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Sample Tennessee Contractor License

Tennessee Contractor License

Have you decided to become a handyman or start a new contracting business in Tennessee? We can help you with the well-researched articles to begin your new career journey in the state.

You don’t have to waste your time on searching materials; I gathered all the needed information for you about starting your new job or business in Tennessee as a contractor.

In this article, expect to read topics such as: how to obtain your contractor license in the state, the means of finding out if the company or contractor is licensed or not, the requirements and the necessity of contractor’s licensure in Tennessee, and so much more.

How do I find out if a contractor is licensed in Tennessee?

If you want to check if the contractor is authorized by the state to work on certain projects you can utilize the online license search and verification database of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance The system allows you to look up and verify contractors by entering personal or company’s name, address, license numbers, and the city.

Does Tennessee require a contractor’s license?

Depending on the nature of your contractor work and the overall value of your project you may need to apply for a contractor’s license in Tennessee. In a nutshell, if the work project is worth $25,000 and more, the state requires holding a license whether you’re a contractor company or a handyman.

The licensing administration is handled by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Board for Licensing Contractors although counties in the state may define the requirements, fees, and application process solely.

To understand what type of contractor’s license you will need, let’s break through the categories of the project’s value which largely defines the various types of licensure:

  • Construction works under $25,000
  • Construction projects over $25,000

Projects under $25,000

If you carry out a contractor project of which value is less than $25,000, you can get a home improvement contractor’s license. Apply for this license if your work is on repairs, home improvements, or additions of remodeling projects starting from $3,000 to less than $25,000. This license may be a requirement in the following counties:

  • Nashville/Davidson
  • Springfield/ Robertson
  • Brownsville/Haywood
  • Cleveland/ Bradley
  • And more

Remember that the home improvement contractor license won’t allow you to work on plumbing, electrical, or HVAC projects. These trades have different licensing procedures and specific requirements which will be discussed later, in this article.

For projects under $25,000, there are also Limited Licensed Electrical (LLE) and Limited Licensed Plumber (LLC) licenses that are issued in certain counties that don’t require electrical or plumbing inspections.

Construction works over $25,000

When your contracting project exceeds the value of $25,000 you should obtain one or more licenses no matter where you live in Tennessee.

If your contractor’s work is directly with the owner of the project and falls within the definition of contracting you should apply for a general/prime contractor license.

There is also a subcontractor license for those who perform specialty trades such as plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roofing, and the work is directly with the general/prime contractor who is not the owner of the project. Additionally, for any project that exceeds the total value of $25,000 you should also apply for a construction management license.

When applying for the above-mentioned licenses for projects worth more than $25,000 you should also specify the type of work you will be carrying out. If your work falls under one of the following categories get ready to obtain a license:

  • Building
  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Plumbing
  • HVAC
  • Masonry
  • Roofing
  • Highways
  • Environmental
  • Specialties

Once you decide the type of license you will need for your construction project, it’s time to get familiar with the requirements and the application process. Down below, with the help of this guide, you will walk through the main steps of getting a contractor license in Tennessee.

The main steps you need to take before the license application

Prior to your contractor’s license application, there are certain procedures you need to undergo. Here are the main steps you should undergo before the license application:

  • Pass the “Business and Law’’ exam. Doesn’t matter what type of contractor’s license you’re applying for, you must pass the Tennessee Business and Law examination to be eligible for the licensure. The registration, scheduling, testing location, etc. is determined by the PSI Testing Exams. Depending on the type of license, you may also need to pass trade exams as well.
  • Prepare a Financial Statement. All the applicants should prepare Reviewed (for monetary limits of $1, 500, 000) or Audited (for monetary limits exceeding $1, 500, 000) Financial Statements. To learn more about the Financial Statements visit the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance website 
  • Have a letter of reference and proof of insurance. You must possess a reference letter from a past client or employee who directly worked with you. In addition to it, you should also purchase general liability insurance according to your monetary limit as well as worker’s compensation to hire employees.
  • Register your contracting business with the Tennessee Secretary of State for tax identification numbers.
  • Apply for the license by submitting all needed paperwork. Along with the above-mentioned materials and procedures you will also need to provide information like your social security number, contractor’s affidavit, Eligibility Verification for Entitlements (EVEA). You can submit all the materials along with the $220 fee through the online application or by mail to:

Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243-1150

How do you check to see if a company is licensed and bonded in Tennessee?

To verify if the company is licensed and bonded or not or check their license status you can use the License Search at Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance website or call Board’s office at 800-544-7693 to find out about complaint history.

Mary H

Being a skilled creative writer and SEO content writer, with 2+ years of experience I can't imagine any other profession to fulfill my life as much as writing does. As a proud member of geek culture, I enjoy reading, writing, watching Sci-Fi gems, while also advocating the involvement of young, bright-minded girls and women in STEM research. Latter was largely the result of working at UNESCO Chair, Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center as an editor of scientific journals.