Unlike plumbers, in Indiana contractor licensing is not regulated at the state level. Instead, contractors are required to register or obtain a license through the various municipal governments throughout the state. This means that getting your general contractors license in cities within Lake County will come with different fees, procedures, and requirements than that of Allen County — as licensure will be authorized by different agencies. The same is true of electrical contractors in the state.
However, there are requirements by state law for registering the name of a general contracting business as an LLC, limited partnership, or corporation before obtaining an Indiana contractor license. Applicants for an Indiana business license will want to make sure they are squared away with the Indiana Secretary of State as their initial step in becoming a general contractor. It is also typical for contractors to be required to find general liability insurance before they can be licensed or bid on contracts.
Of course, this isn’t the only step in becoming a licensed contractor in Indiana. Depending on where you live, you will need to navigate your local jurisdiction’s requirements to apply successfully and gain licensure to perform contractor work in Indiana.
General Contractors Licenses in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Fort Wayne is the county seat and largest city in Allen County. All general contractors wishing to do new construction, additions to existing structures, any remodeling, repair, or improvement work, or demolition of existing structures in Allen County must be licensed by the Allen County Building Department.
In addition to obtaining a license by the Building Department, when applying for a building permit, general contractors must register as the official superintendent of the project for which the permit is being applied.
The application fee for a general contractor license is $90, for both new applicants as well as renewals, and expires on December 31 of the current year, regardless of when license was issued.
All Indiana contractor license applicants in Allen County must also pass a written examination before the license can be issued. Chapter 2 of the Allen County Building Department Rules and Regulations provides the intricate details of the exam requirements.
The current fee schedule is included at the end of the document, which should be consulted to ensure accuracy of fees.
The contact information for the Allen County Building Department follows:
Allen County Building Department
200 East Berry Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802-1811
Telephone: (260) 449-7131
Hours: Monday -Friday, 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
General Contractors Licenses in Evansville, Indiana
The Evansville Building Commission licenses all contractors in Vanderburgh County. As part of your application process, you must specify which type of contractors license you will be applying for. There are many licenses you can apply for including:
- Master and Journeyman Tradesman
- Sub Contractor
- Specialty Contractor
- General Contractor
A general contractor will have to distinguish between two general contractor categories; commercial general contractor or residential general contractor.
Steps for Applying for a General Contractor License in Evansville:
- Download the official application form and complete it in print. Be sure to check either “General Contractor — Residential Building” or “General Contractor — Commercial Building” as the license type.
- Download the criminal record history form and complete it in print. This form must be signed and notarized.
- Gather the following additional required materials:
- Three (3) letters of reference indicating a minimum of four (4) years of field experience in the construction trades.
- A surety bond certificate in the amount of $15,000.00 in the name of the applicant.
- For more details about the City of Evansville/County of Vanderburgh bond requirements visit their Insurance and Bond Information page.
- For a commercial general contractors license:
- Proof of general liability insurance in the amount of at least $1 million
- For a residential general contractors license:
- Proof of general liability insurance in the amount of at least $500,000
- Proof of workers’ compensation insurance or an affidavit stating that by state law the general contractor is exempt from having this insurance
After all application materials are ready to submit, the applicant should call the building commission at (812) 436-7880 to pay the application fees and obtain information on how to submit the required materials.
After the application is approved, the applicant will receive an official notice to schedule the licensing exam. This is done only after receiving approval, and the applicant will contact Ivy Tech at (812) 429-1418 to schedule and pay the required fee for the exam.
The contact information for the department follows:
Evansville-Vanderburgh County Building Commission
1 NW Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Civic Center Complex
Evansville, IN 47708
General Contractors Licenses in Marion County
In the consolidated City of Indianapolis, which also includes areas of Marion County (excluding Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway and Southport), general contractors are licensed and will have to meet the requirements set forth by the Department of Business and Neighborhood Services (formerly the Department of Code Enforcement.) The application fee is $247 for two years and applies to both new applications and renewals.
It is important to note that with all required application materials indicated below, that the name of the individual applicant listed on the documents is exactly the same. For example, if the application name is “James L. Smith,” the name on the property damage insurance certificate cannot be “Jimmy Smith.”
In addition to state-level business name registration requirements, general contractors conducting business as a DBA (“doing business as”) in the Indianapolis licensing jurisdiction must first register their DBA name with the city. This includes sole proprietors and partnerships.
Steps for Applying for a General Contractor License in Indianapolis:
- New applicants should complete the New Contractors License Application. Renewal applicants should download and complete the Renewal Contractors Application. Both can be achieved by typing directly on the form after opening it in Adobe Reader.
- Gather the following required documents with the indicated specifics:
- General Liability Insurance Certificate with the following:
- Death or bodily injury: $500,000 minimum per occurrence
- Property damage: $100,000 minimum per occurrence
- Combination coverage for both bodily injury and property damage: $500,000 per occurrence
- Clearly indicated policy number or binder
- Business (individual, partnership or corporation) named as the insured AND “Consolidated City of Indianapolis” named as “additional insured”
- “Consolidated City of Indianapolis” named as certificate holder
- Unlimited coverage regardless of the address where work is performed
- Surety Bond or Continuation Certificate
- Minimum amount of bond is $10,000
- Typewritten with the bond number clearly indicated
- Insurance agent’s or bonding company’s legal name, address, and phone number clearly indicated
- Coverage as “general contractor” must be indicated
- Signature of the sole proprietor or all partners in a partnership or the principal of a corporation
- While proof of insurance is required as part of your application for licensure, you do not need to get bonded until you are preparing to work on a specific project
- Certificate of Workers’ Compensation Insurance
- Effective date and expiration date clearly indicated
- Policy or binder number clearly indicated
- For sole proprietorships, partnerships, or LLCs with no employees:
- Complete exemption section of the application
- For corporations:
- By state law, even the owner of a corporation is considered an employee; therefore, even the owner must be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
- A check for $247 made out to “The City of Indianapolis.”
- General Liability Insurance Certificate with the following:
All application materials can be either sent by mail or delivered personally to the department. The department’s contact information is:
The City of Indiana
Department of Code Enforcement
1200 Madison Ave, Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Telephone: (317) 327-1291
Indiana Secretary of State Business License
For your business to operate in Indiana, you will need to register with the Indiana Secretary of State. This will include disclosing your business structure, establishing tax accounts, new hire reports, and obtaining unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance.
Indiana State Tax ID Numbers
Businesses that operate within Indiana are required to register for one or more tax-specific identification numbers, licenses or permits, including income tax withholding, sales and use tax (seller’s permit), and unemployment insurance tax. Contact the Indiana Department of Revenue for more information about business registration and your tax obligations.
Indiana Unemployment Insurance
Businesses with employees are required to pay unemployment insurance taxes under certain conditions. If your business is required to pay these taxes, you must register your business with the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board
Businesses with employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis, or through the Worker’s Compensation Board of Indiana.
Indiana Contractor License Lookup
To look up and verify a professional and/or business license by license type, license number, profession, license status, or name visit the State of Indiana My License e-government database.