Becoming a general contractor in Mississippi carries many of the same requirements of most other states. However, it is worth knowing that how you gain your commercial or residential contractors license is facilitated entirely through the Mississippi State Board of Contractors. Depending on what construction and specialty trade work you will be performing, you may need to go through different application and licensing processes that will differ from a standard general contractor license. You will also need to understand the details of Mississippi’s contractors exam process. This includes things like where to register, how much the fees are, what a passing score is, and the locations in which exams can be taken (online, in-person, etc.).
Additionally, your contracting business will need to understand the registration and permitting requirements of the Mississippi state board of Contractors. This includes tax ID numbers, workers’ compensation (if you employ other contractors), general liability insurance and bond insurance. Read below to understand who needs a general contractors license in the state of Mississippi and how to meet the requirements.
Mississippi General Contractor License Requirements
According to the Mississippi State Board of Contractors, all applicants are required to take the Mississippi Business and Law exam. Additionally, you will need to take a trade or NASCLA accredited exam, if you are to be performing specialty work. Each specialty classification will fall under a major classification category: building construction, electrical, highway, street and bridge construction, heavy construction, mechanical, municipal and public works. However, your contractors license will fall under either commercial and/or residential.
Who Needs a Contractors License?
Contractors and subcontractors looking to obtain their license in the state of Mississippi will fall under two categories:
Commercial: Work over $50,000 will require a commercial license by the Mississippi state board of contractors. A commercial license will be needed for construction, reconstruction, repair or maintenance of fire protection systems on public projects over $5,000, and private projects over $10,000.
Residential: New residential construction over $50,000 will require a Residential Building License. Contract work involving residential remodeling over $10,000 will require a Residential Remodeling License. If you are going to be performing residential roofing over $10,000, you will need a Residential Roofing License.
A state license is not required if you are performing residential electrical, plumbing, or HVAC work that is less than $10,000. However, it is necessary you contact the local permit office or local building official regarding local requirements.
What Do You Need To Become a General Contractor in Mississippi?
To become a general contractor in Mississippi, your first need to complete the application either by mail or online. General contractors licenses in the state of Mississippi are good for one year. After that, it is up to you to renew your license annually. A general outline of the process of application goes as follows:
- After you complete and send in the initial application phase (accompanied by a $200 check, an additional $50 for each additional classification,) you will receive the candidate information bulletin for testing information — scheduling, what materials are allowed, and where to get them.
- Take the exams, including any trade or specialty exam. Send in the completed exam with exam scores and all required attachments.
- It will then be forwarded to the board for approval — it will take about 7 to 10 days to receive your license
Licensing and Registration Fee Summary
You may want to factor in all of the costs it’s going to take to get your general contractor’s license in the state of Mississippi. Fees will tag along with nearly every step of the licensing process, so it is critical you take them into account.
- Application Fee — $200, plus $50 for each classification
- Exam Fees: $120, or $50 for an exam waiver
- Licensing Fee
- Commercial: $400, and includes one classification. Additional classifications are $100 more.
- Residential: $50, and includes one classification. Additional classifications are $100 more.
Mississippi Contractors Exam
To become a licensed contractor in the state of Mississippi, you must pass the Mississippi Business and Law examination, as well as any examination pertaining to your trade. You can schedule and pay for your exams through the PSI website. For detailed information, visit the PSI Candidate Information Bulletin for the state of Mississippi.
You are allowed to waive the trade exam if you have had a license for three consecutive years in a similar classification from another state. Each waved exam will carry a nonrefundable fee of $50. To wave an exam, submit a reciprocity verification form to the board. Reciprocity only applies to waiving the trade exam. You will still need to take the law and business exam.
The Mississippi State Board of Contractors has reciprocity agreements with:
- Alabama General Contractors Board
- Alabama Electrical Board
- Alabama Board of Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors
- Arkansas Contractor Licensing Board
- Georgia Board of Residential and General Contractors
- Louisiana Licensing Board for Contractors
- North Carolina Electrical Contractors Board
- South Carolina Board for Licensing Contractors
- Tennessee Board for Licensing General Contractors
The PSI examination site is located in:
2679 Crane Ridge Dr, Suite B
Jackson, MS 39216
Mississippi candidates are also able to take exams at PSI testing centers located in –
- Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Shreveport, New Orleans.
- Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Mobile, Alabama.
Mississippi Contractors License Application
You may have an overall idea of the application process of obtaining a general contractors license, but each state is different. If you are looking to apply for a Mississippi contractors license, it is worth examining the differences regarding what Mississippi requires when applying for a general contractors license.
Mississippi General Contractors License Application
Whether you are applying for a commercial contractors license or residential, your application process will include the following:
- First, all applicants are prompted to watch an instructional video before the application process to decrease the rate of rejection;
- Fill out the application;
- Make sure it is signed and notarized in the appropriate places;
- If you are a corporation or LLC, you must be registered with The Mississippi Secretary of State’s office;
- Get a Mississippi sales tax number or use tax number from the Mississippi Department of Revenue. You must also obtain a Mississippi income tax ID number or a federal income tax ID number;
- Applicants next to have to supply a certificate of general liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $300,000 per occurrence and $600,000 aggregate. You will also need to provide a certificate of insurance;
- Every licensed contractor must obtain a Nevada contractor’s license bond. The exact cost of the bond will vary between $1,000 to $500,000 depending on the type of license, monetary limit, experience, and present/future financial responsibility. You should aim to use a bond company for your bond instead of going through your personal banking facility. They are experts in contractor bonds and making sure you have viable coverage, whereas banking establishments are less qualified to assess bond risk;
- Mississippi applicants have to show current workers’ compensation coverage if you have five or more employees;
- To show experience in classifications requested, you must provide at least three jobs performed in that specific classification;
- You must have proof of employment — a check stub, W-2 form, owner/officer listed with the Mississippi Secretary of State;
- A reviewed or audited financial statement must be prepared and signed within the last 12 months by a public accountant. Major classifications must show a net worth of at least $50,000, but all others are required to prove a net worth of at least $20,000;
- Your application fee will be $400, fees are nonrefundable — and you can make checks payable to the Mississippi State Board of Contractors;
- If you are qualified, then you can take the business and law exam, and any trade exam if required.
Mississippi Contractor Registration and Permitting Requirements
The Mississippi State Board of Contractors requires the holder of a valid license to inform the Secretary of State that you carry general liability insurance. Also, if you are a business, you will need to obtain a business license as well. Similar to most other requirements, these are both taken care of at the local level.
Mississippi State Business Licenses and Registration
Mississippi Business Registration
For general business registration inquiries visit Mississippi’s Secretary of State website.
Mississippi Tax Identification Numbers and Registration
The Department of Revenue of the State of Mississippi offers online registration for all business taxes.
Mississippi Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements and Forms
It is important to remember that if you have more than 5 employees in the state of Mississippi, you will need to provide workers’ compensation insurance. Visit the Workers’ Compensation Commission of Mississippi website for requirements and the forms necessary.
Mississippi Contractor License Lookup and Verification
To find and hire a contractor, prescreen, and more general tips on licensed contractors in Mississippi, visit the Mississippi State Board of Contractors website.