The licensing of General Contractors is handled at the local-level in South Dakota. All general building and construction contractors must check with their local city or county laws for licensing before beginning work on a construction project within the state. Most cities and counties have various rules and requirements for licensing, such as passing a qualifying exam and holding the proper forms of insurance. In most cases, a building permit is also required before construction work may begin.
*The only contractors licensed at the state-level in South Dakota are electrical, plumbing and asbestos abatement contractors.
Despite contractor licensing being handled at the local-level, all General Contractors are required to hold a South Dakota Contractors’ Excise Tax License from the State Department of Revenue. This license is required for all individuals and businesses participating in the building, construction, alteration, installation or repair of any building or property. This license is needed regardless of the amount the contractor profits or pays in taxes each year. For more information on obtaining a South Dakota Contractors’ Excise Tax License, please visit:
Or Toll Free: 1-800-829-9188
Below are some of the licensing requirements for some of the larger cities in South Dakota:
Sioux Falls, SD
The City of Sioux Falls, SD protects its residents and their property by requiring all Residential Contractors to hold a license. Licenses are issued by the city’s Building Services Department. Licenses are required for any residential project that also requires a building permit, including:
- Building Decks and Sheds
- Basement Finishing
- Shingle and Sheetrock installation or replacement
- Door and Window installation or replacement
*Commercial Contractors are not required to hold a license from the city, but they are required to go through a plan-review process for each project or job that they secure. Apartment buildings and complexes fall under commercial work/projects in the City of Sioux Falls.
To obtain a Residential Contractor License from the City of Sioux Falls, individuals and business owners are required to:
- Take and pass the Construction Supervisor Exam
- Obtain a compliance bond and general liability insurance
- Complete and submit the Application for Residential Building Contractor’s License along with the required documents and fees
- Attend 1 hour of continuing education courses during each license period (once per year).
The Building Services Department does not process license applications until the construction supervisor takes and passes the Construction Supervisor Exam. A construction supervisor is defined as, a business owner, or the person responsible for supervising the work and day-to-day activities on the construction job. This person is responsible for making sure that all work performed is within city and federal codes and ordinances. They must also be available to City Building Inspectors.
The Construction Supervisor exam is a 60-question, open-book test that is based on the information found in the “City of Sioux Falls Residential Code Handbook.” Anyone who registers to take the exam will receive a copy of this book. Even though the test is open-book, studying is highly recommended.
For more information about the examination, and for a copy of the registration application, please visit:
The cost to take the exam is $75, which is due with registration application. The Building Services Department accepts payment in the form of check or money order, made payable to, “City of Sioux Falls.”
The exam is administered once a month. After the contractor has passed the exam, they may complete a license application. If the contractor does not pass the exam on the first attempt, they have an unlimited number of attempts to pass the exam each month when it is given. However, in order to re-take the exam, contractors must re-apply and pay the exam fee.
Exam scores are good for a period of 90 days. After passing the exam, contractors have 90 days to complete and submit the application, along with all required documents and fees.
For a copy of the Application for Residential Building Contractor’s License, please visit:
Be sure to provide all the requested information and follow all instructions on the application. The contractor’s exact business name, including punctuation, should appear on the application. All forms and documents submitted with the application must match the name on the application exactly. Be sure to sign and date the application. Along with the application, contractors are also required to provide:
- Proof of a Compliance Bond in the amount of $10,000
- Proof of General Liability Insurance in the minimum amount of $300,000
- Excise Tax Number from the South Dakota Department of Revenue
For more information about the application, obtaining bonding or insurance, please visit:
The license fee depends on the date that the contractor is applying for their license. The Building Services department accepts check or money order, made payable to “City of Sioux Falls.” Refer to the following chart to determine the appropriate license fee:
|Application Date||License Fee|
|When applying between March 1st 2014 and Feb 29th 2015||$200|
|When applying between March 1st 2015 and Feb 29th 2016||$100|
|When applying between March 1st 2016 and Feb 28th 2017||$300|
Submit the completed license application, along with all the required documents and fees, by mail to:
Building Services Department
P.O. Box 7402
Sioux Falls, SD 57117-7402
Applications are also accepted in-person at the Building Services Department on the ground floor of City Hall, between the hours of 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday at:
224 W Ninth Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57117
Licenses are good for a period of 1 year in the City of Sioux Falls. Before the contractor can renew their license, they must attend 1 hour of continuing education courses. For more information, please visit:
For more information about obtaining a Residential Building Contractor’s License in the City of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, please call or email:
Licensing Department- 605-367-8672
Rapid City, SD
The City of Rapid City, SD requires all general, commercial, residential and roofing contractors to obtain a license through the city’s Finance Department, in addition to holding a Contractor’s Excise Tax License from the state. A license is needed for any contractor working within city limits. Rapid City offers the following license types to General Contractors:
- Commercial Contractor- A
- Residential Contractor- B
- Residential Contractor- C
- Trade/Specialty Contractor- mechanical, electrical, plumbing, gas, etc.
Before a contractor may apply for their license, they must take and pass a qualifying exam. The exam is based on the 2009 International Building Code, as well as the Amendments that Rapid City has made to this code. The test is administered online with a 3-hour time-limit.
The cost to take the exam is $25. Tests are given Monday through Friday from 7:30am to 4pm at:
KT Connections Inc.
829 Qunicy Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
For more information about the exam, contact ICC Contractor Trades Examination Services, at:
Once the contractor has passed the exam, they may fill out the licensing application. For a copy of the Contractor License Application, please visit:
Be sure to fill out the application in its entirety and provide all the requested information, including:
- Proof of General Liability Insurance- general aggregate liability in the minimum amount of $300,000 fire damage and $1,000,000 per occurrence
- Proof of a South Dakota Worker’s Compensation Insurance Policy- or a statement of non-participation if the contractor does not plan to employ workers
*Insurance policies must name the “City of Rapid City” as the policy holder.
The license fee for license types A, B and C is $200.
Submit the completed application, along with all required documents and fees to:
City Finance Department
300 Sixth Street
Rapid City, SD 57701
Contractor licenses are good for a period of 2 years. There is a $100 renewal fee, which must be paid and submitted with the renewal application, at least 60 days before the license expires.
At renewal time, all contractors are also required to attend 6 hours of continuing education courses. To prove that they have satisfied this requirement, contractors must submit a certificate of course completion with their renewal application, or a letter on the class-provider’s letterhead which states the class type, date and number of credit hours the contractor received. Sign-in sheets are not an acceptable form of proof for course completion.
For more information on obtaining a General Contractors License in Rapid City, South Dakota, please call the City Finance Department at:
Other important contacts for contractor licensing in Rapid City include:
City Planning Manager- Vicki Fisher: 605-394-4120 or Vicki.email@example.com- for information about business location
President of Rapid City Economic Development Partnership- Ben Snow: 605-343-1880 or firstname.lastname@example.org – for help with beginning a new business or developing an existing business
The City of Deadwood South Dakota requires all General Contractors to obtain a license, as well as the proper building permits for their projects. For a copy of the Contractor’s License Application, please visit:
The application asks for basic information about the contractor’s business. Contractors are also required to provide the following information:
- Proof of General Liability Insurance
- Proof of Worker’s Compensation Insurance- if the business plans to employ workers
- State Excise Tax Number
- Federal Tax ID number or Social Security Number
The cost to obtain a contractor license in the City of Deadwood is $75. Submit the completed license application along with all the required documents and fees to:
City of Deadwood
67 Dunlop Avenue
Deadwood, SD 57732
Contractors are also required to obtain the proper building permits for a commercial or residential project. Building permit fees vary depending on the cost the project, including labor and materials. For a copy of the building permit applications, and a schedule of building permit fees, please visit the link below and scroll to the heading that reads, “Building Inspector”:
Licenses are good for a period of 1 year. The cost to renew a contractor’s license is $50.
For more information about General Contractor licensing in the City of Deadwood, South Dakota, please call:
In order to build, construct, repair, alter, enlarge, convert or improve any 1 or 2-family home or accessory building in the City of Pierre, South Dakota, a Residential Contractors license is needed. Licenses are issued by the City of Pierre Building Department.
In order to obtain a license, all general contracting businesses must:
- Have someone within their company who resides in the State of South Dakota
- Hold a SD Excise Tax License
- Have General Liability Insurance in the minimum amount of $300,000
- Have Worker’s Compensation Insurance if the business plans to employ workers
All licenses are good for a period of 1 year and expire on December 31st of each year. At renewal time, all contractors are required to complete 2 hours of continuing education courses. All courses must be offered or approved by the City of Pierre Building Department.
For more information on obtaining a General Contractors License from the City of Pierre, South Dakota, call or visit the Building Department at:
222 E Dakota Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone Number: 605-773-7341
Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to noon and 1pm to 5pm.
Visit the following links:
Contractors are also required to obtain a building permit when working on any building or structure of 80 square feet or more. A building permit is also needed when working on a deck or porch over 30 inches in height, or when working on the following:
- Door Installation or Replacement
- Window Installation or Replacement
To determine if you project requires a building permit, or for more information about obtaining a building permit in Pierre, SD, call: