Delaware Contractor Licenses

Did you know that the construction industry in Delaware is one of its fastest-rising sectors? In fact, there are around 3,500 job openings expected until 2024. With such a booming home improvement industry, it’s important for both homeowners and contractors to familiarize themselves with the relevant license requirements.

The problem is there is a shortage of interested and qualified individuals. One of the reasons for that is interested people don’t really know how they can be qualified. For starters, they don’t even know how to get Delaware contractor licenses.

The government is very supportive of this growth. In fact, they even organized the Governor’s Construction Career Expo. It’s a two-day expo which has the aim of filling a lot of these job openings.

Governor Carney is hard at work to open this opportunity to his fellow Delawareans. History will tell us that the construction industry has provided a means for thousands of Delawareans to move up to middle class. The same means is still made available today.

Of course, the government is also careful to make sure that the integrity of the industry is preserved. This is why they’re not about to hand out licenses to everyone. They will still make sure that only experienced and qualified individuals get licensing. They also have a process in place, and that’s something that will be discussed in this article.

As a general guideline, a Delaware contractor license is required for projects that cost over $50,000. More details will be discussed later.

Project owners can also benefit from reading this article. You’ll know why it’s a good idea to hire a licensed contractor. You will also know how to find a licensed Delaware contractor.

Importance of Hiring a Contractor with a License

So you have a construction project. Ask yourself this very simple question – are you going to award your project (and money) to an unlicensed or licensed contractor?

It’s not a big deal if it’s just a small project. All you need to do is to make sure that you’re hiring a competent contractor. It can even be your neighborhood handyman provided that you’ve done your homework and you’ve made sure that he’s the right man for the job.

But for bigger projects, especially those with a project cost of $50,000, you need to hire a licensed professional to experience these benefits:

  • You get peace of mind knowing that you’re hiring an experienced and competent contractor.

Getting licensing is not as simple as paying for a license fee. There’s a process involved. There are also requirements. You can’t get it if you don’t have the right amount of expertise and experience.

This means that if you hire a licensed professional, you’re hiring someone that has the expertise and experience that allowed him to pass the licensing process.

  • You’re protecting yourself against potential fraud.

This is not to say that you’re fraud-proof if you hire a licensed contractor. This is also not to say that all unlicensed ones are fraudsters. This is just to say that by choosing among licensed professionals, you are lowering your risk of falling victim to a fraud.

This is because in most cases, fraudsters wouldn’t go through the trouble of getting licensing. Why should they? They’ll just be giving their information to the government, making it easy for their victims to track them.

  • You’ll be dealing with a professional.

There’s a certain level of professionalism that comes with getting licensed. Most of these professionals won’t go door to door peddling their services. They’ll market, bid and perform their tasks professionally.

  • Your project will be approached and done systematically.

Thanks to the experience of the licensed contractor, a good system will be put in place. The workers will perform their tasks like a well-oiled machine.

It’s also easier to deal with a contractor if there’s a good system in place. Miscommunication will be lessened. Delays and wastage will be minimized.

  • You don’t have to concern yourself with permits.

They will pull the necessary permits for you. You don’t have to worry about the government stopping your project midway because it doesn’t have the necessary permits.

  • You are protecting yourself.

Parts of the requirements are insurance and bond. These can help protect you in unfortunate events. They’re necessary for your peace of mind. You’ll free yourself from liabilities.

  • Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Licensed professionals will aim for your 100% satisfaction. This is because if there’s one thing that they don’t want, it’s complaints. They wouldn’t want complaints to be filed against them because as licensed contractors, they know that complaints against them are publicly available. If they have a lot of complaints, it’s going to be harder for them to win projects in the future.

Now, you know why it’s just logical to hire a Delaware contractor with a license.

How to Get a Contractor’s License and Advantages of Getting One

If you just need one reason to get licensing, you just have to look at the list of benefits above. As a project owner, wouldn’t you want to experience those benefits? This means that your potential clients will be looking for licensed contractors in Delaware so they can experience those benefits. Wouldn’t you want to be included in the list?

If you need more reasons, here are more advantages of getting one:

  • You will gain credibility.

Credibility is everything in this industry. Establish credibility and people will contact you because they’ve heard that you do good business. One good way to gain it is to get licensing. This is because the licensing process is a strict one. It’s not as if anyone can approach the licensing board and pay for a license. You need to have the right amount of expertise and experience. This means that if you do get your license, you have the right amount of expertise and experience. This instantly makes you credible.

Project owners will award their projects to credible contractors over the non-credible ones every single time. This is not to say that unlicensed ones are not credible because some of them have valid reasons why they don’t have it yet. This is just to say that you will gain instant credibility once you get licensed. It’s just up to you to build that credibility.

  • You can advertise your services as a licensed contractor offline and online.

Which do you think is better – to advertise your services as a licensed contractor or simply a contractor? The word licensed in your advertisement headline will help capture the attention of potential clients.

This is very important considering the importance of marketing and advertising. This is especially true nowadays when you can easily advertise your services online. This is something that’s also done by your competitors so make sure that you stand out.

  • You can bid on big projects including government projects.

Everyone starts with small projects. That’s how you gain experience and build your skillset. But eventually, you’d want to bid on big projects. That’s the goal of everyone because big projects mean big income potential. Simply put, you can’t bid on big projects if you don’t have a license.

  • You can pull permits.

Permits are necessary in a lot of projects. This can be a part of the services that you’re offering which allows you to offer something that can’t be offered by competing bidders. Most project owners can’t be bothered to pull permits. This is why this can be huge for you.

  • Avoid risks of penalties, jail time and fines.

You’d like to avoid these things for obvious reasons. Sure, you can try to risk it, but is it worth it? Once caught, you could be hit with a penalty, fine or even jail time and that can spell the end for your business.

You’re probably thinking that you should go out now to get licensed. Not so fast, because it’s not for everyone.

First of all, ask yourself if you’re ready to join the big leagues. Licensing is required for projects that cost more than $50,000. For projects smaller than that, you don’t really need licensing for general contractor work.

If you feel that you’re ready to bid on projects that big, go ahead and go through the licensing process. If you feel that you’re not ready, then it’s probably because you don’t have a lot of experience yet. If this is the case, then take this chance to build experience yet.

Of course, you need to develop the skills of the trade. You’ll find it hard to pass the trade exam if you’re not that experienced yet. So go and do some handyman work and develop your skills. While you’re at it, decide what services you want to provide. These are the services that you enjoy doing and are actually good at. This is because a license can limit as to what service/s that you can provide.

In addition, gain experience when it comes to bidding for jobs. You can’t afford to just throw numbers out there. Your bid should be just right – it’s low enough to be attractive to project owners but high enough to maximize your income potential.

If you’re not experienced, you could end up bidding too high which means you won’t win any projects. Worse, you could end up bidding too low. You can win projects, but at a great loss to you.

Let’s say that you get licensed even if you lack bidding experience. You bid $50,000 on a project that ends up costing $100,000. You do the unfortunate math on how much you’ll end up losing.

So how to you get a Delaware contractor license if you feel that you’re ready and qualified? Here are the steps:

  1. Complete the Contractors Package Form. If you’re a resident, use this form. If not, use this form instead. To complete this form, you need a license for your business. You can get started on this page as it offers a one-stop shop for your business registration and licensing needs.
  2. Comply with the following requirements:
    1. Pay the license fee. The fee is $75 per year.
    2. Form UC-1 of the Department of Labor.
    3. Form 5060 of the Division of Revenue. If you will be providing work as a subcontractor, you also need to provide a Statement of Contractors Awarded by General Contractors and Subcontractors.
    4. Industrial Accident Board Form.
    5. If you’re a non-resident contractor, you also need to arrange for a contractor license bond. This is equivalent to 6% of the total project cost for a single contract that exceeds $20,000 or multiple contracts that exceed the same amount within a calendar year.
    6. Registration at the Department of Labor. Alternatively, you can also provide a Certificate of Notice from the Division of Unemployment Insurance.
    7. Provide proof of worker’s compensation coverage.
    8. File a statement showing the total amount of the total value of contracts entered into non-residents of the states up to 10 days of entering into said contracts.
  3. Send the completed Contractors Package Form, licensing fee and all the requirements to the following address:

Division of Revenue

PO Box 8750

Wilmington, DE 19899-8750

  1. Wait to get the following:
    1. Business license
    2. Package of taxation tips for your business
    3. Your own business tax forms

You can refer to this page for more details and forms. You can also get in touch with Richard Jezyk at 302-577-8265 or [email protected]. For requirements on bonds, get in touch with Juana Guerrero at 302-577-8299 or [email protected].

Delaware Licensing Board for Contractors

The Division of Revenue handles the licensing requirements and needs of contractors in the state. Directly working under the Department of Finance, its main goal is to ensure 100% collection of taxes and revenues as per the law’s requirements. By doing so, they aim to gain the public’s trust with their efficiency and effectiveness.

The Division of Revenue is headed by its director, Jennifer R. Hudson, Esquire. You can get in touch with her via email at [email protected]. You can also visit her office at this address:

820 N. French Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

Delaware Online Contractor License Search & Lookup

The state has a Delaware Division of Professional Regulation online license verification service. It serves as the Delaware online contractor license search & lookup tool, although it covers a lot of other professions. The lookup tool provides the following public information:

  • Name
  • License number, type and status
  • Date when license was issued and its expiration
  • City, state and zip code if located in the US or country if not
  • Public disciplines

In order to search for a professional’s license, you can enter any of the following details:

  • Profession
  • License type and number
  • Last name
  • City, county, state and zip code

Generally speaking, you can expect better results if you’ll provide more information. Please note that the lookup tool is down every Sunday from 9:45 PM to 10:00 PM EST for maintenance.

If you’re looking for information regarding a facility rather than a person, you can use the facility search. If you want a hard copy of the license verification, you can request one via this link.

License Classifications

In addition to a general contractor license, here are the different classifications:

  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • HVACR
  • Asbestos Abatement
  • Water well drilling and pump installation
  • Department of Transportation projects

General Electrical License

In the state of DE, you must have a valid professional license in order to provide electrical services. The Board of Electrical Examiners of the Division of Professional Regulation handles electrical license applications. The main task of this office is to ensure the safety of the public from unsafe electrical practices. They develop rules and guidelines that lead to a standardized competency model for electricians to comply with.

They provide a license to the following:

  • Journeyman

This license allows you to offer and conduct electrical services while supervised. This is the type of license that you need while you gain skills and experience needed for a higher license.

Please note that you’ll be asked whether you’re filing an application by certification, reciprocity or examination. You need to apply by certification if you already have a certificate (provide proof) showing that you’ve completed an approved apprenticeship program. If you’re a holder of a journeyman license issued in another state, apply by reciprocity. If neither applies to you, apply by examination.

Here are the requirements for all application types:

  • Complete this form, sign it and have it notarized.
  • Submit the processing fee of $84. You can pay by check or money order that’s made payable to the “State of Delaware”.
  • Verification of license from another jurisdiction if it applies.
  • SSN or fill up this form if you haven’t been issued one.

Submit this form verifying employment that shows that you’ve performed over 8,000 hours providing electrical services under the supervision of a licensed master, master electrician special, limited or limited electrician special.

If part of your employment can’t be verified, you can submit tax form W-2s for the missing periods together with a letter stating why you can’t provide verification, like if a former employer has closed shop.

Click here for more details – https://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/electrician/journeyperson/.

  • Apprentice

Get an apprentice license if you are currently undergoing an apprentice program that has the approval of Delaware Board or the Department of Labor of any US jurisdiction and you still haven’t met the requirements needed for a higher license. You have to undergo such a program even if you already have an apprentice electrical license from another jurisdiction. You can apply for credits, though.

Here are the requirements:

  • Complete this form, sign it and have it notarized.
  • Submit the processing fee of $69. You can pay by check or money order that’s made payable to the “State of Delaware”.
  • Provide proof that you are currently undergoing an apprentice program. You can use any of the following:
    • Enrollment form provided by the Department of Labor.
    • An official letter on an official letterhead written by an official of the school or its apprentice program director specifying that you are currently enrolled.
  • Verification of license from another jurisdiction if it applies.
  • SSN or fill up this form if you haven’t been issued one.

Click here for more details – https://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/electrician/apprentice/

  • Master, Master electricians special, Limited and Limited electricians special

Submit a certificate showing that you’ve completed a state-approved apprenticeship program. If you haven’t completed such a program, here’s what you can submit:

  • Master – this form showing that you have completed 6 years of full time work while supervised by a licensed master electrician. Alternatively, you can also submit that form showing 4 years of full time work under the same supervision plus official transcript showing that you have 2 years of technical training. Have the school send the transcript directly to the Board.
  • Master electrician special – this form showing that you have completed 6 years of full time work performing the area/s of specialty while supervised by a licensed master electrician.
  • Limited – this form showing that you have completed 3 years of full time work while supervised by a licensed master electrician or a licensed limited one.
  • Limited electrician special – this form showing that you have completed 3 years of full time work performing the area/s of specialty while supervised by a licensed master electrician or a licensed limited one.

Click here for more details – https://dpr.delaware.gov/boards/electrician/newlicense/.

You can visit their office at this address:

Suite 203 Cannon Building

861 Silver Lake Boulevard

Dover, DE 19904

You can also contact them at the following:

Plumbing Contractor License

You need to deal with the Board of Plumbing, Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Examiners to get a Delaware plumbing contractor license. You can get a master plumber license whether by examination or reciprocity. If you have a valid plumbing license issued by another state, you can apply by reciprocity. Otherwise, apply by examination.

Either way, here are the requirements:

  • Complete this form, sign it and have it notarized.
  • Submit the processing fee of $ 141. You can pay by check or money order that’s made payable to the “State of Delaware”.
  • Verification of license from another jurisdiction if it applies.
  • SSN or fill up this form if you haven’t been issued one.

There are additional requirements if you’re applying by examination. Here are the requirements if you’re a holder of a Journeyman certificate:

  • Certificate showing that you’ve completed an apprentice program.
  • Proof showing that you have at least 2 years of supervised work experience under a master plumber license holder after you’ve received your certificate.

If you don’t have a Journeyman certificate, you need to submit proof of at least 7 years of supervised work experience under a master plumber license holder. The Board will then review the submitted proof. Once approved, the Board will get in touch with you notifying you to take the Apprenticeship By-Pass Exam. You need to score 70% or higher in the exam. Once you do, send the official exam results to the office of the Board.

You can visit their office at this address:

Suite 203 Cannon Building

861 Silver Lake Boulevard

Dover, DE 19904

You can also contact them at the following:

Asbestos Abatement

Asbestos is hazardous to your health so rightfully, it is heavily regulated not just in Delaware, but the whole US. The state has a regulatory body in its Division of Facilities Management. This division takes care of the regulations as to how one can work on asbestos and train those who work on asbestos, like the removal of asbestos siding.

Here are the requirements for a Class A license:

  • Complete physical exam including a pulmonary function and NIOSH “B” Reader X-Ray.
  • Proof of training
  • Worker application or photo sheet
  • 2 1 by 1 current color pictures
  • $25 fee ($50 if for a supervisor)

Here are the requirements for Class B licensing:

  • Filled up worker or supervisor Class B licensing application
  • Photo sheet
  • Latest certificate of training
  • 2 1 by 1 current color pictures
  • Valid photo ID issued by the government
  • $20 fee

You can also apply for a project monitor certification with the following requirements:

  • Filled up application form
  • Updated resume
  • Proof of training credentials and/or licenses

To activate the license, the following must be submitted:

  • Original copy of the application or photo sheet
  • 2 1 by 1 current color pictures
  • Valid photo ID issued by the government
  • $20 fee

For more details, you should contact the State of Delaware-Asbestos Office at the following:

You can also visit their office at this address:

540 S. DuPont Highway
Dover, DE 19901

HVACR Contractor License

There are 2 different license types for HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration):

  • Master HVACR

With this license, you can do just about anything from designing to modifying of HVACR systems.

  • Master HVACR restricted

With this license, you’re only limited to offering just one service.

You can apply by reciprocity if you hold a valid license from another state. Otherwise, you need to apply by examination. Here are the requirements:

  • Download this form. Fill it up completely, sign it, and have it notarized.
  • Include a $141 processing fee ($40 if temporary) either by check or money order made payable to “State of Delaware”. Note that this is non-refundable.
  • If you held a license in any jurisdiction, have the Board receive a Verification of Licensure, unless the license is for a business that you were an employee for. In that case, it’s not needed.
  • Copy of your card of CFC Certification if you’re getting a Master license or a restricted one that specializes in refrigeration or air conditioning.
  • SSN or fill up this form if you haven’t been issued one.

Here are additional requirements if you’re applying by examination and you already have a Journeyman certificate:

  • Copy of the certificate showing that you’ve completed an apprentice program.
  • Proof that you have at least 2 years of experience working supervised under a Master licensee. The 2 years should start after you’ve received your certificate.

Here are the requirements if you don’t have a Journeyman certificate:

  • Proof that you have at least 7 years of experience working supervised under a Master licensee.
  • After a Board review and if approved, you will be asked to take the Apprenticeship By-Pass Exam.
  • If you pass (passing score is 70%), send proof to the office of the Board.

Water Well Drilling

The state of DE has a Division of Water that has a Water Supply Section that deals with wells permits. The Wells Permits Branch handles and issues permits for the construction and usage of wells that withdraw up to 50,000 gallons of water a day.

For other requirements, you can check out this document. You’ll find there the information on the necessary requirements if you want to be a contractor that provides the following services:

  • Water well installation
  • Water well drilling
  • Pump installation
  • Well driving

You can download the application form here to start the application process. You also need to attach this form and this form if you’re applying as a pump installer, well driver or well driller.

For more details, you can contact branch supervisor Alan Pongratz at [email protected] or via phone at 302-739-9944.

Department of Transportation Contracts

If you want to bid on a Delaware Department of Transportation contract, you need to be registered as a construction contractor. You can download the application form here. You can also contact their office at [email protected] or by phone at 302-760-2031.

It’s free to register. You can also click this link for more information.

Delaware Contractor License Reciprocity

Delaware has reciprocity programs. You can apply by reciprocity if you hold a current and valid license from another jurisdiction that has similar requirements as to Delaware’s requirements for the following classifications: