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Kentucky General Contractor Regulations

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Kentucky does not regulate General Contractors at the state-level.  Instead, the licensing of both commercial and residential General Contractors is handled at the local-level.  Before a contractor may begin work on a construction project in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, they must first check with their local city and county ordinances to determine the requirements.  Some cities require individuals and businesses to become licensed or registered before they can contract or begin work.

Below are the licensing and registration requirements and regulations for some of the larger cities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

*The only contractors who are required to obtain a license from the state in Kentucky are Electrical, HVAC and Plumbing Contractors.  

Louisville, KY

Contractors who wish to perform work on construction projects in the City of Louisville, Kentucky are required to hold a license from the Louisville Metro Department of Codes & Regulations.  The Department helps protect the health and safety of the public in and around the metro area by requiring individuals and businesses to hold and maintain the proper insurance and credentials.

The Department offers two different license classifications to General Contractors:

  • Building “A”- allows contractors to perform work on residential buildings and structures.  This credential expires each year on December 31st and requires 6 hours of continuing education.  For more information about continuing education, please visit:http://dhbc.ky.gov/bce/bc/Pages/education.aspx
  • Building “B”- allows contractors to obtain one building permit per year.  This credential lasts for the duration of the permit.
*The Department offers other specialty license classifications for General Contractors, such as HVAC, Plumbing, Wrecking, etc.  

To get a copy of the application, please call the Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction- Division of Building Codes Enforcement at:

(502)-573-0373

When filling out the application, be sure to specify the type of work the contractor intends to perform.  All information provided on the application must be truthful and accurate.  If there are any changes that occur for the individual or business during the license term, the contractor must contact the Department within 5 business days of the expected change.  All licenses are non-transferrable.

Along with the application, contractors must submit the appropriate fee, as follows:

  • Building “A” Credential- $125
  • Building “B” Credential- $50

Contractors must also prove that they hold the appropriate bonding and insurance, and maintain them at all times while their license is active.   All contractors must have general liability insurance in the amount of $250,000 per person, per occurrence with an aggregate limit of $500,000.

Contractors must also hold worker’s compensation insurance if their business plans to hold employees.  If the contractor is not employing workers, they must complete a worker’s compensation exemption affidavit.

For more information about obtaining a General Contactors License in the City of Louisville, Kentucky, please visit the following websites:

http://www.louisvilleky.gov/ipl/Construction+Review/Contractor+Licensing.htm

http://dhbc.ky.gov/bce/Pages/default.aspx

Lexington, KY

The Division of Building Inspection regulates the construction industry in the City of Lexington, Kentucky by requiring general contractors to go through a registration process.  Contractors have the option of registering for the following credentials:

  • General Contractor- allows contractors to perform work on commercial, public works and industrial structures, as well as residential structures with 4 or more single-family units.  This registration option also allows contractors to specialize in 2 or more unrelated trades.
  • General Contractor- Residential ONLY- allows contractors to perform work on residential structures with less than 4 single-family units.  This registration option also allows contractors to specialize in 2 or more unrelated trades.
*The Division of Building Inspection also offers other specialty trade registration options for contractors, such as plumbing, framing, drywall, masonry, etc.  

In order to obtain the proper registration, contractors must complete the following steps, in the following order:

  1. General Contracting offices located in Fayette County must obtain a Zoning Compliance Permit from the Division of Planning.  To obtain this permit please go to:

    Division of Planning
    101 E Vine Street
    7th Floor
    Lexington, KY 40507

    For more information about the Zoning Compliance Permit, please call:

    (859)-258-3160

  2. General Contracting offices located in Fayette County must obtain a Certificate of Occupancy from the Division of Building Inspection.  The cost is $10 for contractors who are working out of a home office and $25 for contractors working out of a commercial building.  To obtain this certificate, please visit:

    Division of Building Inspection
    101 E Vine Street
    2nd Floor
    Lexington, KY 40507

    For more information about the Certificate of Occupancy, please call:

    (859)-258-3770

  3. All contractors are responsible for obtaining their Occupational Business License from the Division of Revenue.  To obtain this license, please go to:

    Division of Revenue
    200 E Main St
    2nd Floor
    Lexington, KY 40507

    For more information about the Occupational Business License, please call:

    (859)-258-3341

  4. All contractors are required to obtain liability and worker’s compensation insurance from the Division of Building Inspection.  General Contractors are required to hold a liability policy in the amount of $500,000 per occurrence, and General Contractors-Residential ONLY are required to hold general liability in the amount of $250,000 per occurrence.  If the contractor plans to employ workers, they must hold worker’s compensation insurance; otherwise, they must fill out a worker’s compensation exemption affidavit.  The insurance policy holder should be listed as follows:

    LFUCG
    Division of Building Inspection
    200 E Main Street
    Lexington, KY 40507

    For more information about insurance, please call the Division of Building Inspection:

    (859)-258-3780

  5. All contractors must fill out and complete the Contractor Registration Application. For a copy of the application, stop by the Division of Building Inspection office at 101 E Vine Street on the 2nd floor, or visit:http://www.lexingtonky.gov/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=19822
*Contractors who have offices outside of Fayette County may skip steps 1 and 2.  

When submitting the completed application, all contractors are required to pay the following fees:

Registration Credential Initial Fee Annual License Fee Total Amount Due
General Contractors $40 $200 $240
General Contractors- Residential ONLY $40 $75 $115

The Division of Building Inspection accepts payments in the form of cash, check or money order, made out to “LFUCG.”

Submit the application, required documents and fees in-person to the Division office at 101 E Vine Street on the 2nd floor, OR mail the application to:

LFUCG
Contractors Registration
200 East Main Street
Lexington, KY 40507

For questions about the application or the registration process, please call Jeanne Humston at:

(859)-258-3247

For more information about General Contractor registration in the City of Lexington, KY please visit the following websites:

http://www.lexingtonky.gov/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=19820

http://www.lexingtonky.gov/index.aspx?page=547

Bowling Green, KY

The City of Bowling Green ensures that all contractors performing work within the city, and Warren County, are in compliance with local laws and ordinances that are meant to protect the health and well-being of the public.  All contractors must obtain a license from the Bowling Green-Warren County Contractor Licensing Board before beginning work on construction projects.

*The Contractors Licensing Board offers a standard, General Contractor License, as well as a Specialty Contractor License for contractors who specialize in a specific trade.  

For a copy of the License Application Form, please visit:

http://www2.bgky.org/contractorslicensing/PDF/WC%20OccupationalLicense.pdf

Contractors are required to complete the application and submit it to the Contractor Licensing Board along with the following documents and fees:

  • General Liability Insurance certificate, showing the “Contractors Licensing Board” as the certificate holder.  The policy should be in the minimum amount of $100,000 per occurrence.
  • Worker’s Compensation Insurance certificate if the contractor plans to employ workers.  If the contractor does not plan to hire employees, they must complete a worker’s compensation exemption affidavit and have it signed and notarized.  For a copy of the affidavit, please visit:http://www2.bgky.org/contractorslicensing/pdf/AFFIDAVIT%20OF%20EXEMPTION.pdf
  • If the contractor’s business is a partnership, they must submit a signed and notarized Partnership Agreement.  For a copy of the Partnership Agreement, please visit:http://www2.bgky.org/contractorslicensing/pdf/PARTNER%20AGREEMENT2.pdf
  • There is a non-refundable $250 license fee which must be submitted along with the application.  Please make checks payable to “Contractors Licensing Board.”

Submit the application, required documents and fee by-mail to the following address:

Contractors Licensing Board
P.O. Box 1268
Bowling Green, KY 42102

Additionally, all contractors and contracting businesses are responsible for completing the following tasks:

  • If the contractor’s office is located within the city limits of Bowling Green, they must obtain a Bowling Green Occupational Business License.  To obtain this license, please visit the Finance Department at the Bowling Green City Hall Annex.For more information about a Bowling Green Occupational Business License, please call:(270)-393-3000
  • If the contractor’s office is located in Warren County, but is outside of the city limits of Bowling Green, they must obtain a Warren County Occupational License.  There is no fee associated with this license.  For a copy of the Warren County Occupational License Application, please visit:http://www2.bgky.org/contractorslicensing/PDF/WC%20OccupationalLicense.pdfSubmit the Occupational License application to:

    Warren County Treasurer
    429 East 10th Street
    Bowling Green, KY 42101

For questions about the licensing process, please call the Contractor Licensing Board at:

(270)-781-3530

OR

Visit the Contractors Licensing Board Office at:

114 State Street
Suite 200

For more information about obtaining a General Contractor License in the City of Bowling Green, Kentucky, please visit the following website:

http://www2.bgky.org/contractorslicensing/

http://www2.bgky.org/contractorslicensing/info.php