Wisconsin Contractor License

Wisconsin Contractor License

Are you a handyman who is excited to start a new business or perform contracting work in Wisconsin? And you probably looking for a well-researched article that will discuss every detail of the licensing process and state-issued requirements. You are in the right place, as here we covered topics such as: how to get your contractor’s license, the necessity of licensure in the state, and the main steps you need to take before launching your contracting company in Wisconsin.

How do I get my contractor’s license in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, the licensing process for specialty and general contractors is handled by the Department of Safety and Professional Services while contractors performing construction on dwellings, sites should expect different licensing requirements for Dwelling Contractor license.

If you are planning to work on specialty projects you should meet certain exam and experience requirements that are different from the general contractor’s licensing qualification. The common specialty trades that require licensing or certification are as follows:

  • Asbestos and Lead Abatement
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Elevator
  • HVAC
  • Utility
  • Well Drilling
  • And more

Although the process of licensing will have little or no difference the examination and educational requirements for specialty contractors may vary. If you are not sure what type of license you need contact the State of Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services at 608-266-2112.

The main steps you need to take before applying for a license

We will break down the main steps you can follow to make your licensing process less challenging. In Wisconsin, to obtain a contractor’s license you will need to:

  • Take an approved contractor qualifier course: Prior to your license application, you should take a 12-hours initial qualifier course in dwelling construction.

You can choose one of the providers for a qualifying course from this list.

  • Obtain a qualifier certificate: Before applying for your license, you should also get a qualifier certificate. This certificate is designed to particularly approve that you possess the 12-hours qualifier course knowledge.

To get the certificate you should fill out this application form, provide proof of the completed approved course, pay the required fees ($15 for an application fee and $30 for a credential fee) and send it to 4822 Madison Yards Way, Madison, WI 53705.

  • Determine the type of license you will need: Wisconsin offers 2 types of general contractor licenses and the choice is totally up to you. If you work on smaller projects we recommend obtaining the Dwelling Contractor Restricted License which also doesn’t require general liability insurance. However, you must purchase a bond that has $5,000- $25,000 coverage and your project should be less than $25,000. Alternatively, you can get a Dwelling Contractor License that offers unlimited project value and you can work on long-term projects.

Keep in mind, that you will need additional insurance and must have a bond of at least $25,000 coverage.

Wisconsin Contractor’s Licensing Application Process

Once you determine the type of license you need based on the project limit, you can start to get prepared for the application. Here are the specific documents that will be required for your application:

  • Wisconsin requires the contractors to provide proof of their financial responsibility. As we mentioned earlier, for dwelling contractor restricted license according to the highest value contract they have, up to $25,000 bond is required. Contracting projects with more than $25,000 should apply for an unrestricted license and a higher bond.
  • General Liability Insurance. If you choose an unrestricted license you should purchase general liability insurance with at least $250,000 coverage.
  • Unemployment Insurance. Companies that have one or more employees should purchase this insurance
  • Worker’s Compensation. If your business entity is a sole proprietorship, obtaining worker’s compensation is not necessary. However, the employer must possess one.
  • Business Representative. Business Representatives cannot be an employer; instead, the individual should be the owner, partner, chairman of the board or CEO of the company.

As soon as you collect the above-mentioned paperwork you are ready to apply for your license. Here are the steps you need to take to complete your licensure application:

  • Complete the application of Restricted license or Unrestricted License form
  • Provide information of the selected business representative
  • State your financial responsibility with the proof of bond
  • Show the verification of maintaining general liability insurance and/or applicable employee insurance
  • Pay $15 application and $30 credential fees

You can either submit your application online or mail copies to:

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services
4822 Madison Yards Way
Madison, WI 53705

Does Wisconsin require a contractor license?

If you are not a contracting business or company and you work on one or two-family homes, conducting works that require individuals to pull building permits you can apply for dwelling contractor qualifier certification. To apply for the certification you must:

  • Indicate that you completed an approved 12-hours initial qualifier course.
  • Provide proof of application and credential fees payment.

Does a handyman need a license in Wisconsin?

To perform handyman works in Wisconsin as an individual you can obtain a Dwelling Contractor Qualifier license. To earn this certification you must pass a 12-hour initial qualifier course which is issued by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Mary H

Mary H

Being a skilled creative writer and SEO content writer, with 2+ years of experience I can't imagine any other profession to fulfill my life as much as writing does. As a proud member of geek culture, I enjoy reading, writing, watching Sci-Fi gems, while also advocating the involvement of young, bright-minded girls and women in STEM research. Latter was largely the result of working at UNESCO Chair, Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center as an editor of scientific journals.