How To Get Your General Contractor’s License in South Dakota

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.

South Dakota, often referred to as “the land of infinite variety,” is one of the best states for working in the construction industry. The state’s natural beauty and sprawling, diverse landscape also make it an ideal place to live and create.

South Dakota’s general contractors licensing requirements depend on the local and state levels. Each South Dakota city has unique requirements and application processes.

However, most cities require aspiring general contractors to obtain liability insurance or a compliance bond.

The three types of trade licenses in South Dakota are electrical, plumbing, and asbestos abatement. To learn more about general contracting in South Dakota, continue reading this guide.

At OnePointe Solutions, we’ve been working with numerous general contractors across the country over the years. Through our partnerships, we’ve designed and manufactured high quality laboratory, industrial and commercial solutions. From cleanroom cabinets, custom workbenches, and metal cabinets to epoxy resin countertops, phenolic resin countertops and stainless steel tops as well, for various applications.

Working to deliver amazing solutions to modern problems is our specialty.

Job Description: General Contractor

General contractors, also known as construction managers, manage an overall construction project. Before managing a project, general contractors must collaborate with construction estimators to compile a bid.

Bids will include an itemized list of project necessities, including materials, tools, equipment, labor, and more. 

The bidding process teaches construction managers how to navigate possible issues during construction, such as additional financing. Once a bid is accepted, construction managers coordinate schedules, purchase and rent materials, and hire subcontractors for the job site. 

Some general contractors work on-site, but others hire on-site managers for daily tasks. Regardless, all general contractors monitor safety and efficiency on a construction site.

General contractors manage the following: 

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

For this guide let’s a say a bid was creating for a toy factory and the general contractor needed  help with designing and supplying the necessary furniture.

Since this project is a toy factory, it’s going to need lots of organization components to keep everything in order and neat. For this assignment, we would design and manufacture custom mobile and/or fixed industrial storage cabinets to keep pieces, parts and/tools easy to find and organized.

In addition, we would create unique packing stations and custom workbenches to help facilitate the flow of fulfilling orders whether sending out shipments or receiving returns. We can outfit packing stations with drawers, shelving, casters, keyboard and more to make it the perfect solution for the project.

For transporting materials and orders back and forth across the factory floor, we can make custom carts made out of either powder-coated metal or stainless steel, depending on the requirements from the bid. And last but not least, a the factory is going to need durable worksurfaces to perform all their day to day activities. Epoxy resin, phenolic resin, stainless steel, solicor-cr and even maple block tops would be perfect for this kind of environment. Each surface is easy to care for, strong and can bring the whole factory together.

For virtually any project or bid, we can help!

Special Skills & Qualifications

Each state has unique licensing requirements, but special skills are beneficial in any industry. Although special skills are often innate, you can acquire more through experience.

Ideal skills and qualifications for general contractors may include: 

  • 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 South Dakota

In South Dakota, there are three types of trade licenses: electrical, plumbing, and asbestos abatement. No matter which South Dakota city you’re based in, you will probably need liability or a compliance bond.

Furthermore, general contracting companies will need to register for tax identification and obtain a business and occupational license with the South Dakota Secretary of State. Bear in mind that South Dakota’s 2% Excise Tax may apply to a business’s contracting services as well. 

Now, let’s discuss further qualifications for general contracting in the State of South Dakota.  


Currently, there is not a formal education requirement to be considered for general contracting in the State of South Dakota. However, you must be at least 18 years old and obtain your high school degree or equivalent to be considered.


If you’re able to acquire entry-level experience, you’ll gain further insight into the construction industry. For instance, shadow a general contractor to learn how to confront countless obstacles on a job site and prepare yourself for the application process.

By getting exposure to different areas in the construction field, you’ll soon discover that entry-level experience is key to the learning process.


The rest of this guide will focus on the licensing requirements in two major South Dakota cities, Sioux Falls and Rapid City. 

Building permits and contractors’ licenses in Sioux Falls are issued by the City of Sioux Falls Planning and Development Services (Building Division). Additionally, general contractors must register as residential building contractors in the city.

All of Rapid City’s contractors’ licenses are issued by the Rapid City Building Inspection Division. The city offers several types of licenses, but most general contractors apply as commercial/residential contractors or just residential contractors.


Before you apply as a general contractor in either Sioux Falls or Rapid City, here are some requirements to note: 


Sioux Falls requires you to take and pass the Construction Supervisor Exam.

Rapid City applicants need at least six hours of continued education, but only for certain contractors’ licenses. Also, an ICC contractor exam or university center exam will be required. For more information, visit the South Dakota Building Contractor/Trades Examination Information Bulletin

Required Documents

Besides the necessary exams, you will need to provide documents with your application. Sioux Falls and Rapid City have separate, detailed requirements for the application. See below:

  • Sioux Falls, SD:
    • A passing exam score from the Construction Supervisor Exam
    • An Excise Tax Number
    • A $20,000 Compliance Bond
    • A Certificate of Liability Insurance with a minimum of $300,000
    • If you work from home as a residential building contractor, you’ll need a Home Occupation Permit via the City of Sioux Falls Zoning Division
    • If you’re operating as a business, you must register through the South Dakota Secretary of State
    • Construction Supervisors need to complete one hour of continuing education and obtain a Continuing Education Certificate for each license cycle
    • Payment of licensing and exam fees
  • Rapid City, SD:
    • A Certificate of Excise Tax
    • General Liability Insurance proof
    • Workers’ Compensation Insurance proof
    • Passing exam scores
    • Payment of licensing and exam fees   

South Dakota General Contractor Licensing Fee Overview

Depending on the type of license you need, the exams you take, and the city in which you’re based, all fees will vary. Here is a breakdown of licensing and application fees per license type and the cities of Sioux Falls and Rapid City:

  • Sioux Falls, SD:
    • Residential Building Contractor Licensing Fee – $300 for the first year, $200 for the second year, $100 for the third year
    • Construction Supervisor Examination Fee – $75
  • Rapid City, SD:
    • Commercial and Residential Contractors License (Class A) – $200 initial fee for a three-year license
    • Residential Contractors License (Class B) – $200 initial fee for a three-year license

Average South Dakota General Contractor Salary & Benefits

If you’re looking to become a licensed general contractor in the State of South Dakota, the average salary is $98,648, but the salary range falls between $85,309 and $112,716.

The Path to Become a General Contractor in South Dakota

Do you wish to become a general contractor in the State of South Dakota? Let’s review the path to becoming a general contractor in the state:

1. Choose a Trade License

South Dakota offers three types of trade licenses at the state level. For more information on each license type, contact the following agencies:

2. Register Your Business (If Applicable)

The South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development handles business registration and licensing in the state. Also, check to make sure your business fulfills the requirements of business and tax registration, which includes the sales and contractors’ excise tax license application. For more information about excise taxation, visit the South Dakota Department of Revenue.

If you’re interested in starting a general contracting business, check out our guide below:

3. Obtain Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Any general contracting business with employees in the State of South Dakota will need workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Insurance may be covered through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis, or through the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.

4. Look Up and Verify Licenses

Based on the city you reside in within the State of South Dakota, you may look up and verify contractors’ licenses. For instance, when you visit the Sioux Falls, SD Building Permit Database, you can look up a contractor’s building permit validity within the city of Sioux Falls.

Also, the Building Services and Public Works License Report on the Rapid City Government website contains a list of license holders in Rapid City.

Need Help with Your Project?

If you’re a general contractor in South Dakota or another state in the U.S., we can bring the best products and solutions to you. If you need custom workbenches, stainless steel tops or epoxy resin countertops, we can make a solution for you. Our capabilities are at your disposal.

To get started, fill out our simple online contact form or call us, at (866) 222-7494, to schedule a free consultation today!


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

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