Requirements For Getting Licensed As A General Contractor In New York State

We are proud when people considering getting into the contracting industry in New York State contact us for start-up advice. Being considered a resource for people new to the industry means that we have a positive reputation for the work that we do for our clients. Becoming a general contractor in New York State requires several steps to be completed and plenty of paperwork to be filled out, but it is not quite as complicated as you may think.

Outside Of New York City

New York State is a bit different than other states in that there is no single way to become a licensed contractor to work anywhere in the state. There are a set of rules outside of New York City, and then there are a set of rules within New York City. For the most part, a New York contractor has to have a license for each part of the state they are working in, and each area has its own requirements.

In general, areas outside of New York City require contractors to submit:

  • The proper licensing fee (varies by city and county)
  • Proof of general liability insurance
  • A registered business certificate
  • A photograph and completed questionnaire based on the owner (companies with more than one owner must submit one picture and completed questionnaire per owner)
  • Proof of adequate workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees
  • List of references from past projects (Note: Only needed if you also intend to do demolition)
  • Documented proof of experience in the contracting industry

Inside New York City

A general contractor in New York City is referred to as a home improvement contractor, but the license grants the same permissions as any other general contracting license. In New York City you need to submit:

  • Completed form LIC6 with your signature notarized
  • A notarized list of all owners, stockholders, and shareholders in your company that includes social security numbers
  • Original Employer Identification Number form from the Internal Revenue Service
  • Previous three months worth of corporate bank statements showing an available balance of $25,000 or a bank letter stating that the balance of the account has not gone below $25,000 in the last 12 months
  • General liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance to properly cover all employees
  • Proof of physical business address (a utility bill or bank statement usually works)
  • Background check fee

All of that information is required just for the background check that must take place before you can submit an application to be a contractor. Once your background check has been cleared, you will get another set of documents you need to fill out in order to properly apply for your contractor’s license. In most cases, applications that pass the background check are easily able to get their licenses approved.

Every contractor looking to get a license in the city of New York must do so through an application adviser. Each step of the background check is only done through an application adviser, and the adviser will work with you to help you submit the information you need to get the process started.

The construction industry throughout New York State is booming, and there are new contractor organizations formed every day. But if you want to get your license to work as a contractor in New York State, you have to follow the process or you will never be allowed to get involved in this growing industry.