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General Contractor Licensing in Mississippi

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The State of Mississippi requires general contractors, both residential and commercial to hold a license or certificate of responsibility from the Mississippi State Board of Contractors (MSBOC).  A license is needed for any residential project, including roofing, worth $10,000 or more.  Commercial contractors are required to obtain a certificate of responsibility when working on any project worth more than $50,000.

The process to obtain a license or certificate varies slightly for residential and commercial contractors; however both classes are required to hold the proper forms of insurance and pass a qualifying examination.  The two-part exam covers the trade of general contracting and contracting laws in the State of Mississippi.

Contractors must fill out and submit their license or certificate application, along with the appropriate fee, before registering to take the exam.

License Classifications in Mississippi

Mississippi offers two different major license classifications for general contractors:

  • Residential Remodeling/ Residential Roofing Contractor License
  • Commercial Contractor Certificate of Responsibility

There are also rules for the type and scope of work a contractor may perform.  For example:

  • Residential Remodeler/Residential Roofing Contractor – a license is needed for any residential project of $10,000 or more.  A license is also required if the contractor wants to build a new residential structure worth $50,000 or more.  A residential license allows contractors to work on commercial projects as well, as long as the structure is less than 7500 square feet.
  • Commercial Contractor – a certificate of responsibility is required to work on any project of $50,000 or more, including the installation of equipment.  A certificate is also needed to work on private projects of $10,000 or more; or public projects of $5,000 or more.  Commercial contractors may not construct, reconstruct or repair a fire protection system without a certificate. /li>

Commercial Contractors are also required to choose a sub-classification, specifying the type of work that they intend to perform.  These classifications include:

  • Building Construction
  • Heavy Construction
  • Mechanical Work
  • Electrical Work
  • Highway Street and Bridge Construction
  • Municipal and Public Works Construction
*The MSBOC also offers several specialty classifications for commercial contractors, such as concrete, painting, plumbing, asbestos abatement, carpentry, etc.  

Submitting a Residential Remodeler/Residential Roofer Application

For a copy of the Residential Remodeler/Residential Roofer Application, please visit:

http://www.msboc.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Residential-Application-9-12.pdf

Contractors may also request that the MSBOC mail them a copy of the application by calling:

(601)-923-7000

Before filling out the application, be sure to read over the entire packet and follow all instructions.  Applications must be typed or filled out using blue or black ink.  Be sure to answer all questions to avoid delays in the licensing process.  If a question does not apply, simply write “N/A” (not applicable).

Residential contractors must complete the reference portion of the application, which includes providing the mailing address, contract amount and year of past completed projects.

Additionally, residential contractors will need to provide a Federal Income Tax, Mississippi Sales Tax or Use Tax number on the cover sheet of their application.  Corporations and LLCs are also required to submit a certificate proving that they have registered and are in good standing with the Mississippi Secretary of State.

To obtain a Federal Income Tax, Sales Tax or Use Tax Number, please call the Mississippi State Tax Commission at:

(601)-923-7000

For more information about registering with the Mississippi Secretary of State as an LLC or corporation, please call:

(601)-359-1350

OR

Visit: www.sos.ms.gov

Other important information on the application includes, choosing the type of license the contractor is applying for (builder, roofer or remodeler), the names of the principal people in the contractor’s company and the contractor’s email address.  If any questions on the application require further explanation, attach the written explanation on a separate sheet of letter-sized paper.

Residential contractors are also required to prove that they hold general liability insurance; and worker’s compensation insurance if they plan to hold employees.  There is no minimum requirement for general liability insurance for residential contractors.  Be sure to list the “Mississippi State Board of Contractors” as the certificate holder on the insurance policy.

There is a $50 non-refundable license fee.  Be sure to include the payment with the application.  The MSBOC accepts checks made out to “State Board of Contractors.”

Mail the completed application, documents and fee to:

State Board of Contractors
Attention: Residential Department
P.O. Box 320279
Jackson, MS 39232

Residential contractor applications must be on file for a full 30 days before they are processed.  In the meantime, residential contractors may prepare for and take the exam.

Submitting a Commercial Contractor Certificate of Responsibility Application

For a copy of the Commercial Contractor Certificate of Responsibility Application, please visit:

http://www.msboc.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Commercial-Application-9-12.pdf

Before filling out the application, be sure to read over the entire packet and follow all instructions.  Applications are to be typed or filled out using blue or black ink.  Be sure to answer all questions to avoid delays in the licensing process.  If a question does not apply, simply write “N/A” (not applicable).

Commercial Certificates are issued to the contractor’s business, rather than the individual.  Therefore, it is important to provide the company’s exact business name, including punctuation, and business type on the application.

Commercial contractors must specify the type of license they are applying for, including any specialty classifications.  They are also required to provide a list of 3 work experiences, proving their skill in the license class that they are applying for.

Commercial contractors must provide a Mississippi Sales Tax or Use Tax Number.  A Federal Income Tax ID number is required on the cover sheet of their application.  Corporations and LLCs are also required to register with and provide a certificate of good standing from the Mississippi Secretary of State.

For more information on obtaining a Federal Income Tax, Sales Tax or Use Tax Number, contact the Mississippi State Tax Commission at:

(601)-923-7000

For more information on registering as a corporation or LLC with the Secretary of State, please call:

(601)-359-1350

OR

Visit: www.sos.ms.gov

Along with the application, commercial contractors must also submit:

  • 3 Letters of Reference – one letter must be from the contractor’s bank or financial institution
  • A Reviewed or Audited Financial Statement – no more than 12 months old, from a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).  Commercial contractors must prove they have a net worth or equity of $50,000 for all major certificate classes and $20,000 for specialty classes.
  • Proof of General Liability and Worker’s Compensation Insurance- with general liability in the amount of $300,000 per occurrence and an aggregate limit of $600,000.  Worker’s compensation insurance is only required if the company plans to hold employees.

There is a $200 non-refundable certificate fee.  There is a $50 fee for every additional specialty classification the contractors chooses.  The MSBOC accepts checks made out to “State Board of Contractors.”

On the application, commercial contractors have the option of choosing a person within their company to act as a qualifying party.  The qualifying party is responsible for taking and passing the exam.  The following people may act as a qualifying party:

  • Owner of the Company
  • Officer within the Company
  • Responsible Managing Employee
*If the contractor elects an employee to act as a qualifying party, they must submit a paystub or W2 as proof of full-time employment.  

Mail the completed application, documents and fee to:

State Board of Contractors
P.O. Box 320279
Jackson, MS 39232-0279

The Examination

All contractors, both commercial and residential, are required to take and pass the Business and Law and Trade exams, administered by PSI Services.  Once residential and commercial contractors have completed and submitted their license or certificate application, the MSBOC will mail out the Candidate Information Bulletin, which contains all the information needed to register for and take the exam.

To preview a copy of the Candidate Information Bulletin, please visit:

https://candidate.psiexams.com/bulletin/display_bulletin.jsp?ro=yes&actionname=83&bulletinid=71&bulletinurl=.pdf

*Do not register for the exam or contact PSI until the MSBOC mails the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Residential and commercial contractors are required to pass both portions of the exam, including:

  • Building Construction Trade Exam- 180 minute, open-book, computer-based test
  • Business and Law Exam- 120 minute, open-book, computer-based test

The Candidate Information Bulletin contains a list of suggested study materials and references allowed into the exam room on the day of the test.  Exam preparation courses are also offered by the following entities:

  • Mississippi Contractor Licensing Service- 1-800-432-9930
  • American Contractors- 1-800-992-1910
  • Builders License Training Institute- 1-800-727-7104

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:
    www.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 fee to take the exam is $240 when taking both portions of the test, and $120 when taking one portion.

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

The exam testing center is located at:

2679 Crane Ridge Drive
Suite B
Jackson, MS 39216

On the day of the exam, it is important to arrive at least 30 minutes for before the scheduled test to allow time for check-in.  Bring along 2 forms of identification, inlcuding:

  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% is needed to pass the exam.  Contractors will receive their score on the day of the exam before they leave the testing center.

Once the contractor has passed the exam and the exam scores have been transferred, the MSBOC will process the license or certificate application.  It takes approximately one week to 10 days for the MSBOC to process the application.  Afterward the contractor will receive their license or certificate of responsibility in the mail.

*Residential contractors should note that their application must be on file for a full 30 days before it can be processed.  

How Long is a Mississippi General Contractors License or Certificate of Responsibility Valid?

Residential Remodeler/Residential Roofer’s Licenses and Commercial Contractor Certificates of Responsibility are good for a period of 1 year in the State of Mississippi.  Licenses and certificates are renewed each year before they expire.

Expiration dates vary, depending when the license or certificate was originally issued; therefore it is important to be aware and submit the renewal application and fees well before the expiration date to allow plenty of time for processing.

Renewals can be done online, by creating a secure login at the following link:

https://secure.msboc.us/index.cfm

OR

Contractors may download a copy of the renewal application:

For Residential Contractors:

http://www.msboc.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Residential-Renewal-9-12.pdf

For Commercial Contractors:

http://www.msboc.us/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Commercial-Renewal-9-12.pdf

At renewal time, contractors must prove that they hold the proper forms of insurance, including general liability and worker’s compensation, and pay the proper renewal fee:

  • Residential Contractor Renewal Fee- $100
  • Commercial Contractor Renewal Fee- $200

Commercial contractors are also required to submit a financial statement showing their net worth.  If the contractor’s business is an LLC or corporation, regardless if they are commercial or residential, they must also submit proof that they remain in good standing with the Mississippi Secretary of State.

Table of Fees

Fee What is it For? When is it Due?
$50 License Fee for Residential Contractors Upon submitting the license application
$200 License Fee for Commercial Contractors Upon submitting the license application
$50 License Fee for Commercial Contractors Specialty Classification Upon submitting the license application
$100 Renewal Fee for Residential Contractors Upon submitting the renewal application
$200 Renewal Fee for Commercial Contractors Upon submitting the renewal application