Getting a general contractor’s license is necessary. Learn how to get your license–and then how to build a recession-proof general contractor business.
While the Home Asset Management Plan will guide you in adapting your business model to suit the needs of modern clients, your business can’t begin to skyrocket until you’re licensed–it can’t even get off the ground.
A general contractor’s license isn’t particularly difficult to obtain if you’re committed to working in this industry, but there are certainly some hoops you need to clear before you can get your hands on one.
General Contractor’s License | The Industry Today
Before we dive into the requirements and qualifications for earning a general contractor’s license, let’s spend a moment reflecting on the nature of the industry today.
Not too long ago, general contracting was booming. But when the recession hit, businesses started drying up. Sure, office buildings will always be erected, decades-old schools will always need remodeling, and shopping centers will always be constructed on suburban land, but major home renovations have become scarce. People just don’t have the money.
In order to keep sailing on the still waters of a soft economy, you need to think about your business in terms of long-range activity, as opposed to short-term, big-budget projects. This means working with clients in a home asset management capacity, working to help them with house projects both big and small. You can’t wait for that garage renovation to come in and save your bacon–you have to work the storm shutters, plumbing mishaps, and electrical rewiring, too. You have to be the jack of all trades; the one-stop-shopping destination.
Times have changed, and that has been difficult on business. But the good news is: you can change, too. There’s no need to flounder in today’s industry. Get your general contractor’s license and learn how to start a contracting business that can positively soar.
General Contractor’s License | Are You Qualified?
Every state has its own qualifications and prerequisites to earning the right to hold a general contractor’s license.
Some of the most basic requirements include:
- At least 18 years of age with a high school diploma or equivalent
- Proof of United States citizenship
- Two passport-sized photographs
- An explanation of any citations or violations incurred from construction work
That’s the bare minimum that every state will need you to provide before being granted your license. None of that, you’ll notice, requires any expertise in the field. But there’s more.
While every state has its own process of awarding licenses to general contractors, many of them include some, most, or all of the following:
- Written exam concerning construction law and occupational skills
- Proof of work experience in the field
- Letters of recommendation from clients, associates, banks, etc.
- Ownership of business or occupation license
- Possession of licenses or certifications in plumbing, electrical work, and other fields
There are also fees you must pay in order to apply for licensing. Check out your state’s Department of Labor & Industries for specific information.
General Contractor’s License | Life After Licensing
Once you’ve earned your general contractor’s license you can take your first steps on the real road to success. Most general contractors run their own businesses, as opposed to working for larger corporations. This means that you have the freedom to create your own professional model of business–or how you want to run things.
If you follow in the footsteps of past contractors and only consider the big projects important, then you’re going to have a difficult time of it. Utilize the information found in the Home Asset Management Plan and learn how to create a business that is popular to clients, impervious to economic downturns, and secure in its outlook.
If you’d like to learn more about how to make a success of your business once you’ve gotten your hands on your general contractor’s license, don’t hesitate to get in touch today!