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How To Become A Licensed General Contractor In North Carolina

Author: Jimmy Barron
Published:September 8, 2023
4 mins 5 secs

Becoming a North Carolina licensed general contractor is an exciting and rewarding journey that requires dedication, knowledge, and a commitment to excellence. 

As one of the leading construction industries in the United States, North Carolina offers ample opportunities for those looking to establish themselves in the field.

Whether you’re highly experienced or just beginning, obtaining a general contractor license in this state opens doors to a world of possibilities. 

In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to become a licensed general contractor in North Carolina.

Why Become A Licensed General Contractor?

Before delving into the licensing process, it’s essential to understand the significance of becoming a licensed general contractor. 

A license not only showcases your expertise and credibility but also instills confidence in potential clients and partners. It’s a mark of professionalism and adherence to the industry’s standards and regulations. 

Moreover, as a licensed contractor, you’ll have access to a wider range of projects and better earning potential.

Licensed General Contractor

Step 1: Meet The Eligibility Requirements

To begin your journey toward being a licensed general contractor in North Carolina, you must meet certain eligibility requirements:

  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
  • Experience: You need to have a minimum of two years of full-time work experience in construction.
  • Education: A four-year degree in a related field can substitute for one year of the required experience.
  • Financial Responsibility: You must demonstrate financial responsibility and stability.
  • Legal Background: Your criminal record will be reviewed as part of the application process.
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Step 2: Choose A License Classification

North Carolina offers three different license classifications for general contractors:

  • Limited License: This is suitable for projects up to $500,000 in value.
  • Intermediate License: This allows you to work on projects up to $1,000,000 in value.
  • Unlimited License: With this license, you can handle projects of any value. 

Select the classification that aligns with your career goals and capabilities, and keep in mind that each classification has its own set of requirements and examinations.

Step 3: Complete Pre-licensing Education

Before applying for a general contractor license, you are required to complete an approved pre-licensing education course. 

These courses cover various topics such as construction laws, regulations, safety protocols, and business practices.

The knowledge gained from these courses will not only help you pass the licensing exams but also equip you with essential skills for your future projects.

Step 4: Pass The Licensing Exams

The licensing exams are a crucial part of the process. They evaluate your understanding of construction practices, building codes and standards, as well as regulations. 

North Carolina offers separate exams for each license classification, and the exams are comprehensive and demand thorough preparation. Consider enrolling in exam preparation courses or using study guides to increase your chances of success on the NC general contractor license test.

Step 5: Submit Your Application

After successfully passing the exams, you can proceed to submit your application for a general contractor license. 

Along with the application, you’ll need to provide documents such as proof of education and experience, financial statements, and character references. 

Make sure to fill out the application accurately and provide all required documentation to avoid delays in the processing of your license.

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Step 6: Obtain Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance and general liability insurance are essential for any general contractor.

Obtain Insurance

These insurances protect you, your clients, and your employees in case of accidents or damages on the job site. 

Proof of insurance coverage is typically required during the license application process.

Step 7: Fulfill The Financial Requirements

As part of the licensing process, you’ll need to demonstrate financial responsibility. This involves providing financial statements and other relevant documents to showcase your ability to handle the financial aspects of construction projects.

Step 8: Await The Licensing Board’s Approval

After you’ve submitted your application and met all the necessary criteria, the North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors will assess your application.

This process may take some time, so be patient. During this period, ensure that you respond promptly to any inquiries from the licensing board.

Step 9: Receive Your License and Start Building

Upon approval, you will receive your general contractor license from the state of North Carolina.

Congratulations! You’re now officially recognized as a licensed general contractor. Armed with your license, you can now embark on projects or become an independent contractor, establish your reputation, and play a role in shaping the construction industry within the state.


Becoming an NC-licensed general contractor is a journey that requires dedication, knowledge, and determination. 

It’s a path that leads to opportunities, growth, and the ability to shape the built environment.

By meeting eligibility requirements, gaining the necessary education, passing exams, and fulfilling licensing board requirements, you can establish yourself as a respected and accomplished general contractor in one of the nation’s thriving construction markets. 

And remember, each step you take will bring you closer to achieving your goal and making a significant impact in the world of construction.