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Indiana General Contractor Regulations – By City

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The State of Indiana does not have regulations for licensing General Contractors at the state level.  The only contractors who are required to obtain a license from the state are plumbing contractors.  Instead, General Contractor licensing and registration is conducted at the local level.  Many cities in Indiana require contractors to apply for a license, register or obtain a permit.  In some cases, contractors are also required to pass a qualifying exam.

Below are the license and registration requirements for some of the larger cities in the State of Indiana.  Other cities may have additional laws and requirements; therefore it is highly important that contractors always check into their local regulations before contracting construction projects.

Indianapolis, IN

General Contractors performing work in Marion County and the Consolidated City of Indianapolis are required to hold a license from The Department of Code Enforcement.  Any individual or business engaging in construction, land alteration, excavation, driveway work or sewer work must complete an application and meet the license requirements, which include:

  • Register the business name with the appropriate entity
  • Submit a license application to The Department of Code Enforcement
  • Provide proof that the business has at least 1 agent able to obtain project permits
  • Provide proof of general liability insurance
  • Provide proof of worker’s compensation insurance
  • Provide proof of a surety bond
  • Pay the appropriate license fee
  • Attend a mandatory orientation class within 60 days of receiving the license
*The Consolidated City of Indianapolis does not include the cities of Southport, Beech Grove, Lawrence and Speedway.  

General Contracting businesses, including sole proprietors and partnerships must register their “doing business as” (DBA) name in the county where they intend to work.  For more information about DBAs, contact The Department of Code Enforcement at: (317)-327-1291

OR

Email: Contractors@indy.gov

Businesses performing work in Marion County should contact the Marion County Records Office at: (317)-327-4020

*In some instances, counties in Indiana do not register or record DBA’s.  In this case, the business needs to submit a written letter stating the county’s policy.  

All corporations and LLCs must register their business name with the Indiana Secretary of State.  For information on registration, call: (317)-232-6576

OR

Visit: www.in.gov/sos

Next, contractors are responsible for filling out the New Contractors License Application. For a copy of the application, go to:

http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DCE/Licenses/ContractorLicenses/Documents/2013%20Documents/Company%20Application%20New2.pdf

Complete the application and provide all requested documents, including:

  • Proof of DBA registration
  • Proof of general liability insurance certificate in the minimum amount of $500,000 per injury and $100,000 per occurrence OR  a combined single limit in the minimum amount of $500,000 per occurrence.
  • If the business plans to employ workers they must submit proof of worker’s compensation insurance.
  • Proof that the contractor holds a surety bond in the amount of $10,000.
*The names on all documents must match the name on the application exactly.  

There is also a $247 license fee, which must be submitted along with the application.  The Department accepts checks made out to “The City of Indianapolis.” Be sure that the application is signed and dated.

Mail the completed application, documents and fees to:

Department of Code Enforcement
1200 Madison Avenue, Suite 100
Indianapolis, IN 46225

Licenses are good for 2 years, expiring on December 31st.   The cost to renew the license is $247.  For more information about General Contractor License requirements in the City of Indianapolis, please visit:

http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DCE/Licenses/ContractorLicenses/Documents/2014/General%20Contractor%20Requirements.pdf

For additional forms and applications from The Department of Code Enforcement, click the link below:

http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DCE/Licenses/ContractorLicenses/Pages/general.aspx

Fort Wayne, IN

Any person or business contracting work on construction projects in the City of Fort Wayne, IN must obtain a license or registration from The Building Department.  The Building Department protects the safety and well-being of the public in Fort Wayne by making sure that contractors are qualified to hold a license.

The Building Department offers the following license and registration options for General Contractors:

  • General Contractor License- for contractors and businesses that plan to build, repair or participate in the construction work.
  • General Contractor Superintendent Registration- for contractors who plan to supervise construction projects.

The cost to apply is $90 for a General Contractor License and $25 for Superintendent Registration.  Both are renewed once a year for the same fee amount.

License and Registration applicants are also required to pass an exam, administered by the local Building Commissioner.

For more information about obtaining a General Contractor License or Superintendent Registration in the City of Fort Wayne, IN, contact The Building Department:

By Phone: (260)-449-7131

By Fax: (260)-449-7596

In Person: Monday through Friday from 7am to 5pm at the following address:

200 East Berry Street
Suite 180
Fort Wayne, IN 46802-1811

For more information about General Contractor licensing in the City of Fort Wayne, IN, please visit:

https://www.allencounty.us/building-department-home

For a copy of the rules and regulations for contractors working in Allen County, click the link below:

https://www.allencounty.us/images/stories/building_department/pdfs/building%20dept%20rules%20regulations.pdf

South Bend, IN

The Building Department in the City of South Bend, IN and St. Joseph County regulates the construction industry at the local level by requiring General Contractors to obtain a pre-license registration as a Building Contractor in the City of South Bend.

*The only time the contractor does not have to obtain a license, is if they are an owner-occupant of the building on which they are working.  

For a copy of the Contractor Pre-Licensing Registration application, please visit:

http://www.ci.south-bend.in.us/sites/default/files/files/Building_ContractorPre-LicensingRegistrationForm.pdf

Contractors are required to complete the application and have it notarized.  They are also required to provide proof that they hold a one-year bond in the amount of $5,000.

Submit the application along with all required documents to the Building Department.  Be sure to include the license fee of $100.

For more information on General Contractor Licenses and Registration in the City of South Bend, IN, please visit:

http://www.ci.south-bend.in.us/business/content/contractor-licenses-registrations

To contact The Building Department, call: (574)-235-9554

The Building Department is located at:

125 S. Lafayette Blvd
Suite 100
South Bend, IN 46601

Evansville, IN

The City of Evansville, IN and Vanderburgh County requires all General Contractors to hold a license before they begin contracting construction projects.  Licenses are issued by the County Building Commission.  There are two different license classifications for General Contractors:

  • Building General Contractor- allows contractors to work on multi-residential, commercial and industrial projects
  • Residential General Contractor- allows contractors to work on one and two-family residential structures and agricultural buildings under two stories in height

In order to obtain a license, contractors must complete a license application and background form and submit it to the Building Commission along with:

  • 3 Letter of Reference- proving that the contractor has 4 year of work experience as a commercial or residential General Contractor
  • Proof of General Liability Insurance- in the minimum amount of $1 million dollar for commercial applicants and $500,000 for residential applicants
  • Proof of a Surety Bond- in the amount of $15,000
  • Proof of Worker’s Compensation Insurance- if the contractor plans to employ workers
  • Licensing Fee- commercial applicants are required to pay a $300 fee, while residential applicants are required to pay a $175 fee

For a copy of the license application, visit:

http://www.vanderburghgov.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=12138

For a copy of the background form from the Evansville Police Department, please visit:

http://www.vanderburghgov.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=12145

Once the Building Commission accepts the contractor’s application, they will direct them to contact Ivy Tech to register for the exam and pay the examination fee.  The commercial and residential exams are designed to test the applicant’s knowledge about the trade of general contracting.  Both exams are open-book and composed of 100 questions.  A minimum score of 70% is needed to pass.

For a copy of the Building General Contractor study guide, please visit:

http://www.vanderburghgov.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=12150

For a copy of the Residential General Contractor study guide, please visit:

http://www.vanderburghgov.org/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=12132

For more information about the examination, contact Ivy Tech at: (812)-429-9852

For more information about General Contractor licensing in the City of Evansville, IN, contact the County Building Commission:

By Phone: For licensing information- (812)-436-7880

By Fax: (812)-436-7869

The Evansville- Vanderburgh County Commission is located at:

1 N.W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Civic Center Complex, Room 310
Evansville, IN 47708

For more information about license requirements, please visit:

http://www.vanderburghgov.org/index.aspx?page=825