How To Get Your General Contractor’s License in Louisiana

Disclaimer Note: The content in is blog is just for informational purposes ONLY. We ARE NOT licensed, certified, or a party/entity to provide licensing. Please refer to your state’s board on current processes for where and how to get your license.

With warm weather practically all year long, Louisiana is a state brimming with construction projects and opportunities. Construction and renovations can continue without interruption throughout the winter months thanks to the sunshine and generally clear weather, making this state an excellent place to begin or advance a career in construction.

The general contractor position is certainly a welcome advancement for anyone in the construction field, as it provides a great deal of freedom both with the scheduling of projects as well as their creative directions. As a general contractor, you will have complete control over your schedule and how much you make by accepting jobs anywhere and any time you want.

At OnePointe Solutions, we’ve been a trusted vendor among general contractors to supply them with lab caseworkindustrial furniture, and commercial cabinets to meet and exceed the needs of virtually any given project.

Louisiana’s general contractor licensing process is governed at the state level, with only a few aspects being regulated from county to county. For example, when it comes to surety bonds, there are no statewide requirements, but a handful of cities such as Ascension Parish, City of Lake Charles, Gonzales do require that contractors obtain surety bonds. But for the most part, the regulations for general contractors applying in Louisiana will be the same across the entirety of the state.

According to the terms outlined by the Louisiana Contractors Licensing Laws, a contractor includes “general contractors, subcontractors, architects, and engineers who receive an additional fee for the employment or direction of labor, or any other work beyond the normal architectural or engineering services.” Since a great deal of different contracting work falls under this definition, the type of license for which you apply will be determined by the specific type of work you plan to do. Keep in mind that you may need to apply for more than one license. The four types of licenses available in Louisiana are as follows:

  • Commercial License: For contractors who will be working on commercial projects over $50,000, including materials and labor.
  • Residential License: For contractors who will be working on any home improvement projects, new single-family dwelling, duplex, triplex, or fourplex, and any project that surpasses $75,000.
  • Mold Remediation License: For contractors who will be working with hazardous materials and performing mold remediation projects over $1.00.
  • Home Improvement Registration: For contractors who will be working on home improvement projects that go over $7,500, but fall under $75,000

Job Description: General Contractor

The general contractor position is an excellent advancement opportunity for anyone currently working in the construction field. It provides much more freedom than most jobs, with the ability to choose where and when you work by making bids on and accepting projects at your own will.

It is helpful to have a good amount of prior experience in various construction fields, as this role requires you to take on a leadership position where you will be in charge of making decisions about timelines and material costs as well as delegating tasks and responsibilities to employees.

The average project for a general contractor will unfold something like this: assessing the construction site, creating an estimate of the material and labor costs for the project as well as a timeline for its completion, using these estimations to submit a competitive bid to the client, and overseeing the construction process if the bid is accepted. You may need to work onsite alongside the crew or simply instruct them on what needs to be completed each day.

Either way, the responsibility falls on the general contractor to ensure that each project is completed on time and meets the quality standards set forth by the client.

As mention before, a general contractor must oversee the construction process if a bid is accepted. For the sake of this guide, let’s say a bid was accepted for a cannabis lab.

At OnePointe Solutions, we would provide the general contractor with lab casework and storage options to hold and organize equipment and materials. As well as, design and manufacture mass spec benches, custom workbenches, and lab tables for daily testing and experiments. In addition, we would also give the project proper work surfaces like phenolic resin and/or stainless steel which are chemical resistant, durable, and won’t contaminate samples and testing being performed in the lab too.

To summarize, general contractors are in charge of the following: 

  • Crew safety
  • Equipment and site safety
  • Permits and street closures
  • Anticipating weather conditions and scheduling accordingly
  • Enforcing quality and safety standards

Special Skills & Qualifications

This article focuses specifically on the requirements for obtaining a general contractor license in Kentucky, but no matter where in the world you work as a general contractor, there are certain skills and traits that you should strive to embody. These skills cannot be learned through a classroom, but more so through experience.

General contractors must be able to communicate well with others, remain calm in stressful situations, manage employees and feel comfortable taking charge, and have an excellent work ethic. These and other untaught skills that all general contractors should have are listed below, so take a look and see if you feel you exemplify these traits:

  • Ability to read building plans and blueprints
  • Building/construction skills
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Budget and purchasing experience
  • Comfortable working with new people
  • Able to learn quickly and in stressful situations
  • Concern for the wellbeing of others and a touch of perfectionism

Qualifications To Become a General Contractor in Louisiana

When applying for your general contractor license in the state of Louisiana, you will have four types of licenses to choose from:

  • Commercial License: For contractors who will be working on commercial projects over $50,000, including materials and labor. You can find the application here
  • Residential License: For contractors who will be working on any home improvement projects, new single-family dwelling, duplex, triplex, or fourplex, and any project that surpasses $75,000. You can find the application here.
  • Mold Remediation License: For contractors who will be working with hazardous materials and performing mold remediation projects over $1.00. You can find the application here
  • Home Improvement Registration: For contractors who will be working on home improvement projects that go over $7,500, but fall under $75,000. You can find the application here.

You may be interested in applying for just one or multiple of these licenses, depending on the sort of work you plan on doing once you obtain them. Each license type has its own requirements, so we will be focusing on the general guidelines that surround them all.

However, when applying, simply fill out the corresponding form for each one and be sure to provide all the specific required documents listed on the application. The general qualifications for applying for any of these licenses are as follows:

Education & Experience

There are no formal educational or prior experience requirements to obtain your general contractor license in Louisiana. However, those seeking to start a career in construction should generally be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or the GED equivalent.

For anyone with an interest in pursuing their education beyond high school, it may be helpful to consider obtaining a degree in architecture or engineering.

Exam

You will be required to pass at least one exam when applying for your license in Louisiana. Depending on which license you have chosen, you may be asked to complete a secondary exam to demonstrate your capability within a specific trade. All Louisiana contractor applicants are required to pass the Business and Law Exam first, an open book test that can be completed online.

Specific trade exams must be taken at designated testing sites, located in Baton Rouge, Bossier City, New Orleans, Alexandria, and Lake Charles.

All exams are given on the computer and last anywhere from 2.5 to 4 hours, depending on the classification. You must earn a score of at least 70 to pass.

If you fail, you cannot retake the exam for another 30 days and you will be required to pay the exam fee in full a second time. The fee for the Business and Law Exam and any additional trade exams is $120.00 each.

Special Documentation

There are a few documents that you may need to send in with your application, depending on which classification you choose.

Proof of Sound Financial Standing

Proof of sound financial standing may come in several different forms, such as a balance sheet, a statement of financial position, or a statement of net worth. Whichever one you choose, it must indicate a net worth of at least $10,000 and be signed and notarized by both the applicant and an independent auditor.

Proof of Insurance

You must provide proof via a certificate of both general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. The stipulations for the policies may vary depending on the license you have chosen. For example, $100,000 is required for residential licenses and $50,000 is required for mold remediation licenses.

Licensing

Sign and complete your chosen license or license application(s) in full. The links to each one can be found above along with their descriptions to help you determine which ones you may need. Once you have done so, gather your application(s) together into an envelope along with the necessary documents required for each one and submit the envelope to the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors for consideration.

Louisiana General Contractor Licensing Fee Overview

Since applicants often apply for more than one type of license, it may be helpful to use the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors’ fee scheduling web page. Here, you can simply indicate the number of classifications you need as well as the number of exams you plan to take. The total amount of your fee will then appear at the bottom of the screen. Be sure to include a check or money order along with your application that covers the fee in full.

Average Louisiana General Contractor Salary & Benefits

General contractors working in the state of Louisiana have an average annual salary of $188,405, with the opportunity to earn $6,750 in overtime each year. This is almost 150% above the national average for general contractors employed in the United States.

The Path to Become A General Contractor in Louisiana

Now that all the details about requirements and qualifications are out of the way, let’s take a look at the step-by-step process of obtaining your general contractor license in Louisiana.

1. Gather Necessary Documents & Items

Be sure to obtain your proof of sound financial standing, signed and notarized, as well as any proof of insurance certificates that your specific license types require.

2. Complete and Sign Your Application

Again, there are four classifications for licensing in the state of Louisiana. Their descriptions and corresponding application links are as follows:

  • Commercial License: For contractors who will be working on commercial projects over $50,000, including materials and labor. You can find the application here
  • Residential License: For contractors who will be working on any home improvement projects, new single-family dwelling, duplex, triplex, or fourplex, and any project that surpasses $75,000. You can find the application here.
  • Mold Remediation License: For contractors who will be working with hazardous materials and performing mold remediation projects over $1.00. You can find the application here
  • Home Improvement Registration: For contractors who will be working on home improvement projects that go over $7,500, but fall under $75,000. You can find the application here.

Complete your selected applications in full and sign each one before mailing them to the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors for consideration.

3. Pay Licensing Fees

Make sure to include a check or money order in the corresponding fee amount for whichever licenses you are seeking. Visit the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors’ fee scheduling web page for a quick and easy way to figure out your payment.

4. Mail Your Application and Documentation

After you have gathered all your documents together, paid your licensing fee, and completed your application(s), you are finally ready for the last step in this long process. Simply mail your application, fee payment, and documents to the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors at the following address:

Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors

2525 Quail Drive,

Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Need Lab Furniture For Next Your Project?

If you’re a general contractor in Louisiana or another state in the U.S. and need laboratory casework, lab furniture, and/or industrial furniture, give us a call at (866) 222-7494 to speak to a project consultant today.

Questions? Concerns? Want to start today? Get in touch. 866.612.7312

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