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General Contractor Licensing in Alaska

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Before a contractor is allowed to bid, advertise their services, or begin work on a construction project of $10,000 or more in the State of Alaska, they must obtain a certificate of registration from the Contractor Licensing Department of the Division of Corporations Business and Professional Licensing.  The Division is part of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.

In addition to registering for a certificate from the Division, in some cases, General Contractors are also required to obtain a Residential Endorsement License.  A Residential Endorsement License is needed when working on or building a residential structure where the cost of the project is greater than 25% of the cost of the structure itself.  If the General Contractor is performing work on a project that is worth less than 25% of the structure’s value, or if the contractor is performing work on commercial projects, a Residential Endorsement License is not needed.

The State of Alaska does not have any education, work experience or examination requirements for contractors seeking a General Contractor License without a Residential Endorsement;  however, contractors who are required to obtain a license with a Residential Endorsement, are required to pass an exam and complete a mandatory prerequisite training course to obtain their endorsement.  All contractors are required to be bonded and hold the proper forms of insurance.

 

License Classifications in Alaska

The State of Alaska offers three different license types for contractors:

  1. General Contractor License- allows contractors to perform work on commercial projects, as well as residential projects, including new home construction and residential remodeling.
  2. Mechanical Contractor License- allows contractors to work in a variety of mechanical fields, such as heating, plumbing, refrigeration and  sheet metal.  Mechanical contractors are limited to mechanical work and must have an administrator for the type of work they wish to perform.
  3. Specialty Contractor License- allows contractors to work on projects that require the knowledge of 3 or fewer trades, such as drywall, painting, roofing, siding etc.

 

This article focuses on the process for obtaining a General Contractor License in the State of Alaska.  For more information about obtaining a Mechanical or Specialty Contractors License, please visit:

http://commerce.state.ak.us/dnn/portals/5/pub/con4027.pdf

 

Process to Obtain a General Contractor License in Alaska

  1. Contractors must contact the Division to ensure that the name they plan to use for their business is unique and not in use by another contractor or business in the State of Alaska
  2. All general contracting businesses must obtain a State of Alaska Business License, authorizing them to conduct business within the state
  3. Contractors must obtain a surety bond in the amount of $10,000
  4. Contractors must obtain the proper forms of insurance, including general liability and worker’s compensation insurance
  5. If the contractor’s business is a corporation, they must register with the Corporation Section of the Division of Corporations
  6. All contractors must complete and sign the Construction Contractor Application Packet and have it notarized
  7. Contractors must submit the completed application packet, along with all required documents and fees to the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
  8. If the contractor intends to bid or work on the construction or remodeling of residential structures and the cost of the projects is greater than 25% of the cost of the home/structure, they must pass a qualifying exam, complete a mandatory training course and submit General Contractor With Residential Endorsement License application along with all the required documents and fees

 

Preparing to Submit a Contracor License Application Packet

Before beginning the process of applying for a General Contractor License in the State of Alaska, it is important to read and become familiar with the statutes and regulations for contractors working within the state.  For more information, please visit:

http://commerce.state.ak.us/dnn/portals/5/pub/ContractorStatutes.pdf

 

The Division requires that all General Contracting businesses have a unique name.  If the contractor plans to use a name, other than their legal name for their business, they must ensure that their “Doing Business As” name (DBA) is not in use by another contractor.  For more information, contact the Division.  Contractors are given different phone numbers for the Division based on the first letter of their business name:

  • If the Contractor’s Business Name Begins with the Letters A-F, call: 907-465-8444
  • If the Contractor’s Business Name Begins with the Letters G-M, call: 907-465-5470
  • If the Contractor’s Business Name Begins with the Letters N-Z, call: 907-465-5372

 

Additionally, all General Contracting businesses, must obtain authorization to conduct a business within the state.  Prior to completing the license application packet, all General Contractors are required to obtain a State of Alaska Business License.  For more information, please call:

907-465-2550

OR

Visit: http://commerce.alaska.gov/occ

 

For a copy of the Construction Contractor License Application Packet, please visit:

Alaska Construction Contractor License Application Packet

 

Before completing and submitting the application packet, contractors must also obtain the following items and complete the following steps:

  • Obtain a surety bond in the amount of $10,000.  Bonds must be issued by a surety company or insurer licensed to do business in the State of Alaska, with the company’s power of attorney.  The principal and the surety must sign the bond.  The Division also accepts the following, in place of a surety bond:
    • Time Certificate of Deposit OR Savings Passbook, in the amount of $10,000, issued by a bank or trust company located and authorized to do business in the State of Alaska.  The certificate or passbook must say “State of Alaska in Trust for: (contractor/business name).” When choosing one of these options, the contractor must complete the Assignment of Cash Deposit form, located on page 5 of the application packet.
  • Obtain a general liability insurance certificate covering both public liability and property damage.  The policy must be in the minimum amount of $20,000 for property damage and $50,000 for the injury or death of 1 person and $100,000 for the injury or death of more than 1 person.
  •   Obtain worker’s compensation insurance if the General Contractor plans to hire or employ workers.  If the contractor is a sole proprietor and does not plan to have employees, they are exempt from obtaining worker’s compensation coverage.
  •  If the General Contractor’s business is a Corporation, they must register with the Corporations Section of the Division of Corporations.  For more information, please call:907-465-2530
  • If the contractor intends to bid on or work on new or existing residential structures with 1 to 4 family units, and the cost of the project is worth more than 25% of the structure’s value, the contractor is required to obtain a Residential Endorsement License from the Division.  In order to obtain a Residential Endorsement, contractors are required to complete a mandatory training course program and pass a qualifying exam.  Commercial contractors and those who work on residential projects where the cost of the project is less than 25% of the value structure’s value, are not required to go through the process of obtaining a Residential Endorsement.

 

*More information about the Residential Endorsement Licensing process is found later in this article, under the section titled, “Residential Endorsement License Process”

 

For questions or assistance with the application packet, please refer to the following Division contacts:

Business Name Begins
with the Letters:
Contact Person Email Phone Number
A-F Dave Rose david.rose@alaska.gov 907-465-8444
G-M Karl Marx karl.marx@alaska.gov 907-465-5470
N-Z Janet Brown janet.brown@alaska.gov 907-465-5372

 

Submitting an Application

Be sure to fill out the entire application packet and provide all the requested information to avoid delays in the licensing process.  The application requires all contractors to provide their Social Security Number for identification purposes.

*Please note that the contractor may only be able to obtain a non-renewable, temporary license if they are in default on student loan or child support payments.  A license cannot be issued until these payments are made current and up-to-date.

 

The cost to obtain a General Contractor License is $300.  This includes a $65 application fee and a $235 license registration fee.  The Division accepts payments in the form of check or money order, made payable to, “State of Alaska.”  Fees are non-refundable.

Mail the signed and notarized application packet, along with all required documents and fees to:

Contractor Licensing Section
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0806

Applications are also accepted, in-person at the Division Office in Juneau:

State Office Building
333 Willoughby Avenue
9th Floor
Juneau, Alaska 99811

Applications are processed in the order that they are received.  It generally takes about 15 days from the time the Division receives the contractor’s application packet to process and issue the license.  If the Division receives any documents with missing or incomplete information, they will return them to the contractor and request further info.  Be sure to respond immediately and promptly to any correspondence from the Division.

If the contractor is required, they must proceed with the process for obtaining a Residential Endorsement License, otherwise the Division will issue the contractor’s license without a Residential Endorsement, permitting the contractor to begin bidding on and obtaining construction work in the State of Alaska.

Licenses are non-transferable.  It is the responsibility of the contractor to contact and notify the Division if there are any changes to their business information or structure during the license period.

 

Residential Endorsement License Process

In the State of Alaska, any contractor intending to bid or work on home construction or residential remodeling, where the cost of the project is more than 25% of the value of the structure, must obtain a Residential Endorsement License.  This applies to structures with 1 to 4 family units. In order to obtain a Residential Endorsement, contractors are required to attend mandatory training courses and pass an exam.

Contractors working on commercial projects or residences where the cost of the project is worth less than 25% of the structure’s value do not have to obtain a Residential Endorsement License.

For a copy of the Residential Contractor Endorsement Application Packet, please visit:

http://commerce.state.ak.us/dnn/Portals/5/pub/con4161.pdf

 

All contractors seeking a Residential Endorsement License must attend an Alaska Home Improvement Program training class, or another equivalent class.  Other acceptable prerequisite courses include a postsecondary course in arctic engineering.  Classes must be completed no more than 2 years prior to the contractor applying for their endorsement.  The following businesses provide courses that the Division approves:

All Residential Endorsement License applicants are also required to take and pass the Residential Contractor Endorsement Exam, administered by PSI Services. The exam is composed of 100 questions and takes approximately 240 minutes. Contractors do not need prior approval from the Division in order to take the test.  The PSI Candidate Information Bulletin contains all the information needed to register for and prepare for the exam, including study and reference materials. For a copy of the bulletin, please visit:

https://candidate.psiexams.com/bulletin/display_bulletin.jsp?ro=yes&actionname=83&bulletinid=532&bulletinurl=.pdf

 

Inside the PSI Candidate Information Bulletin is a copy of the exam registration form.  Applicants may register for the exam ONE of the following ways:

    • Online- go to the PSI website and follow the link for new user registration: psiexams.com
    • By Phone- call PSI and use their automated system 24 hours a day. Representative are standing by to assist callers during regular business hours:
      (800) 733-9267
    • Fax- when registering by fax, allow 4 business days for processing. Fax the registration form and payment information to:
      (702) 932-2666.
    • By mail: allow approximately 2 weeks for processing when submitting the exam registration form by mail. Complete the exam registration form from the Candidate Information Bulletin.  Mail the registration form and payment to:

PSI Licensure: Certification
3210 E Tropicana
Las Vegas, NV 89121

 

The cost to take the exam is $150.

PSI accepts payments in the form of:

  • Cashier’s Check or Money Order may payable to “PSI.”
  • Visa or Mastercard when applying online or by phone or fax

 

Once PSI accepts the exam registration, it is the applicant’s responsibility to call PSI to schedule their exam once they have registered.   To schedule an exam, call PSI at:  (800) 733-9267

Testing Centers are located in:

  • Anchorage
  • Fairbanks
  • Juneau
  • Ketchikan
  • Kodiak

 

On the day of the test, examinees should arrive at least 30 minutes for before their scheduled test to allow time for check-in.  They are also required to bring 2 forms of identification:

  1. A government issued photo id with the examinee’s signature; such as a driver’s license or passport
  2. Another form of identification with the examinee’s name and signature; such as a credit card or debit card.

 

A minimum score of 70% or higher is needed to pass the exam.  Examinees will receive their score on the day of the exam before they leave the testing center.  Scores are good for a period of 1 year.

Once the contractor passes the exam, they must complete and submit the Residential Endorsement license application.  The application must be signed and notarized.  To avoid delays in the Residential Endorsement Process, be sure to follow all directions and include all requested documents.  Along with the application packet, contractors are required to submit the following:

  • A copy of their official exam scores
  • Proof of course/training program completion
  • Contractor Business Name and General Contractor License Number for the Endorsement License

 

There is a $300 fee to obtain a Residential Endorsement License, which includes a $65 application fee and a $235 license registration fee.  The Division accepts payments in the form of check or money order, made payable to “State of Alaska.”

Mail the completed application, along with all the required documents and fees to:

Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
Contractor Licensing Section
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, Alaska 99811-0806

Applications are also accepted, in person at the Division Office in Juneau:

State Office Building
333 Willoughby Avenue
9th Floor
Juneau, Alaska 99811

Applications are processed in the order that they are received.  It generally takes about 15 days from the time the Division receives the application packet to process and issue the license.  Once the Division approves the application, contractors will receive a General Contractor License With Residential Endorsement in the mail.  This allows them to begin bidding on and obtaining construction work in the State of Alaska.

How Long is an Alaska General Contractor License Valid?

General Contractor Licenses are good for a period of 2 years in the State of Alaska.  All licenses expire on December 31st of the even-numbered year.  If the contractor has a General Contractor License with a Residential Endorsement, the Residential Endorsement License will expire at the same time as the contractor license.

Online license renewal is available through the Division website, at:
http://commerce.state.ak.us/dnn/cbpl/BusinessLicensing.aspx

 

License renewal is also available using a paper application.  General Contractors will receive a renewal application in the mail, approximately 30 days before the license is set to expire.  Be sure to complete the renewal process well before the license is set to expire, to allow time for processing.

The cost to renew at General Contractor License is $235.  The cost to renew a Residential Endorsement License is $235.

At renewal time, General Contractors who also hold a Residential Endorsement are required to attend 16 hours of continuing education courses.  Courses must be approved by the Division.  For more information about continuing education, please visit:

http://www.commerce.state.ak.us/occ/apps/OCCE_List.cfm?board=CON

 

For more information about General Contractor License Renewal in the State of Alaska, contractors should call or email their Division contact, or visit:

http://commerce.state.ak.us/dnn/cbpl/professionallicensing/constructioncontractors/renewalapplications.aspx

 

Table of Fees

Fee What is it For? When is it Due?
$150 (Residential Endorsement Contractors ONLY) Residential Endorsement Contractor License Exam Fee Upon registering for the exam
$300 Application and License Registration Fee for General Contractor License Upon submitting the License Application
$300 Application and License Registration Fee for Residential Endorsement License Upon submitting the Residential Endorsement License Application
$235 General Contractor License renewal fee Upon submitting the renewal application
$235 Residential Endorsement License renewal fee Upon submitting the renewal application for a Residential Endorsement