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Construction Work Regulated?

Who Regulates Construction?


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Construction Work Regulated?

Contracting is regulated at 4 various licensing levels based upon the type of work
and cost of the total contract. A contractor's license is required for projects $25,000
or more as a prime (general). The only subcontractors required to be licensed as a
contractor are those performing mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, electrical work, and
roofing. In addition, masonry subcontractors are also required to be licensed for
projects $100,000 or more. A Home Improvement Contractor's license is required for
projects from $3,000 to $24,999 in many counties. Other projects less than $25,000
are typically regulated at the local government level; however, those without code
inspection offices must obtain our state license as a Limited Licensed Electrician (LLE) or the Limited Licensed Plumber (LLP). The Board also regulates prelicensed exam course providers (cram schools).

Who Regulates Construction?

The Board for Licensing Contractors is a division of the Regulatory Boards within the
Department of Commerce and Insurance. Licensing information and applications may
be obtained from::

Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243-1150
(800) 544-7693 or (615) 741-8307/Fax (615) 532-2868


Licenses relative to the construction industry are listed below with contact information:

Alarm System Contractors/Fire Sprinkler Contractors:
(Division of Regulatory Boards at:

Highway and Bridge Contractors:
(Department of Transportation at:

Lead Based Paint Abatement/Asbestos/Soil and Remediation:
(Department of Environment and Conservation:


Board for Licensing Contractors:

Tennessee Roster License Search:

Law: under resources, "Tennessee" and search Title 62, Chapter 6

Local Government Codes {City and County):

Rules and Regulations:

Corporate Registration - Secretary of State:

One Stop Business: .gov/New Biz/


Contractor License (Projects $25,000 and up):

a. Prime (bid directly with the owner);
b. Subcontractors (bid directly to the contractor) for Mechanical, Plumbing, HVAC,
Electrical and Roofing; Masonry for projects $100,000 or more;
c. Construction Managers

Contractors are required to be licensed prior to contracting, bidding or offering to
engage. Bidding requirements require listing their name (as licensed), license ID
number, classification and expiration date on the outside of the bid envelope along with the license information for the above subcontractors.

Licenses are issued in the name of the entry providing the financial statement, which
may be sole proprietor, corporation, partnership, or LLC. A License does not typically
belong to the qualifying agent (individual passing exam) unless they have ownership
(in lieu of being a full time employee or office).

Exam vendor is PSI Services, LLC. The Business and Law exam is required by all license applicants and trade exams for several classifications. A reciprocal agreement consists only as a trade exam waiver. Agreements exist with several state license agencies in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio and South Carolina (see website for a complete listing). In addition, the NASC LA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors is accepted.

Each contractor's license is assigned a classification and monetary Iimit. Classifications range from Residential, Commercial and Industrial Building, as well as subcategories such as Landscaping, Excavation, Roofing, etc. In addition, construction involving work to perform Municipal Utility; Electrical; Mechanical (Plumbing/HVAC); Highway, Railroad and Airport; Heavy Construction; or Environmental projects. Specialties, such as Equipment Installation for Audio Video, Solar Panels, Cell Towers, etc.

Monetary limit is assigned by the Board and is based upon the CPA prepared financial statement's working capital and net worth, as we ll as experience. Review is required for a Limit of $1,500,000 or less and an audit is required for more than $1,500,000 to unlimited.

Proof of insurance is required for general liability and workers compensation. Bonding is not required to obtain a state contractor's license, but may be required forbidding or obtaining local permits and inspections. Contractor licenses must be approved by the Board which meets 6 times annually. An interview with the Board is not required unless there are complaints or felony violations. There is a "hardship" provision for those meeting the criteria to have a License issued prior to the next meeting of the Board. Application fee is $250 for a 2 year license. There are no Continuing Education (C EU) requirements. No set experience requirements, except for plumbing; 3 years.

Home Improvement License (Projects $3,000 to $24,999):
A Home Improvement license is required in the following 9 counties: Bradley, Davidson, Hamilton, Haywood, Marion, Knox, Robertson, Rutherford and Shelby to perform remodeling.

a. No exam or Board review is required.
b. Must supply proof of insurance for general liability and workers compensation.
c. $10,000 surety bond (or another form of financial responsibility) is required.
d. Application fee is $250 for a 2 year License.

Limited Licensed Electrician - LLE (Projects less than $25,000): A Limited Licensed
Electrician (LLE) license is required unless in an area where municipalities have their own licensing agency with inspections. The Division of Fire Prevention oversees the inspections of these electricians.

a. The LLE trade exam is administered by PSI Services, LLC. No Business and Law
exam is required.
b. There is NOT a requirement to show proof of insurance as part of obtaining a
license; may at local.
c. Fee is $50 for 2 year license.

Limited Licensed Plumber- LLP (Projects less than $25,000): A Limited Licensed
Plumber (LLP) license is required unless in an area where municipalities have their own licensing agency with inspections.

a. A LLP trade exam is required by PSI Services, LLC; no Business and Law exam is required.
b. There is NOT a requirement to show proof of insurance as part of obtaining a
license; may at local.
c. Fee is $75 for 2 year license.

State / Board/Agency

Alabama / Electrical, HVAC, General
Arkansas / General
Georgia / Commercial and Electrical
Louisiana / General
Mississippi / General
North Carolina / Residential and Commercial
Ohio / Electrical and Mechanical
South Carolina / General
National / NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building Contractors
American Contractors Exam Prep - TN