Reciprocity Application 
  • $100 Renewal Application
  • Check or Money order

Completed Applications and fees can be sent to:

237 Coliseum Drive,

Macon, GA 31217

Check Fee Schedule

Proving Your Financial Solvency 

when applying for a georgia general contractor license, you will be expected to provide financial statements

You will need to prepare prepared show your net worth.

The state of Georgia has different net worth and financial requirements depending on the GC license classification you are applying for

Georgia General Contractors License Examination

All general contractors must pass the Georgia Business and Law 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 Requirements
  • Estimating and Bidding
  • Business Organization and Financial Management
  • Tax Laws
  • Labor Laws
  • Project Management
  • Lien Law
  • Contracts
  • Risk Management
  • Environmental and Safety

Georgia Residential Basic Exam

The trade examination for residential contractors will be:

  • 80 Questions
  • 70% Required to pass (56 answer correct)
  • 200 Minutes

The test will cover the following topics:

  • Site-work, Footings and Foundation 
  • Concrete and Concrete Reinforcement 
  • Masonry
  • Carpentry 
  • Roofing 
  • General Code and Construction Knowledge
  • Associated Trades
  • OSHA Safety

Georgia Residential Light Commercial Exam

The trade examination for residential light commercial contractors will be:

  • 90 Questions
  • 70% Required to pass (73 answer correct)
  • 230 Minutes

The test will cover the following topics:

  • Site-work, Footings and Foundation
  • Concrete and Concrete Reinforcement
  • Metals
  • Masonry
  • Carpentry
  • Roofing
  • General Code and Construction Knowledge
  • Associated Trades
  • OSHA Safety

NASCLA Georgia General Contractor's License Examination

If you are applying for the General or Limited Tier License you will be required to pass NASCLA's General Commercial Building Exam

  • 115 Questions
  • 70% Required to pass (81 answer correct)
  • 330 Minutes

The test will cover the following topics:

  • Planning and Estimating
  • Financial and Project Management
  • Safety
  • Site Construction
  • Concrete
  • Masonry
  • Metals
  • Wood Foundations and Framing
  • Thermal Moisture Protection
  • Doors, Windows, and Glazing
  • Finishes
  • Specialty Equipment and Conveyance Systems

NASCLA

The georgia general contractor license exam is administered by NASCLA

Georgia currently the NASCLA examination for General Commercial Building Contractors.

This means that if you are applying for 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 to NASCLA

Exam Site Locations
  • Atlanta (Marietta)

The Pavilions at East Lake Shopping Center

2100 Roswell Road NE, Suite 2128

Marietta, GA 30062

  • Macon

3902 Northside Dr, Suite C5

Macon, GA 31210

  • Tifton

251 Southwell Blvd. Suite A

Tifton, GA 31794

Georgia Business License

If you are applying for a Georgia general contractors license as a Qualifying Agent, the state board will require you to have an established business entity.

This can be set up through the Georgia 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
if you are looking to start a business and get a general contractor license in Georgia, you will want to look into establishing yourself as a business entity

Worker's Compensation laws for Georgia General Contractors

Georgia requires its contractor's 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.

For information specific to your situation you can refer to the Georgia State Board of Worker's Compensation

Georgia contractor license search

The Georgia Board for Contractor's number one responsibility is to protect the consumer public.

The agency not only governs construction contractors, but also to ensure that homeowners are not being over charged by unlicensed contractors.

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

Renewing your contractor license

Once your Georgia gc license is active, you will be responsible for meeting the specific renewal dates set by the board. To review them you can check the link below

Georgia general contractor license renewal portal

Apprenticeships in Georgia

If you are beginning your career in construction you should absolutely consider a construction 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 early.

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 your goal is to one day get a general contractor license in Georgia, start by learning the law & business concepts as well as fundamental trade skills

Check out our online course library:

there are several online courses designed to help you prepare for your georgia general contractor license exam

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 Georgia general 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 tradesman 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. 

GA general contractors license practice tests and study guides breaking down everything you need to know can be found here.

Blueprint Reading Course

blueprint reading is a fundamental skill for general contractors looking to get licensed

If you are serious about passing being successful as a licensed general contractor in Georgia, you will absolutely need to understand how to read blueprints.

Construction 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 blueprints is an invaluable skill especially for those looking to get into engineering or architecture.

See our Free Blueprint Reading Course!

OSHA Regulations in Georgia

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 a very important part of a general contractors job. To pass your georgia business and law exam you will want to be familiar with OSHA safety regulations

Safety is taken very seriously by the state licensing board for residential and general contractors.

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 ​Georgia OSHA Training

Contractor's License Reciprocity

You may qualify for reciprocity:

If you hold a general contractors license in any of the following states:

  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi   
  • Tennessee  

Your license must be in good standing and you will also be required to bass the Georgia business and law exam.

If you are applying from out of state you must complete a license verification formApplicants must also meet all of the basic licensing requirements for a Georgia construction license.

Learn more about Contractor License Reciprocity

Getting Started With Your Construction Business In Georgia

Applying to the state licensing board for 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 tradesman in the future.

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

If you are looking to get work in another state you can find information here about general contractor licenses in: CaliforniaNew Mexico, ArizonaColoradoLouisianaAlabama, and Florida

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

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