New Hampshire is among only a handful of states that does not require a license for construction or renovation projects at the state level. This means that if you plan on becoming a general contractor in New Hampshire, you will need to check with your local city or county jurisdictions to meet their requirements.
Licensing by the state government is, however, required for several specialty classifications. Electricians, plumbers, and asbestos and lead abatement practitioners must obtain licensure at the state level. To obtain licensing for these specialties, you will need to go through the proper licensing process, including applying to the appropriate board, exams and education, and paying all necessary administrative fees.
Licensing, however, often cannot be completed until you become bonded and insured, if you will be hiring employees that is. Having bond insurance informs clients that what they paid for will be completed, or that their money will be reimbursed. Check your local municipality to find bonding costs and requirements. Manchester, NH, for instance, requires a surety bond of $5,000 and a payment bond of $10,000, in addition to general liability insurance and workers compensation.
Depending on your contracting work, if you plan on having a contracting business, you may have to obtain your business license. A business license will also require that you comply with unemployment, workers’ compensation, and tax requirements. New Hampshire is not like most states, and it will help to know the proper application and licensing processes to become a general or specialty contractor.
General Contractors in New Hampshire
New Hampshire has no explicit definition of what being a “general contractor” entails. An explanation of just what qualifies as a general contractor, home contractor, building contractor, etc. has been a debate for years. Until licensing for a “general contractor” becomes established, there is no board to handle licensing requirements and fees. As a result, you should always check your local city or county requirements before performing general contracting work.
Who Needs a Contractors License?
Although general contractors don’t need to be licensed, you will need to be licensed if you are planning on performing specialty trades. Many common trades will require registration, application, exam and education requirements, and associated fees, including:
- Asbestos Abatement
- Lead Abatement
Each specialty trade licensing process will be handled through its correlated department or board.
What Do You Need To Become a General Contractor in New Hampshire?
No general contracting license means no requirements by the state of New Hampshire. Although, your local city or county will likely have requirements for building, construction, renovation, and any other general contracting projects.
While there may be no state requirements to perform general contracting work, New Hampshire may have business and tax requirements if you own a general contracting business. New Hampshire requires a business license for certain, but not all contractor work will qualify as a “business” for tax purposes. For more information on starting and registering a business in New Hampshire, visit the New Hampshire Economic Development website.
Licensing, Registration, and Fee Summary
Licensing fees won’t apply to a general contractor. However, if you plan on performing specialty trade work, charges will be attached to the application process. For more details on fees, exams, education requirements, quotes on liability insurance, and the overall application process for specialty trades visit the following websites:
- The Office of Professional Licensure and Certification Electricians’ Board for your electrical licensing.
- The New Hampshire Department of Safety for your plumbing license.
- The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services for your asbestos abatement license.
- The New Hampshire Employment Security website for your lead abatement license.
New Hampshire State Business Licenses and Registration
New Hampshire has particular requirements when it comes to licensing your business. The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development does not require a license for every business. Furthermore, New Hampshire requires contracting businesses performing certain types of trades to be licensed, while others do not have to be. To determine if your contracting business needs a license, how to register, and fees attached, visit the New Hampshire Employment Security website.
New Hampshire Tax Identification Numbers and Registration
New Hampshire does not have a general sales tax or an income tax on an individual’s reported W-2 wages. However, some businesses are required to pay taxes on profits and enterprise value and other special taxes. For more tax information, check out New Hampshire’s Department of Revenue Administration website.
New Hampshire 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. Visit New Hampshire’s Department of Labor website for more details on workers’ compensation.
New Hampshire Contractor License Lookup and Verification
Take a look at the New Hampshire Online Licensing database to look up and validate a person or business for their license.