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General Contractor Licensing in Texas

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Texas does not issue licenses to general contractors at the state level.  Instead, cities and counties within the state handle and regulate the construction industry.  Most cities and counties in the State of Texas require general contractors to apply for a building permit if they plan to construct, alter, repair, or demolish a building or structure.  In some areas, the city may simply require general contractors to sign a document saying that they understand and plan to follow various restrictions and codes before beginning a project.

*The State of Texas issues licenses to general contractors who work on, repair or make alterations to manufactured homes.  For more information, please visit the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs for more information: http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/mh/

Below is a brief explanation of the regulations for general contractors in some of the larger cities in Texas.  Remember that guidelines vary from city to city, so it is important to check and follow rules and regulations for the specific city and county before beginning work on a project.

Houston, TX

The City of Houston, TX requires general contractors to purchase a building permit in addition to signing a document known as a “sworn deed restriction affidavit” before beginning work on a construction project.  Signing this document ensures that contractors understand and plan to follow any deed restrictions and limitations set forth by the City of Houston’s Civic Association.

To apply for a permit by mail or online, and to view a schedule of permit fees, please visit:


Permits are available for purchase Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.

San Antonio, TX

The City of San Antonio, TX requires general contractors to apply for a Class I license in order to work on one and two-family homes, accessory buildings or other residential properties.

For smaller jobs, such as roofing, installing doors and windows, pools, fencing, driveways, gutters and decks, the city requires contractors to apply for a Class II license.

To obtain a Class I or Class II license, general contractors must complete the Home Improvement Contractor’s & Salesman’s License application.  The application must be filled out, notarized and submitted to the City of San Antonio Development Services Department along with the $110 licensing fee.

For more information and to obtain an application, visit:

Class I and Class II licenses are renewed once a year for a fee of $60.

Dallas, TX

General contractors must apply for a building permit, also known as a Master Permit, in order to perform work on construction projects in the City of Dallas, TX.  Most permits are issued by the Building Inspection Permit Center.

Click on the following link to find out how to apply:


The city’s Housing Department Home Repair Program is an additional resource that provides assistance to general contractors in Dallas.  For zero cost, general contractors can register as a vendor with the city.  Eligible vendors are then put on a list where they receive information on bids and projects that fit their skills and experience.

For more information on the Housing Department Home Repair Program, visit:


Austin, TX

Before general contractors are authorized to perform work within the city limits of Austin, TX they must apply for a building permit, also called a contractor’s permit, from the Director of Public Works.  Once they receive their permit, contractors must schedule an inspection with a city official before they start working.

To obtain information on applying for a contractor’s permit in the City of Austin, visit the Planning and Development Review Department at:


The Permit Center is responsible for issuing and approving all licenses.

Fort Worth, TX

General contractors and general contracting businesses must hold a building permit to perform work on residential and commercial properties in the City of Fort Worth, TX.

The building permit obtained must relate to the specific to the type of work that the contractor intends to perform.

To apply for a Residential Building Permit in the City of Fort Worth, visit:


To apply for a Commercial Building Permit in the City of Fort Worth, visit: