Before you apply to the Nevada State Contractors Board to become a general contractor, you must first understand the application requirements, processing and examination fees, liability insurance, and work experience requirements. Furthermore, you may be required to provide proof of insurance and bond insurance .
Nevada offers three different classes of contracting licenses. Each license comes with a different application, exam, and administrative fees attached. Without a contractors license, you could get fined up to $10,000. It is crucial to understand Nevada’s contractor registration and application process, permitting requirements, if you need to register your business, and if you need to provide documents (such as tax identification numbers). Look below for this information, as well as a comprehensive overview of how to get your general contractor’s license in Nevada.
Nevada General Contractor License Requirements
A general contractor, as defined by the Nevada State Contractors Board, is “All businesses or individuals who construct or alter any building, highway, road, parking facility, railroad, excavation, or other structure in Nevada.”
Contractors, even subcontractors, must qualify to be licensed before bidding. To be eligible for a Nevada contractors license, you must be 18 years of age and have 4 years of work experience as a journeyman, foreman, supervisor, or contractor. Your work experience must be within the last 10 years of your application date. However, you might still need to pass a general business and law examination issued by PSI.
Who Needs a Contractors License?
Anyone who meets the above requirements can be a contractor in Nevada, but depending what type of contractor you are aspiring to be, you may need to take a look into how Nevada separates its licenses. Nevada recognizes separate trades or fields of construction and regulates them under three classifications:
General Engineering Contractor License (Class A): This is going to be more of a technical license that will require special engineering knowledge and skill. The board defines it as “being in connection with fixed works.”
General Building Contractor License (Class B): This is the classification that most often applies about when we think about “general contractors.” Construction, repair, altering, refurbishing, etc. of different structures and buildings.
Specialty Contractor License (Class C): There are over 35 different unique skills that fall under this category in which Nevada requires a license for and “whose principal contracting business involves the use of specialized building trades or crafts.”
It is essential that you know the type of contracting work you are going to do to apply for the correct license. In many cases, you can apply for multiple licenses.
What Do You Need To Become a General Contractor in Nevada?
Your basic outline to becoming a general contractor in Nevada will look similar to the following:
- There will be a $300, non-refundable application fee when you submit your application;
- If your application is approved, then there will be an additional $600 biennial fee;
- Bonds will be another added cost. The exact cost of a surety bond will largely depend on the monetary limit you choose, but bond coverage ranges from $1,000 to $500,000. Be sure to shop around when choosing a bonding company;
- You will be required to take a CMS exam, as well as a trade exam. As long as you take both of the exams together, they are $140. If you take them separately, they are $95 each;
- You will be asked to demonstrate financial responsibility, to show that you are able to handle the finances for a business;
- You will need to provide four reference certificates: These will prove that you have had the four years of work experience required;
- Every applicant will, at some point, have fingerprints taken for background checking;
- Finally, any contractor who will be working on residential properties will also be required to put money into a Residential Recovery Fund. How much will depend on what monetary limit you choose. Since Nevada is a modified comparative negligence fault state, there are no commercial liability insurance requirements, but you should consider finding an insurance company to mitigate risk and secure competitive contracts.
Licensing and Registration Fees
If you aren’t prepared, licensing and registration fees for contractor work in the state of Nevada can accumulate pretty quickly. It is crucial to your application steps that you account for fees it takes to get your contractor’s license in Nevada.
- Application Fee – $300
- Exam Fee (as long as taken together) – $140
- Licensing Fee – $600
- Administrative Fee For Submitting Cash Deposit Bond – $200
- Residential Recovery Fund (For Res. Contractors) – $200 – $1000
Nevada Contractors Exam
In becoming a general contractor in Nevada, you will be required to take the general Business and Law (CMS), and the trade examination that pertains to you, in the classification of license in which you are applying. After you file your application with the board, you will receive a letter saying whether or not you are eligible to take the exams.
For Nevada, you’ll have to go through PSI Licensure to take your exams. You will have to schedule your own test and arrive at a testing center at least 30 minutes before the test is scheduled. Testing centers are as follows:
3210 East Tropicana Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada 89121
Airport Plaza Office Building
1755 E Plumb Lane Ste 108
Reno, Nevada 89502
225 Silver Street Ste 102
Elko, Nevada 89801
Not all testing requires a trade exam. However, if you applied and qualified for one, you must pass the trade and Business and Law exam. You are allowed a different time limit to complete each test, however there are 120 minutes for 60 scored items, and 6 minutes for 3 non-scored items while taking the CMS. You can find this, and more out in your Candidate Information Bulletin when you create an account for PSI.
Arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled time of your exam, bring 3 forms of ID, and make sure if you need to cancel your examination that it is not 2 days before your appointment. If you are late for your exam, don’t have a valid ID, or cancel 2 days before, you will forfeit your examination fee. You have 3 tries to pass the exam, but must wait 2 weeks between each attempt.
Contractors Exam Fees
For one examination, it will cost you $95. If you are taking two exams, and one of them is the Business and Law (CMS), the price increases to $140. If you are not considering the CMS, but two trade exams, the fee will be $95 per test.
PSI accepts Money Orders, Cashier’s checks, Visa or Mastercard. All payments can be made through the PSI website once you create an account.
Nevada Contractors License Application
Applying for your contractor’s license in Nevada will look similar to this:
- Register your business with the Nevada Secretary of State. This establishes your business and also allows you to get a Business ID. If you haven’t done that, SilverFlume, Nevada’s Business Portal is an excellent place to start;
- Fill out your application packet. You probably won’t be able to fill it all out at once, but filling it out as you go will be beneficial;
- You will need a financial statement. Your financial statement requirements will depend upon which monetary limit you are trying to go with. Click on the application packet above, and go to page 8. It goes into great detail about financial statements, and what each monetary limit needs;
- You will need a resume of experience, proving that you have the 4 years experience as a journeyman, foreman, supervisor, or contractor;
- Get your four reference certificates — NOTE: This cannot be filled out by you, and must be filled out by someone who has first-hand experience with your work.
- Next, you will need to do a background disclosure, including fingerprinting and any background checks that the board deems necessary;
- After you have all these documents, submit your application along with the $300 application fee. They take checks, money orders, Visas, and Mastercards.
Nevada is different from other states, in that the board will have you complete a few more steps after you register and pass your exams. You will find these next tasks to achieve in your letter of approval after passing your tests:
- Submitting your biennial fee of $600 — This is the fee that you will pay every two (2) years to keep your license renewed;
- You will also need to submit a contractor bond or cash deposit. The amount will be dependent on the monetary limit you chose, and will be stated in your contingent approval letter;
- For the residential contractors, you will need to pay into a Residential Recovery Fund. The amount of this will also be in your contingent approval letter, and will also need to be paid every couple of years;
- Finally, if you plan on hiring employees, you will need to show proof of workers’ compensation insurance. The amount necessary depends on your local jurisdiction.
Nevada Contractor Registration and Permitting Requirements
If you do not have an exemption to the state business license before bidding or performing work in Nevada, you must obtain a valid Nevada business license. You can apply, pay, and renew through the Secretary of State’s office.
Nevada State Business Licenses and Registration
Additional information about other business and occupational licenses required to go into business as a general contracting company such as plumbing and electrician licenses can be found at the Nevada State Contractors Board.
Nevada Business Registration
Look to Nevada’s Department of Business and Industry for information on how to obtain general business and occupational licenses and permits.
Nevada Tax Identification Numbers and Registration
Businesses that operate within Nevada 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 Nevada Tax Center for more information about business registration and your tax obligations.
Nevada Workers’ Compensation Insurance Requirements and Forms
Businesses with employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis, or through the state workers’ compensation insurance program.
Nevada Contractor License Lookup and Verification
The Nevada State Contractors Board can help you find a licensed contractor in Nevada by county and classification.