Home » Arizona » General Contractor License in Arizona

General Contractor License in Arizona

  • SumoMe

The State of Arizona regulates their construction industry by requiring anyone who contracts or offers to contract work on construction projects to hold a general contractor’s license.  The Arizona Registrar of Contractors (ARC) is responsible for determining eligibility and issuing licenses.

There are three different license classifications for general contractors in the State of Arizona:

  • Class B- General Residential Contractors- allows contractors to work on projects that involve the construction, repair or remodeling of homes and residential structures.
  • Class B-01-General Commercial Contractors- allows contractors to build, work on or manage and supervise work on construction projects of any kind
  • Class B-02- General Small Commercial Contractors- allows contractors to build or work on any projects worth a maximum of $250,000 in labor and materials.  As of July 1, 2014, this amount will increase to $750,000.

All general contracting businesses, including sole proprietors, partnerships, LLCs and corporations in the State of Arizona, are required to have a representative who meets the requirements and applies for a license through the ARC.  The qualifying individual must be an employee, owner, partner, LLC member, officer, director, or owner of the 25% or more of a corporation’s stock.

Process to Obtain an Arizona General Contractor License

  1. Applicant must be at least 18 years old.
  2. Applicants must have at least 4 years of work experience as a foreman, journeyman, supervisor or employee in general contracting.
  3. Applicants must choose which classification they want to apply for, such as Class B, Class B-01 or Class B-02
  4. Applicants must fill out the Contractor’s License Application Packet
  5. Applicants must register for and take the business management and trade examinations.
  6. Applicants must submit the Contractor’s License Application along with the required documentation, fees and a copy of the original exam scores.

Work Experience Requirement

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors requires applicants to have a minimum of 4 years work experience.  Acceptable work experiences include, working as:

  • Journeyman-someone who has completed an apprenticeship program and is able to perform construction duties without supervision.
  • Foreman/Supervisor-someone who has the knowledge and skills of a journeyman and supervises/manages daily construction activities.
  • Employee- someone who has worked for a licensed or formerly licensed general contractor in Arizona.

All work experience must be documented and verified through someone with first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s experience, such as:

  • Employer
  • Fellow Employee
  • Homeowner
  • Journeyman
  • Contractor
  • Union Representative
  • Building Inspector
  • Engineer
  • Architect

Arizona does not have an education requirement to apply for a general contractor’s license; however, the following are counted toward a portion of the work experience requirement in some instances:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Technical Training
  • Education

Transcripts and certificates of completion are required as proof.  For more information, contact the ARC Licensing Department at: (602)-542-1525

Preparing to Apply for a General Contractor License

Once the applicant has satisfied the work experience requirement, it is time to start the process of applying for a general contractor license.

Pick up a copy of the Contractor’s License Application Packet from the local ARC office.  Application packets are also available online, at:

http://www.azroc.gov/Acrobat/Lics/lic_app.pdf

Be sure to read the entire application packet and pay close attention to specific requirements for the appropriate license classification.

There are a few tasks that need to be completed before the application packet can be submitted.

  1. Applicants must obtain a Transaction Privilege Tax License Number from the Arizona Department of Revenue.  This number is required on the application
  2. Applicants must choose a name for their business and reserve it with the ARC Licensing Department.  This is a free service.  The ARC will reserve the business name up to 90 days while the contractor goes through the application process.  For more information, contact the Licensing Department at: (602) 542-1525
  3. If the applicant is part of a corporations or LLC, they must also register and reserve their company name with the Arizona Corporation Commission.  It is essential that the business remain in good standing with the Commission once they receive their license.  Businesses that are not in good standing with the Commission are not able to renew their general contractor license during the renewal period.  More information about this process is found in the licensing packet.
  4. Applicants must register for, take and pass the licensing exam.  The original examination score report is submitted along with the license application.
  5. Applicants must acquire the appropriate bonds and insurance.
*The Registrar advises that applicants wait on preparing company documents, such as letter heads and business cards, until their license application is approved.  

Bonds, Insurance and Fees

All applicants are required to post a bond at the time that they submit their application.  If the general contracting business plans on employing one or more workers, they are also responsible for obtaining worker’s compensation insurance.

Acceptable bonds include:

  • Surety Bonds
  • Cash Bonds
  • Cashier’s Check
  • Money Order
  • Certified Check
  • Certificate of Deposit
*Cash bonds do not earn interest.  Any interest from certificates of deposit are paid to the contractor.  

Applicants must post bonds in the following amounts:

  • General Commercial Contractors (B-01 and B-02)- $5,000 to $90,000
  • General Residential Contractors (B)- $5,000 to $15,000.  As of July 1, 2014, the minimum bond amount will increase to $9,000.

Residential Contractors are also required to submit a payment of $450 to the Contractor’s Recovery Fund.  The recovery fund protects consumers in case there is a dispute over the contractor’s work.  As of July 1, 2014 the required recovery fund amount for Residential Contractors will decrease to $370.

*Residential Contractors also have the option of posting a consumer protection bond for $200,000 instead of paying the Recovery Fund fee.  

All bonds and Recovery Fund fee amounts should be paid separately from the licensing and application fee.  Make all checks payable to the “Registrar of Contractors.”

The current application fees are:

  • General Commercial Contractors (B-01 and B-02)- $890.00- this amount includes the license and application fees
  • General Residential Contractors (B)- $895.00- this amount includes the license, application and Recovery Fund fees.  If the contractor opts to post a consumer protection bond in place of the Recovery Fund fee, the application and licensing fee is only $445.00

As of July 1, 2014, all licensing application fees will change to the following amounts:

  • General Commercial Contractors- $780.00- this includes the license and application fee
  • General Residential Contractors- $870- this includes the license, application and recovery fund fees.

The Examination Process

The licensing exam is administered by PSI Services LLC.  In order to receive their license, contractors are required to pass a two part exam covering:

  • Business Management
  • Trade Exam

The best way to prepare for the exam is to read the Candidate Information Bulletin.  This Bulletin also includes a copy of the exam registration form and also provides a break-down of the information covered on each test.  There is also a list of suggested study references.  For a copy of the Bulletin click the link below, or call: (800)-733-9267

http://www.azroc.gov/Acrobat/Misc/cib.pdf

There is a $106 fee for taking both portions of the exam.  If the applicant chooses to take each portion of the exam separately, the fee is $56 per test.  Acceptable forms of payment include:

  • Visa
  • Mastercard

OR when Registering by Mail

  • Company Checks
  • Cashier’s Check
  • Money Order
*PSI does not accept personal checks or cash.  

There are 4 ways to register for the exam:

  1. Online- Go to the PSI website and follow the links and instructions for new candidate registration.  www.psiexams.com
  2. By Phone- Call (800) 733-9267.  PSI’s automated system is available 24 hours a day.  Representatives are standing by during normal business hours
  3. By Fax- Print the registration form in the Candidate Information Bulletin and fax it to (702) 932-2666.  Include credit card information for payment.  Allow at least 4 business days for processing.
  4. By Mail- Print the registration form in the Candidate Information Bulletin and mail it to:

PSI Services LLC
3210 E Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121

Allow at least 2 weeks for processing when submitting the registration form by mail.

Be sure to read all directions when filling out the exam registration form.  PSI will return any forms with missing or incomplete information.  Once PSI accepts the exam registration, they will provide the applicant with a list of available exam dates and locations. The candidate is responsible for contacting PSI to schedule their exam date.

Testing centers are located throughout the State of Arizona in:

  • Flagstaff
  • Phoenix
  • Tucson
  • Yuma
*PSI also has testing centers outside of the State of Arizona.  Examinees can make arrangements to take the test outside of the state if needed.

On the day of the exam, arrive at least 30 minutes before the test to allow time for sign-in.  PSI requires that examinees bring 2 forms of identification.

  1. Government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport
  2. Identification that includes the examinees legal name and signature, such as a credit card or bank card.

Examinees have 3 attempts to pass both portions of the examination.  In between each test retake, the examinee must wait 30 days.  After that, the examinee must wait 180 days to take the test again.  For every test re-take, the examinee must pay the appropriate exam fee and re-register with PSI.

Examinees will receive a score report before they leave the testing center on the day of their exam.  Once they pass both portions of the exam, candidates are ready to submit their licensing application to the Arizona Registrar of Contractors.  Submit the original score report along with the application.  Copies of the score report are not acceptable.  Test results are good for two years.

Submitting an Application

Be sure that the application is completely filled out using black ink, a computer or typewriter.  All questions on the application must be answered truthfull.  Falsified information is considered a felony in the State of Arizona.

Be sure to follow all directions on the application and submit everything required, including:

  • Original Exam Score Report
  • Application Fees
  • Bond and Recovery Fund Fees
  • Work Experience Record Form
  • Transaction Privilege Tax Number

Be sure to sign and date the last page of the application.  ARC does not process applications with incomplete or missing information, so be sure to double check that everything is included.  Incomplete applications are returned, causing a delay the licensing process.

Submit the completed application, fees and documents to:

Registrar of Contractors
PO Box 6748
Phoenix, AZ 85005-6748

When the Registrar receives the application, they will notify the contractor and send them a receipt.  This receipt will have a number that allows the candidate to check the status of their application.  It takes approximately 40 to 60 days for the Registrar to process the application.  Eligible applicants receive their general contractor’s license by mail.

*All fees are non-refundable for applicants who are not deemed eligible.

How Long is an Arizona General Contractor License Valid?

Both commercial and residential general contractor’s licenses are good for 2 years.  Licenses are renewed every other year on the month that the original license was submitted.  Prior to the renewal period, licensees receive a renewal notice in the mail, at the address that ARC has on file.

Fill out renewal notices immediately to allow time for processing.  General contractor licenses are renewed online or by mail.

License renewal fees are broken down as follows:

  • General Commercial Contractors (B-01 and B-02)- $580.00
  • General Residential Contractors (B)-$590.00 – this amount covers both the renewal fee and the Recovery Fund fee.
*Despite other changes to fees for general contractor licensing, effective July 1, 2014, there are no changes to the renewal fees for commercial and residential contractors.

Table of Fees

FEE WHAT IS IT FOR? WHEN IS IT DUE?
$890 Licensing Fee for General Commercial Contractors Upon submitting the licensing application
$895 Licensing Fee for General Residential Contractors Upon submitting the licensing application
$450 or $200,000 bond Recovery Fund Fee for Residential Contractors or Consumer Protection Bond Amount Upon submitting the licensing application
$106 Business Management and Trade Examination Fee Upon registering for both portions of the exam
$56 Cost for 1 portion of the Examination Upon registering for either the Business Management of Trade exam
$590 Renewal Fee for Residential Contractors When submitting the license renewal application
$580 Renewal Fee for Commercial Contractors When submitting the license renewal application

As of July 1, 2014, the following fees and limits will increase/decrease, as listed:

  • General Small Commercial Contractors (B-02) can now work on projects up to $750,000 in labor and materials
  • The minimum bond amount for General Residential Contractors (B) will increase to $9,000
  • The Contractor’s Recovery Fund fee for Residential Contractors (B) will decrease to $370.
  • The license and application fees for General Commercial Contractors (B-01 and B-02) will decrease to $780.

The license and application fee for General Residential Contractors (B), which includes the Contractor’s Recovery Fund Fee, will decrease to $870.

FEE WHAT IS IT FOR? WHEN IS IT DUE?
$890 Licensing Fee for General Commercial Contractors Upon submitting the licensing application
$445 Licensing Fee for General Residential Contractors Upon submitting the licensing application
$450 + $200,000 bond Recovery Fund Fee for Residential Contractors/ Consumer Bond Amount Upon submitting the licensing application
$106 Business Management and Trade Examination Fee Upon registering for both portions of the exam
$56 Cost for 1 portion of the Examination Upon registering for either the Business Management of Trade exam
$590 Renewal Fee for Residential Contractors When submitting the license renewal application
$580 Renewal Fee for Commercial Contractors When submitting the license renewal application