Before a General Contractor is allowed to bid on projects, construct or alter any building or structure in the State of Nevada they must go through the proper steps to obtain a license. Licenses are issued by the Nevada State Contractors Board. The Contractors Board protects the public in Nevada by making sure that all General Contractors have the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to operate a construction business. The Board also takes into consideration the contractor’s character/background and financial position.
The Nevada State Contractors Board requires all license applicants to prove their work experience, undergo a background check and pass a qualifying examination. Contractors are also required to hold the proper insurance and bonding. If the contractor themselves does not meet the requirements, they may choose an individual within their company to act as a qualifier and meet the requirements. This person is known as the “qualifying individual.”
*The State of Nevada does not have an education requirement to obtain a General Contractors License.
License Classifications and Monetary Limits in Nevada
The Board issues licenses to the following individuals/business entities in the State of Nevada:
- Sole Proprietors
- General Partnerships
- Limited Partnerships (LP)
- Joint Ventures
- Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
General Contractors have the option of choosing between 3 major license classifications:
- Class A- General Engineering Contractor License- allows contractors to construct, alter or repair any fixed works that require skill and knowledge in the field of engineering.
- Class B- General Building Contractor License- allows contractors to construct, alter, repair or remodel buildings and structures used to house people or animals, as well as moveable personal property. They may also perform 2 or more unrelated building trades.
- Class C- Specialty Contractor License- allows contractors to choose from 36 separate specialty building trades and crafts. Contractors may choose to specialize in an unlimited number of specialties.
*Class A and B licenses are considered the primary license classifications in Nevada. Contractors have the option of choosing a Class C Specialty License alone, or choosing a Class C specialty to go along with their Class A or B license.
The Nevada State Contractors Board sets a monetary limit for each license classification. Monetary limits determine the fees that the contractor must pay, as well as the size of the project that contractors may bid on. Monetary limits include:
- Under $10,000
- Over $10,000 but under $50,000
- Over $50,000 but under $250,000
- Over $250,000
For more information about contractor license classifications, including sub-classifications, in the State of Nevada, please visit:
Process to Obtain a General Contractors License in Nevada
- The contractor or qualifier must have 4 years of full-time work experience in the license classification or trade for which they want to apply
- Contractors must obtain, fill out and submit a license application from the Nevada State Contractors Board, along with all required documents, including: financial statement, resume of experience, background check and processing fee
- Contractors must register their business entity with the Nevada Secretary of State
- Contractors must wait for the Board to review and verify their work experiences, upon which they will send the contractor the information needed to take the exam
- The contractor or qualifier must register for, take and pass the Nevada Business and Law, and Trade examinations, administered by PSI Services
- Once they have passed the exam, contractors must submit the final requirements for licensure, including the license fee, license bond, proof of worker’s compensation insurance or an exemption affidavit, as well as the Residential Recovery Fund fee
Work Experience Requirement
Before a General Contractor may apply for a license from the Nevada State Contractors Board, they must have 4 years of full-time work experience in the license classification they wish to obtain. Contractors also have the option of choosing someone within their company to act as a qualifying individual and meet the work experience requirement. In some cases, education or training may be used to satisfy up to 3 years of the work experience requirement, so long as it is from an accredited college or university.
To find out more about using education or training experience in place of the work experience requirement, call the Board office Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm, at:
*The qualifying individual chosen to meet the work experience and examination requirement must be a full-time employee within the contractor’s business. They may also be partner, officer or member of the company. This person must participate in the daily operations and decision making for the business.
The types of work experiences that count toward the requirement include experience as a:
- Journeyman- meaning the contractor or qualifier has completed an apprenticeship program and is no longer a trainee. This type of experienced worker is able to perform their trade or craft without the need for supervision.
- Supervisor- meaning the contractor or qualifier has experience supervising workers as they perform physical construction work, as well as managing the day-to-day activities of a construction business
- Foreman- meaning the contractor or qualifier has the experience level and knowledge to perform their trade without supervision. This experienced worker also supervises workers performing the physical construction work.
As proof of the contractor or qualifier’s work experience, all license applicants must submit 4 notarized reference certificates along with their application. If the contractor has chosen additional specialty license classifications (Class C Specialties) along with a primary license classification (Class A or B), they must submit 4 additional reference certificates for each trade chosen.
Applicants may not fill out their own reference certificates. References certificates must be completed by someone who directly observed and has first-hand knowledge of the contractor’s work experience. The following individuals may complete a reference certificates for the contractor/qualifier:
- Supervisor (other than the applicant)
- Journeyman (other than the applicant)
- Contractor (other than the applicant)
- Building Inspector
- Union Representative
- Former client/customer
The Board reviews and verifies all work experiences to ensure that they meet the requirements. Some work experiences may be sent for formal investigation. All work experiences listed on the application must be truthful, accurate and verifiable. To avoid delays in the licensing process, be sure to respond immediately if the Board asks for any further information or clarification regarding work experiences
Preparing to Submit an Application
To obtain a copy of the Application for Contractors License, please visit:
Applications are also available by calling the Board’s 24-hour automated information line at:
The Nevada State Contractors Board also has copies of the application at their Northern and Southern Nevada office locations. Office hours are from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday:
Southern Nevada Office Location:
2310 Corporate Circle
Henderson, NV 89074
Northern Nevada Office Location:
9670 Gateway Drive
Reno, NV 89521
Be sure to read the entire application packet and follow all directions. Type or fill out the application using blue or black ink. Remember to sign and date the application. A completed license application includes the following documents:
- Resume of Experience
- Reference Certificates- proving work experience
- Background Disclosure
- Financial Statement
The type of financial statement that the Board requires is based on the monetary limit that the contractor is applying for and the type of business they plan to operate. Financial statements must provide full disclosure of the contractor’s finances.
Sole proprietors and each partner in a partnership are required to submit a personal financial statements prepared by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). They are also required to submit a supplemental schedule, disclosing net worth and working capital. All other business types must submit a classified balance sheet.
Contractors must consider the monetary limit they are applying for when having their financial statement prepared. For example:
- Monetary Limit of $10,000 or less– must submit a financial statement less than 1 year old, prepared by an independent CPA OR a self-prepared financial statement from the past 6 months, prepared using software that follows general accounting principles. Self-prepared financial statements must be accompanied by an affidavit verifying the accuracy of the statement.
- Monetary Limit over $10,000 but under $50,000 AND Monetary Limit over $50,000 but under $250,000– must submit a compiled financial statement from an independent CPA within the past 6 months. The Board also accepts audited or reviewed financial statements from a CPA, as long as they are less than 1 year old.
- Monetary Limit over $250,000– must submit an audited or reviewed financial statement less than 1 year old prepared by an independent CPA. Contractors applying for this limit are also required to fill out and submit a bank verification form along with their application. Contractors who would not otherwise qualify for this monetary limit may consider indemnification as an option; meaning they may use the financial strength of another individual or entity to qualify for this limit. To learn more about indemnification, please visit the link below and scroll to the Financial Requirements section:
Some business types are also required to register with the Nevada Secretary of State. Registration authorizes the business to operate in the State of Nevada. For more information, please visit:
Submitting an Application
Once the contractor has gathered all the required documents, it is time to submit the license application to the Board.
There is a non-refundable $300 application processing fee which must be submitted along with the application. The Board accepts payments in the form of check or money order, made payable to “Nevada State Contractors Board.”
Contractors are required to submit their license application, documents and processing fee to the Board before taking the exam, submitting their bond amount or submitting the licensing fee. The Board will send out further instructions for completing these final licensing steps once they have approved the initial license application.
Mail or submit the application in-person to:
Southern Nevada Office Location:
2310 Corporate Circle
Henderson, NV 89074
Northern Nevada Office Location:
9670 Gateway Drive
Reno, NV 89521
To avoid delays in the licensing process, be sure to respond quickly if the Board requests any additional clarifications or information. All additional information must be submitted within 60 days; otherwise, the license application will be withdrawn and void.
Each license applicant is assigned a License Analyst who is able to answer questions about completing the licensing process, as well as the status of the application. Once the Board has accepted the application, they will send out a Contingent Approval letter which contains the steps needed to complete the licensing process, as well an Exam Eligibility letter, which contains the information needed to take the exam.
Once the application is approved the Board will send the contractor an Exam Eligibility letter which contains the contractor or qualifier’s Candidate ID number. This number is needed when registering for the exam. Along with the letter, the contractor or qualifier will also receive a copy of the Candidate Information Bulletin, which contains all the information needed to prepare for and register for the exam.
The Nevada State Contractors Board has a contract with PSI Services to administer the exam. The PSI Candidate Information Bulletin contains suggested study and reference materials as well as sample test questions. The main reference that PSI suggests is the Construction Business and Law Manual for the State of Nevada. To order a copy of this manual, call PSI, toll free, at:
The contractors or qualifier must register for and take the Business and Law and trade exam, which is specific to the contractor’s license classification. Both computer-based tests are composed of multiple-choice questions.
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:
- By Phone- call PSI and use their automated system 24 hours a day. Representative are standing by to assist callers during regular business hours:
- Fax- when registering by fax, allow 4 business days for processing. Fax the registration form and payment information to:
- 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
There is a $95 fee to take one portion of the exam. To take both portions of the exam there is a fee of $140.
*Some contractors may be exempt from taking the Trade portion of the exam. The Board will specify if the contractor is exempt in the Exam Eligibility letter.
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 applicants 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:
- Las Vegas
The contractor or qualifier must pass both portions of the exam with a minimum score of 70%. Scores appear on the computer screen at the end of the exam. A print-out of the score report is also provided. If the contractor or qualifier does not pass the exam on the first try, they must wait two weeks. For all exam re-takes, the contractor must re-register and pay the exam fee. All contractors and qualifiers have 3 attempts to pass the exam. If they do not pass the exam on the third attempt, their license application becomes void and they must re-apply and start the application process over again.
Final Licensing Steps
Once they have passed the exam, all applicants are required to follow the final licensing steps, found in their Contingent Approval Letter. Once the contractor has completed these final steps, they will receive their license. This includes:
- Submitting the license fee of $600. This is a biennial fee, meaning the contractor is required to pay it every 2 years upon renewal
- All contractors must submit a surety bond or cash deposit, in the form of a cashier’s check, in the amount that the Board indicates on the Contingent Approval letter. Bond amounts will vary between $1,000 and $500,000 depending on the type of license the contractor is applying for, their background and financial situation. The bond or deposit must be payable to the “Nevada State Contractors Board.” All bonds must be from a business licensed to operate in the State of Nevada. All contractors are required to keep their bond current and up to date while their license is active.
*If the contractor chooses a cash deposit bond, they must pay a $200 administrative fee, every other year.
- All Residential Contractors must submit a fee to the Residential Recovery Fund. This fee is also paid every 2 years upon renewal. The amount that the contractor is required to submit is listed in the Contingent Approval letter. The Recovery fee varies between $200 and $1,000. If the contractor is exempt from completing this step, an exemption certificate will come along with the Contingent Approval letter.
- All contractors must submit proof of workers compensation insurance if they plan to employ workers. If the contractor plans to work alone, they must submit an exemption affidavit. It is important to note that a qualifier other than the contractor is considered an employee, and workers compensation insurance is needed. Contractors must keep their insurance current and up to date in order for their license to remain active.
Once the contractor has submitted these final documents, they will receive their license in the mail, including a pocket card and wall certificate. These items will contain the contractor’s business name, license number, license classification and expiration date. Contractors are required to display their wall certificate in their primary place of business, and keep their pocket card on their person at all times when conducting business.
How Long is a Nevada General Contractors License Valid?
A General Contractor license is good for a period of 2 years in the State of Nevada. At renewal time, contractors are required to submit the following:
- $600 renewal licensing fee
- Proof of bonding
- Proof of worker’s compensation insurance
- Residential Recovery Fund Fee (if applicable)
There may be additional requirements depending on the contractor’s business type and monetary limit. For more information on renewing a license, call the Nevada State Contractors Board at:
Table of Fees
|Fee||What is it For?||When is it Due?|
|$300||Application Processing Fee||Upon submitting the license application|
|$95 or $140||Cost to take one or two portions of the exam||Upon registering for one or both portions of the exam|
|$600||Licensing Fee||Upon completing the final licensing steps and every 2 years upon renewal|
|$200||Administrative Fee for submitting a cash deposit bond||Upon completing the final licensing steps and every 2 years upon renewal|
|$200-$1,000||Residential Recovery Fund Fee *Residential Contractors ONLY||Upon completing the final licensing steps and every 2 years upon renewal|