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General Contractor Registration and Business Licensing in Delaware

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The Delaware Division of Revenue regulates the construction industry in the State of Delaware by requiring all General Contractors to register and obtain a business license.  Any person participating in the business of building, constructing, repairing, altering, dismantling or demolishing any building or structure in the State of Delaware must be properly registered and hold a business license.  This includes subcontractors and specialty tradesmen; as well as resident and non-resident contractors.  To do business as a contractor in Delaware, it is required that all persons and businesses and become licensed with the Division of Revenue.

To obtain the proper registration and business licensing, all business entities and tax withholding agents must fill out an application package and prove that they hold the proper forms of insurance and bonding.  Separate application packages are available for both resident and non-resident contractors.  The Division of Revenue defines a “resident contractor” as someone whose primary place of business is located within the State of Delaware.  “Non-residents” are those who have their primary business location outside of the state.

 

*The State of Delaware does not have any work experience, education, or examination requirements for contractors registering or applying for a business license. 

Process to Obtain Registration and Business Licensing in Delaware

  1. Contractors must obtain out a copy of the Resident or Non-Resident Contractors Application Package
  2. Contractors must read and fill out the entire application package and fill out all the necessary forms and provide the requested information
  3. All Non-Resident Contractors must obtain the proper bonding.  Resident Contractors are not required to obtain a bond.
  4. All Contractors must prove that they hold the proper forms of insurance, including worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance
  5. All Contracting business entities and tax withholding agents must submit their application packages, along with all the required forms, documents and fees to the Delaware Division of Revenue

 

Preparing to Submit an Application Package

For a copy of the Resident Contractors Package, please visit:

http://revenue.delaware.gov/services/current_bt/contractor_res.pdf

 

For a copy of the Non-Resident Contractors Package, please visit:

http://revenue.delaware.gov/services/current_bt/contractor_nr.pdf

 

*The information provided below applies to the Resident Contractor Package.  While the Non-Resident Contractor Package asks for much of the same information, it is important to carefully read and follow all instructions and provide the requested information for the specific application package.

 

These application packages contain all the necessary forms and information to obtain registration and a business license from the Delaware Division of Revenue.  It also contains line-by-line instructions for all questions provided on the application.  Be sure to read all the instructions, follow all directions and complete all the required forms in the application package.  Answer all questions completely, otherwise indicate, “N/A” (not applicable).  The Division of Revenue does not accept applications with missing or incomplete information.

The application package is composed of different forms and sections.  The following individuals/entities are required to fill out the following sections of the application package:

  • Part A- must be completed by anyone paying taxes in the State of Delaware
  • Part B- must be completed by any person or business paying DE withholding tax
  • Part C- must be completed by taxpayers applying for a DE business license and must be signed and dated by the owner or officer of the business

There is also a “Contractors Only” attachment which must be submitted with the application, along with all the appropriate forms.

 

Contractors are required to provide the following information on their application:

  • Federal Employee Identification (FEIN) OR Social Security Number (SSN)- all business owners and employers must provide their FEIN or apply for one with their local IRS office.  If the application is in-process at the time that the business owner submits their contractor application, write “applied for” in place of the FEIN.  Once the contractor has their FEIN, they must call and report it to the Business Master File Unit.  All sole proprietors must provide their SSN.  If the sole proprietor has an FEIN, they must provide that number as well.
  • All Contractors must provide their Primary Business Information- including:
    • Name and/or Trade Name of the Business
    • Primary Business Address- must be a physical address, not a P.O. Box
    • Business Mailing Address- if different from the physical address.  P.O. Box may be used for a mailing address
  • All businesses must also indicate the following:
    • if their business operations will be seasonal or year-round
    • the business’ taxable year
    • if incorporated, the state in which the business is incorporated and the start date of incorporation
    • the date that the business plans to begin operations- please note that contractors must have a business license in order to bid on projects of $50,000 or more in the State of Delaware
    • all contractors must indicate the legal form of business that they plan to operate, i.e. sole proprietor; partnership, corporation etc.
  • All contractors must identify the name and identification number of their parent company.  All corporations must indicate any shareholders who are not residents in the State of Delaware.  The Division of Revenue also asks for the name and contact information for the person handling all tax matters for the business.
  • Contractors are required to write out and fully describe the type of business that they plan to operate in the State of Delaware, as well as the type of work that they intend to perform.  It is important to be as specific as possible.  All businesses are also required to provide the name, title and SSN for every owner, partner and principal officer within their business.

 

There are a few special instructions that applicants must follow, for example:

  • If the contractor is a sole proprietor and they also have a FEIN, they must provide both their SSN and FEIN in the indicated spaces on the application.
  • If the person applying is registering to remit withholding taxes for a contractor performing domestic services within their home, they should mark their ownership type as: #18- Employer-Domestic Employees
  • If the person applying is only registering to be a withholding agent as a convenience to their employees, and do not plan to conduct business in the State of Delaware, they should mark their ownership type as: #35- Withholding Agent Only

 

*Both the Resident and Non-Resident Contractors application packages contain tax forms which the contractor should save for their records.  These forms are to be used later, at the time that the contractor files taxes for their business.  These forms include the “Initial Employer’s Report of Delaware Tax Withheld” and the “Initial Gross Receipts Tax Return.”

 

All contractors are also required to obtain and provide proof that they hold the proper forms of insurance, if they plan to employ workers.  These include worker’s compensation and unemployment insurance.  Contractors must obtain their insurance from an agent licensed to do business in the State of Delaware.  Proof of insurance or exemption must be provided with the completed application package.

All Non-Resident Contractors are required to take an extra step and be bonded.  The required bond must be at 6% of the contract amount that the contractor or subcontractor is bidding on, including labor and materials.  Bonds must be filed at the start of every project.  For more information on Non-Resident bonding requirements, contact Robert Martin at the Division of Revenue at:

robert.martin@state.de.us

OR

Call: 302-577-8299

 

Additional questions about the registration or business licensing process in Delaware should be directed to Richard Jezyk at the Division of Revenue.  For more information, please email:

richard.jezyk@state.de.us

OR

Call: 302-577-8265

 

 Submitting an Application Package

Remember that the Delaware Division of Revenue does not accept application packages with missing or incomplete information.  To avoid a loss of fees and delays in the registration and licensing process, be sure that the application package is completed in its entirety and that all necessary forms are included.

There is a $75 licensing fee that applies to both resident and non-resident contractors and subcontractors.  Payments are accepted in the form of a check, made payable to the “Delaware Division of Revenue.”

This is an annual fee that contractors must pay every year upon renewal to maintain their registration and business license.  The initial license fee may be prorated if the contractor is applying mid-year.

Once the application package is complete and the contractor has obtained the proper forms of insurance and bonding (bonding for Non-Resident Contractors ONLY), it is time to submit the application.

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

Delaware Division of Revenue
P.O. Box 8750
Wilmington, DE 19899-8750

For questions about submitting the application, or the application process, call toll-free:
1-800-292-7826

The Delaware Division of Revenue has 3 physical office locations:

Delaware Division of Revenue 
Thomas Collins Building
Route 13
Dover, DE 19901

For more information about the Dover location, call:
302-744-1085

Delaware Division of Revenue
State Office Building
820 N. French Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

For more information on the Wilmington location, call:
302-577-8205

Delaware Division of Revenue
20653 Dupont Blvd
Suite 2
Georgetown, DE 19947

For more information on the Georgetown location, call:
302-856-5358

Once the Delaware Division of Revenue has reviewed and accepted the contractor’s application package, they will issue and mail the contractor’s business license.  The Division will also issue and provide a packet of tax tips that are meant to help the contractor at tax time.  This packet includes information such as:

  • Tax Rates
  • Tax Exclusions
  • Tax Due Dates

 

To preview a copy of the tax tips packet, please visit the following link:

http://revenue.delaware.gov/services/current_bt/taxtips/contractors.pdf

 

For more information about the registration or licensing process in the State of Delaware, please visit:

http://revenue.delaware.gov/services/Business_Tax/Cont_New.shtml

 

How Long is a Delaware General Contractors Registration and Business License Valid?

General Contractor registrations and business licenses are good for a period of 1 year in the State of Delaware.  Once a year, at renewal time, the contractor is required to pay the renewal fee of $75.

For more information about General Contractor Registration and Business License renewal in the State of Delaware, please call:

1-800-292-7826

 

All general contracting business entities and tax withholding agents are required to file and submit the proper forms at tax time.  This includes the “Initial Employer’s Report of Delaware Tax Withheld” form and the “Initial Gross Receipt Tax Return” form, which were included in the initial application package.  Contractors must fill out these generic forms, the first time they file.  Personalized forms for their business will be sent the second year the contractor files their taxes.

Separate checks are required for each return and a separate “Initial Gross Receipts Tax Return” form is required for each license type.

For additional copies of these forms, call the Business Master File Section at:

302-577-8778

 

For help completing the “Initial Employer’s Report of Delaware Tax Withheld,” call the Withholding Tax Section at:

302-577-8780

 

For help completing the “Initial Gross Receipts Tax Return,” call the Gross Receipts Section at:

302-577-8780

 

Table of Fees

FEE WHAT IS IT FOR? WHEN IS IT DUE?
$75 Licensing Fee for both Resident and Non-Resident Contractors Upon submitting the Resident or Non-Resident Contractor Application Package
$75 Annual Renewal Fee for both Resident and Non-Resident Contractors Once a year upon renewing the contractor’s registration and license