Minnesota Contractor Licenses


The Minnesota Department of Commerce licenses residential builders and remodelers.

Contractor License Lookup in Minnesota

Where do you go when you want to lookup the license of a contractor in Minnesota?
To find out if a company or individual is licensed in Minnesota, call (651) 296-6319 or (800) 657-3978 or click https://secure.doli.state.mn.us/licensing/licensing.aspx.

To find out if a lead contractor is licensed, click http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/lead/find_person/index.cfm.

To apply for a Builder/Roofer/Remodeler’s license, contact:

Department of Labor and Industry
443 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 284-5069
Fax: (651) 297-4198
E-mail:  [email protected]
http://www.dli.mn.gov/main.asp

If you want to build or remodel residential property in Minnesota and your company’s gross receipts are over $15,000 in a calendar year, you must get a license. If you don’t expect to gross more than $15,000, you must still file an affidavit with the Department. If you go over the limit you must get a license immediately.

You don’t need a license from the Department if you work as a plumber, electrician, or mechanical contractor. Plumbers are licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health and electricians are licensed by the Board of Electricity. Mechanical contractors are licensed by cities or counties but not by the state.

If you work in only one of the following specialty trades (except roofing) you don’t need a residential builder/remodeler license. However, if you work in two or more specialty trades, you need a license. Here are the trades the Department uses:

Excavation
Masonry/concrete
Carpentry
Interior finishing 
Exterior finishing
Drywall and plaster
Roofing
General installation specialties

If you work in the roofing business, your company must get a roofer license. You (or an employee you designate) must also pass the residential roofer trade exam to get a license.

You must have liability insurance for at least $100,000 per occurrence, and at least $25,000 property damage coverage. You may need unemployment insurance and Minnesota workers’ compensation insurance. The application will also ask you about your company’s organization and management personnel.

You’ll also have to pay a fee to the Contractor’s Recovery Fund. The fee is based on your company’s gross receipts:

Company gross receipts Recovery fund fee
Less than $1,000,000 $160
Over $1,000,000 and less than $5,000,000 $210
Over $5,000,000 $260

You must pass a business and law exam and a trade exam to get a license. The exams are given by:

Pearson VUE
PO Box 8588
Philadelphia, PA 19101
(800) 275-8244
http://www.pearsonvue.com/

More information is available on this site: http://www.dli.mn.gov/ccld.asp.

Builder, Remodeler and Roofer license fees: It will cost you $51 to take the business and law exam. Trade exams are also $51. A license will cost you $100. All licenses expire on March 31 each year.

Currently the Department has no reciprocity agreements with other states for these licenses.

Recommended Reading for the Builder, Remodeler and Roofer ExamsResidential Building:

International Residential Code for One- and Two- Family Dwellings, International Code Council, 4051 West Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, IL 60478, http://www.iccsafe.org

Minnesota State Building Code, Minnesota Department of Administration, Minnesota’s Bookstore, 660 Olive Street, St. Paul, MN 55155, http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore

Minnesota Energy Code – Department of Public Service, Minnesota Department of Administration, Minnesota’s Bookstore, 660 Olive Street, St. Paul, MN 55155, http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore

Minnesota OSHA , Chapters 5205-5207, 5210, and 5215, Minnesota Department of Administration, Minnesota’s Bookstore, 660 Olive Street, St. Paul, MN 55155, http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Part 1926 (OSHA), Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250, http://www.gpoaccess.gov

OSHA Excerpts for Contractors, Experior Assessments, LLC, 1260 Energy Lane, St. Paul, MN 55108, http://www.experioronline.com

Residential Remodeler:

International Residential Code for One- and Two- Family Dwellings, International Code Council, 4051 West Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, IL 60478, http://www.iccsafe.org

Minnesota State Building Code, Minnesota Department of Administration, Minnesota’s Bookstore, 660 Olive Street, St. Paul, MN 55155, http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore

Minnesota Energy Code – Department of Public Service, Minnesota Department of Administration, Minnesota’s Bookstore, 660 Olive Street, St. Paul, MN 55155, http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore

Minnesota OSHA, Chapters 5205- 5207, 5210, and 5215, Minnesota Department of Administration, Minnesota’s Bookstore, 660 Olive Street, St. Paul, MN 55155, http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 29, Part 1926 (OSHA), Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250, http://www.gpoaccess.gov

OSHA Excerpts for Contractors, Experior Assessments, LLC, 1260 Energy Lane, St. Paul, MN 55108, http://www.experioronline.com

Residential Roofer:

International Residential Code for One- and Two- Family Dwellings, International Code Council, 4051 West Flossmoor Road, Country Club Hills, IL 60478, http://www.iccsafe.org

Minnesota State Building Code, Minnesota Department of Administration, Minnesota’s Bookstore, 660 Olive Street, St. Paul, MN 55155, http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore

OSHA Excerpts for Contractors, Experior Assessments, LLC, 1260 Energy Lane, St. Paul, MN 55108, http://www.experioronline.com

Minnesota OSHA, Chapters 5205- 5207, 5210, and 5215, Minnesota Department of Administration, Minnesota’s Bookstore, 660 Olive Street, St. Paul, MN 55155, http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us/bookstore

Asbestos Abatement Licenses and Certificates

To do asbestos work in Minnesota your business must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health. All employees of an asbestos business must also be certified by the Department. To get an application, contact:

Minnesota Department of Health
Asbestos Unit
625 Robert Street North
P.O. Box 64975
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975
(651) 201-4620 / Fax: (651) 215-0975
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/asbestos/index.html

To get an abatement contractor license you must employ a Department-certified site supervisor who will be responsible for the asbestos work your company does. You will also need to provide workers’ compensation insurance and a Minnesota Business Identification Number.

Asbestos abatement License Fee: The license will cost you $110 with a 10% nonrefundable surcharge and it’s valid for one year.

Any individual working in asbestos abatement must be certified as a worker, site supervisor, inspector, management planner, or project designer. You must have completed the initial Department-approved asbestos training course associated with your trade before you apply for a certificate.

Education and/or experience requirements are available at this site: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/asbestos/prof/expreq.pdf

Asbestos abatement certificate fees: It will cost you $50 for a worker or site supervisor certificate, and $100 for any other certificate. A certificate is good for one year.

Lead Licenses and Certificates

To do lead abatement work in Minnesota your business must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Health. To get an application, contact:

Minnesota Department of Health
Lead Program
625 Robert Street North
P.O. Box 64975
St. Paul, MN 55164-0975
(651) 201-4620
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/lead/

Any individual working in lead abatement must be certified as a worker, site supervisor, inspector, risk assessor, or project designer. You must have completed the initial Department-approved lead training course associated with your trade before you apply for a certificate. Click here for a list of training courses. Site supervisor, risk assessor and project designer candidates also need the Department-approved education and/or experience requirements. Education and/or experience requirements are available at this site: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/asbestos/prof/index.html.

Lead abatement license fee: The license will cost you $55 nonrefundable and it’s good for one year.

Electrician’s Licenses

To do electrical work in Minnesota you need to be licensed by the State Board of Electricity. To get an application, contact:

Electrical Licensing and Inspection
443 Lafayette Rd. N.
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 284-5064
Fax: (651) 284-5743
http://www.dli.mn.gov/main.asp
http://www.license.mn.gov

The Board issues four types of contractor licenses – Class A Electrical, Class B Electrical Elevator, and alarm and communication. It also issues eight types of electrician licenses. Let’s look first at the contractor licenses. To get either contractor license you must post a contractor’s bond for $5,000. You must also have general liability insurance for $100,000 per occurrence, $300,000 aggregate, and property damage insurance for $300,000 per occurrence, $300,000 aggregate. There are no experience requirements for contractor licenses.

You don’t have to pass an exam to get an electrical contractor license but you must either be a licensed master electrician or employ a licensed master electrician who will be responsible for all the electrical work your company does.

A master electrician license is not required to obtain an alarm and communication license, however, you or an employee you designate, must pass an exam to get an alarm and communication contractor’s license. The exam is on the current National Electrical Code and general electrical theory. It will cost you $35 to take this exam.

Any of the contractor licenses will cost from $25 to $200, depending on when you get it. The electrical contractor licenses are good for two years, expiring the end of February each even-numbered year. The alarm and communication contractor license is good for two years, expiring June 30 each odd-numbered year.

Now let’s look at the electrician licenses. Here’s a summary of the requirements for each type of license and the annual license fee:

Months of Board-approved Annual
License type work experience required license fee
Class A master 60 $40
Class A journeyman 48 $15
Master elevator constructor 60 $40
Elevator constructor 36 $15
Class A installer 12 $15
Class B installer 12 $15
Lineman 48 $15
Maintenance 48 $15

Electrician’s exam license fee: The exam you have to pass to get an electrician license will be on licensing laws, the current National Electrical Code, and electrical theory. It will cost you $35 to take an exam. License fees for the various classifications are as follows::

Class A master and master elevator constructor, $40/yr
Class B master, $25/yr
Class A journeyman, Class B journeyman, Class A or B installer, elevator constructor, maintenance, lineman or special electrician, $15/yr
Electrical contractor and alarm communication contractor, $100/yr

The Board has reciprocal agreements with Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota for both master and journeyman licenses. For journeyman licenses only, the Board has reciprocal agreements with Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. If you’ve received a license by examination in one of these states and held it for one year or more, you can get a reciprocal license in Minnesota. You’ll have to pay an application fee and license fee to receive your reciprocal license.

Plumber’s Licenses

To do plumbing work in any city in Minnesota with a population over 5,000, you must get a license from the Minnesota Department of Health. To see the Minnesota statutes on plumbing, go to http://www.revisor.leg.state.mn.us/stats/326/40.html

To get an application, contact:

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
Plumbing and Engineering
443 Lafayette Road N.
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 284-5067
Fax: (651) 284-5748
http://www.dli.mn.gov/ccld/plumbing.asp
http://www.dli.mn.gov/ccld/plumbingForms.asp
E-mail: [email protected]

The Department issues master plumber, journeyman plumber, water conditioning installer and water conditioning contractor licenses. If this is the first time you’re applying for a license, you must include three notarized references with your application.

You must pass an exam to get a license. To qualify for the master exam you must have at least five years of Department-approved plumbing experience and a Minnesota journeyman plumber license or a master plumber license in a state with requirements equal to those in Minnesota.

To qualify for the journeyman plumber exam you need four years of Department-approved plumbing experience. If you have a journeyman plumber license in another state you must have passed an exam and had four years of practical plumbing work experience to get the license.

The exams are based on the Minnesota Plumbing Code and Minnesota Rules, Chapter 4715. Part of the exams are open book from these references. You can get these books from:

Minnesota Bookstore
660 Olive Street
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 297-3000
(800) 657-3757
Fax: (651) 296-2265
http://www.comm.media.state.mn.us

Anyone contracting to do plumbing work must provide evidence of a $25,000 code compliance bond. You can get the bond application online at http://www.dli.mn.gov/CCLD/PlumbingForms.asp.

Plumber’s license fees: It costs you $50 nonrefundable to take an exam. The master license costs $120 and the journeyman license is $55. A license is good for one year but they all expire on December 31 each year. The water conditioning installer license fee is $30 and the water conditioning contractor license fee is $70.

If you’ve passed a licensing exam in North or South Dakota and don’t live in Minnesota, you can get a Minnesota license by reciprocity. Contact the Department for a reciprocity application.

Department of Transportation (DOT)

You don’t have to be prequalified to bid on Minnesota Department of Transportation projects. However you may have to provide a written statement showing your experience, amount of capital, and equipment you have available for a project before you can get the contract for the job. The Department address is:

Department of Transportation
395 John Ireland Blvd., MS 650
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-3000 or (800) 657-3774
Fax: (651) 296-8773
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/

Proposed projects are listed in the Construction Bulletin. For subscription information, contact:

Reed Construction Data
30 Technology Parkway South #100
Norcross, GA 30092
http://www.reedconstructiondata.com

Proposed project and bidding information is available on the department’s bid letting site at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/bidlet.

You need to know about the Department’s requirements for its construction projects before bidding on a project. You can get this information in their publication, Standard Specifications for Construction. The Department sells it for $20 hard cover or $17 soft cover plus tax, shipping, and handling. Here’s the contact office:

Manual Sales Office
Department of Transportation
Transportation Building
395 John Ireland Blvd. Room 110
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 366-3017
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/mapsales

Out-of-State Corporations

Out-of-state corporations should check with the Minnesota Secretary of State before doing business in Minnesota. You can contact them at:

Secretary of State
180 State Office Building
100 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
St. Paul, MN 55155
(651) 296-2803
http://www.sos.state.mn.us/

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