Louisiana Contractor Licenses

The licensing rules for contractors in the state of Louisiana are rather complex, and that is the topic we’ll try and cover in this article. To our best ability, this is the most accurate article out there on the topic in an easy-to-access manner.

It’s no surprise that the Louisiana State University is offering Construction Management courses. The construction industry in Louisiana is booming, with Baton Rouge experiencing strong years and southwest Louisiana expected to have strong years too. The year 2016 was solid for the industry. $16 billion worth of projects were announced for Baton Rouge and $13.6 billion worth of projects were announced for New Orleans.

Did you know that the state has one of the highest concentrations of careers in construction management in the country? The same thing applies for employment levels in the state. Indeed, things have been looking up, and will continue to look up. This is why the demand for information and Louisiana contractor licenses is at an all-time high.

Just like with anything that has a high demand, there are a lot of people looking to satisfy this demand. This means that a lot of people are looking to join the industry, whether as a licensed or as an unlicensed one. This article aims to provide you with everything that you need to know, whether as a budding professional in this industry or as a project owner.

As a potential player in this industry, you’ll know whether or not you should get a Louisiana contractor license. You’ll also know the requirements and the processes in getting one.

On the other hand as a project owner, you’ll know the importance of hiring one with a license. You’ll also learn how to find contractors with valid Louisiana contractor licenses.

Importance of Hiring a Contractor with a License

As a project owner, you already know that a lot of money will be exchanging hands. You’ll be handing a lot of money in exchange for the services that will be provided by your chosen professional. Doesn’t it make sense to make sure that you’re handing your money over to the right person for the job?

In most cases, the right person will be among contractors that hold a valid license. Here are the benefits that you’ll enjoy if you hire a contractor with a license:

  • You’ll be hiring a dedicated contractor.

Getting licensing is not an easy process. The mere fact that they went through the process is a solid proof that they’re dedicated to the craft. They want to make a name for themselves in the industry, and it starts with getting a license.

One of the requirements is getting solid experience. If you hire one with a license, you can be sure that he has solid experience that shows his dedication.

Contractors also treat their license with high respect. They won’t do anything that they know can negatively affect their standing.

  • You’re limiting your risk of falling victim to a fraudster.

Fraudsters can be found where the money is, and there’s a lot of money to be made in this industry. You’ll find them knocking on doors with offers that seem to be too good to pass up on, but are more like too good to be true.

This is why it’s safer to just deal with a licensed contractor. You can easily use the lookup tool to find them in Louisiana and you can easily do a background check on them.

This is not to say that all unlicensed contractors are fraudsters. There are valid reasons why they don’t have licensing yet. This is just to say that you’re limiting your risk of falling victim to a fraudster if you limit your search to licensed ones.

  • You can easily do background checks.

Licensing creates a paper trail. Applicants would have to submit information about themselves and their experience. This means that if needed, and this is recommended, you can easily do a background check. Just a simple search of their name or company name can provide you with a wealth of information.

You can even see if there have been complaints filed against them. This goes back to dedication. Since they know that you can easily check for complaints filed against them, they’ll be dedicated towards their craft and in avoiding things that can lead to complaints.

  • You’re protecting yourself.

Licensing also requires things that can protect everyone involved. These include insurance and bond. Construction projects can lead to a lot of problems. While you’d hope that you’d never have to use the insurance and bond, they’re still good to have especially for your peace of mind.

  • You’ll ensure that all requirements will be met.

This industry is one of the most heavily-regulated industries out there. You can bet that the government has a lot of requirements. Do you really want them knocking on your doors in the middle of a project because certain requirements haven’t been met? No? In that case, hire a licensed contractor. They’ll make sure that all requirements have been met.

With the benefits listed above, you just know that it makes perfect sense to protect yourself and your project and just hire a licensed professional.

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

If you want to go far in this industry, get licensing so you can experience these benefits:

  • You will attract project owners that want to experience the benefits listed above.

Put yourself in the position of project owners. The benefits listed above sound good, right? If you’re a project owner, you will look for licensed contractors so you can experience those benefits.

Here’s a small test. If you’re unlicensed now, do a little role play and act as if you’re a project owner. Given all things are equal, would you hire yourself or a licensed contractor?

  • You can confidently bid on projects both big and small.

While you can confidently bid on small projects that don’t require licensing, it’s different for big projects. You’ll be up against licensed pros that have the necessary requirements. How do you feel going up against them?

If you have the necessary licensing, you can confidently bid on even big projects because you know that you belong there.

  • You will be credible.

You went through the whole process. You can be found on the contractor license search tool provided by the state. You can flash licensing information when asked. You’re a contributor to the contractor industry. You are credible.

  • You will be seen as a company, and not just a person.

Because you have all the requirements, you will be seen as a legitimate contractor company and not just a person. You will be seen as a contractor and not just as a handyman. While you’re at it, you can work and grow this company to growth that you can only imagine.

  • You can stop working under the table in order to make more money.

Big projects require licensing. If you’re not licensed, you can’t bid and win on these big-money projects. This can really limit your growth.

Sure, you can work under the table so you can get these projects and make more money. But is that really something that you want to do?

  • You will avoid getting in trouble with the government.

The government won’t have problems giving you headaches if necessary. If you’ve been working under the table, you can bet that the government will find out. It is considered to be a misdemeanor crime in the state if you conduct contracting work without an appropriate license.

In addition, any contract made if you’re not licensed when you should be could be made null and void. The licensing board can also stop a project if they see fit. Worse, you can be fined for up to 3% of the contract price.

If you’re licensed, the government will back you up.

Should you start the application process now? It depends. Not everyone should be licensed right now. First of all, you need to have the right amount of experience. In addition to being a requirement, it’s also just logical for you to build up on your experience first. This is for you to know the ins and outs of the business.

In addition, this can help you build up your experience when it comes to bidding. It’s a complicated process that can lead your business to the dumpster if you don’t know how to do it. Can you imagine bidding too low on a massive project? You’ll end up using your own money.

In addition, you also have to decide what service/s you want to provide. This is because licensing can also limit what you can and cannot provide. You wouldn’t want to be licensed for a service that you don’t really want to provide.

If you’re ready now, here are the general steps on how to get a Louisiana contractor license:

  • Application process

You need to download the appropriate form. You can see a list of contractor forms here. Click on the appropriate form and complete it on your computer. Once completed, save and print the form so you can have it notarized before submission.

  • Testing

You will be notified if your application has been approved. You will get a letter in the mail with information on how you can register for the test.

There will be 2 tests – Business and Law and Trade. Business and Law is an open book exam to be conducted online. You will receive a copy of the Contractor’s Guide to Business, Law and Project Management. While it’s an open book exam, it’s still highly-recommended that you read and understand the complete guide.

As for the Trade exam, you won’t be provided with a guide since it will be based on your trade knowledge as a contractor. The test will be taken at one of the testing centers in the state. You can register for the trade exam here.

You will receive an official notification of your grade within a couple of weeks after you’ve completed the exam.

  • Approval of the board

Once you pass the exam, the board will undergo an approval process for your license.

There are corresponding fees to be paid. Information can be found here.

The state has a very good guide to obtaining your license. The steps above are presented here – http://tutorial.lslbc.louisiana.gov/.

Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors

Contractor licensing in the state of LA is handled by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. Thanks to Act 233 of the Legislature (La. R.S. 37:2150-2192), the board was created in 1956 with a mission to protect project owners and the general public against fraudsters and incompetent contractors. In the process, it’s also their mission to protect and promote the integrity of the industry.

The board has commercial and residential committee members appointed by the state Governor. They hold office at 2525 Quail Drive Baton Rouge, LA 70808. If you need to get in touch with them, you can do so at the following:

They also have more specific contact details for different departments here – http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/contact/.

Louisiana Online Contractor License Search and Lookup

As of September 9, 2018, the Louisiana online contractor license search has the following on their lookup tool:

  • Residential contractors (4,063)
  • Commercial contractors (18,958)
  • Mold remediation contractors (207)
  • Home improvement contractors (2,193)

Note: The number in parenthesis indicates the number of licensed professionals. These figures change as more professionals get licensed or lose the validity of their license.

If you’re looking for more licensing information on the professionals that you’re considering, you can use the Louisiana contractor license lookup tool here – http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/contractor-search/.

You can also be more specific with your search and do a lookup based on the following details:

There’s also the Advanced Contractor Search feature of the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.

License Classifications in the state of LA

In Louisiana, there are 4 different license types:

  • Residential

You need a license if the project has a value that exceeds $75,000. This includes materials and labor.

  • Commercial

If the project cost exceeds $50,000, licensing is required.

  • Mold remediation

You need licensing if the project exceeds $1.00.

  • Home improvement registration

You need to get registered for projects exceeding $7,500. If it exceeds $75,000, then you need a residential license.

The state has a comprehensive file on the Contractors Licensing Law and Rules and Regulations. You can check it out here – http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/wp-content/uploads/blue_book.pdf.

Residential Contractor License

You’d need an LA residential contractor license for any new residential project with labor and materials cost exceeding $75,000. This is also required for subcontractors and specialty tradesmen with new residential projects with labors and materials cost exceeding $7,500 for the following classifications:

If you have a Louisiana residential contractor license, you can also do home improvement projects.

Here are the requirements for licensing:

  • Completed application form.

The form can be downloaded, completed and saved here – http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/wp-content/uploads/application.pdf.

  • At least $10,000 net worth.

This should be backed up by a financial statement that’s current within a year of application.

  • Passing of the required exams.

You need to pass the Business and Law exam and the Trade exam.

  • Submit proof of insurance.

The insurance agent should email a certificate of insurance to [email protected]. It should show coverage of general liability insurance of at least $100,000 and workers’ compensation.

The board would then handle the approval process once you’ve went through the process.

Louisiana Commercial Contractor License

You need an LA commercial contractor license to work on commercial projects with labor and materials cost of $50,000 up. A general contractor also needs to hire licensed subcontractors or specialty tradesmen if the project reaches the same value with a couple of exceptions:

  • Mechanical, plumbing or electrical projects that exceed $10,000 in cost for materials and labor.
  • Asbestos, lead and other hazardous waste projects that exceed $1.00 for materials and labor.

Here are the requirements:

  • Completed application form.

The form can be downloaded, completed and saved here – http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/wp-content/uploads/application.pdf.

  • At least $10,000 net worth.

This should be backed up by a financial statement that’s current within a year of application.

  • Passing of the required exams.

You need to pass the Business and Law exam and the Trade exam. Some classifications will ask for additional certifications from corresponding agencies.

The board would then handle the approval process once you’ve went through the process.

The license lookup for plumbers is done through this link. For elec

Mold Remediation

The board is stricter when it comes to mold remediation projects. As soon as the project cost reaches $1.00, you need to have licensing. Here are the requirements for licensing:

  • Completed application form.

The form can be downloaded, completed and saved here – http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/wp-content/uploads/application.pdf.

  • At least $10,000 net worth.

This should be backed up by a financial statement that’s current within a year of application.

  • Certification in mold remediation.

You should attend and complete 24 hours’ worth of mold remediation and assessment training. Provide proof of attendance and completion.

You can attend the training at any of these providers – http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/mold-remediation-training-providers/.

  • Passing of the required exam.

You need to pass the Business and Law exam. You should also attend the 4 hour Louisiana’s Unfair Trade and Consumer Protection Law seminar.

  • Submit proof of insurance.

The insurance agent should email a certificate of insurance to [email protected]. It should show coverage of general liability insurance of at least $50,000 and workers’ compensation.

The board would then handle the approval process once you’ve went through the process.

Home Improvement Registration

You need home improvement registration for projects that cost exceeding $7,500 but not exceeding $75,000. This registration doesn’t include swimming pools. Here are the requirements:

  • Completed application form.

The form can be downloaded, completed and saved here – http://www.lslbc.louisiana.gov/wp-content/uploads/Home_Improvement_Registration_Application_Form.pdf.

  • Submit proof of insurance.

The insurance agent should email a certificate of insurance to [email protected]. It should show coverage of general liability insurance of at least $100,000 and workers’ compensation.

The board would then handle the approval process once you’ve went through the process.

New Orleans Mechanical Contractor License

You need to get a New Orleans mechanical contractor license if you want to perform work in the city. This is a regulation provided by the International Code Council (ICC) together with the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.

To be more specific, you need to get a Class A Master mechanical contractor license that covers A/C, refrigeration and gasfitters. Here are the requirements:

  • Payment of fees.
    • Exam fee (rate to be determined by the ICC).
    • $100 (active) or $25 (inactive) license fee.
    • Renewal late fees, if it applies.
  • Passing letter from the ICC or a copy of the state license.
  • Completed application form.
  • Proof of insurance.
    • General liability with coverage of at least $500,000.
    • Workers’ compensation as required by the state.
  • Occupational or general business license.
  • Articles of incorporation.
  • Louisiana General Sales Tax Number.
  • Other requirements:
    • State identification like driver’s license.
    • 2 passport sized pictures (must be current).
    • Federal ID number.

For questions and concerns, you can contact the City of New Orleans One Stop Shop Permits and Licenses at (504) 658-7100. You can also drop by at their office at 7th Floor 1300 Perdido St, New Orleans, LA 70112. They’re open from Monday to Thursday at 8 AM to 5PM and Friday from 8 AM to 3:30 PM.

Shreveport Contractor’s Registration

You need to have a contractor’s registration if you wish to perform the following services in the city of Shreveport:

  • A/C
  • Heating
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical

To apply, you need to get in touch with the International Code Council. You can reach them via phone at 888-422-7233.

You also need to have an occupational business license. Click here for the application form.

Please note that if the work exceeds $10,000, you need to have a master license from the State of Louisiana Licensing Board for Contractors. For plumbing, you can get your license from the State Plumbing Board of Louisiana.

For more details and inquiries on Shreveport contractor’s registration, you can contact the city’s Department of Public Works at 318-673-6100. You can also email its Chief Building Official, Gary Norman, at [email protected]. You can also drop by their office at this address:

505 Travis St. Government Plaza, Suite 130

Shreveport, LA 71101

Their office hours are Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM.

Lafayette Contractor License

You need to be licensed if you’re going to be compensated for construction work that will be performed within the city limits of Lafayette.

Here are the different license types and their corresponding fees:

  • General Class A ($175)

This is required if you’ll be working on any commercial space that’s over 2,000 square feet.

  • General Class B ($125)

This is required if you’ll be working on any commercial space of up to 2,000 square feet or for any residential project.

  • General Class C ($100)

This is for residential construction projects or remodeling projects that are up to 3,500 square feet.

  • Electrical (no fee)

You just need proof of your state master license.

  • Plumbing ($150)

You also need proof of your master plumbing license.

  • Mechanical ($125)

This is for HVAC projects, both residential and commercial.

  • Special ($100)

This is for special construction projects like roofing, siding, moving, sign installation, excavation, installation of mobile homes, gas fitting, landscaping and fire systems.

You have 2 options to register – online and in person.

Here’s how to register online:

  • Start the process at the Online Action Center.
  • Make sure to submit proofs of general liability and workers’ compensation insurances. Upload a PDF copy of the certificates.
  • If you’re a plumbing or electrical contractor, upload a PDF copy of your license as issued by the state.
  • Wait for your application to be approved. Once approved, you will receive an email. A link to the city’s payment facility will be included.
  • Pay via Mastercard or Visa.

Here’s how to register in person:

  • Download and complete this form.
  • Make sure to submit proofs of general liability and workers’ compensation insurances. Upload a PDF copy of the certificates.
  • Complete a Lawful Presence Affidavit. Include a copy of your driver’s license or any state ID.

You can then drop off your application at this address:

Building Department
City Hall
1290 S. Public Rd.
Lafayette, CO 80026

You can also send your application via snail mail to that address. Alternatively, you can also fax the application to 303-665-2153. You can also email it to [email protected]

License Reciprocity With Other States

The state, through the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors, has several reciprocity agreements with several states. What does this mean? It means that if the requirements for reciprocity have been met, you can receive credits for the trade exam if you have a license that falls under the same classification in a partner state.

If you’re an out of state contractor looking to get licensed in Louisiana, the application form, details and requirements can be found here.

If you hold a valid Louisiana contractor license and you want to apply for another state’s contractor license while taking advantage of the Louisiana contractor license reciprocity program, click here.

California, Utah, Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia are some of the states that the licensing board has agreements with, although they cover different categories for different states.

You can also check out this map for more details on the state’s reciprocity program.