How to Get a Contractor’s License in Vermont

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Currently, there is only a statewide licensing requirement in Vermont for certain specialty contractors, like electricians and plumbers. Some municipalities, however, required construction contractors to be licensed. Here’s how to get a contractor’s license in Vermont.

Who Needs a Contractor’s License?

Vermont is a largely rural state. Only Wyoming is more sparsely populated. Only three of Vermont’s nine incorporated cities have a population of more than 10,000. No state capital is smaller than Montpelier, Vermont’s capital. These statistics are not suggestive of a booming new home construction industry.

So, perhaps it’s not surprising that Vermont has never required statewide licensing of general construction contractors. In fact, it’s one of only six states that does not regulate residential construction contractors in any way.

Although general contractors are not licensed at the state level in Vermont, however, there are county and municipal licensing or certification requirements that may apply to you. For instance, some municipalities may require you to obtain a performance surety bond as a condition of working legally as a contractor within its jurisdiction.

Before accepting work as a general contractor in Vermont, you’ll need to find out what specific licensing requirements exist in the municipalities involved. Where no specific municipal licensing requirements exist, the construction permitting process serves as a quality control measure.

Licensing in Specialty Construction Trades

The Vermont Division of Fire Safety handles licensing and certification of certain trades that involve a high degree of technical competence, like electricians and plumbers. The Electrician’s Licensing Board and the Plumber’s Licensing Board operate under the auspices of the Division of Fire Safety.

Registering Your Construction Business

If you plan to operate your construction business in Vermont under any name other than your own, you must first register your business with the Vermont Secretary of State. The purpose of registering your business is twofold:

  • To gain the legal right to operate under your chosen business name, and
  • To make sure no other business can use that name

You can simply register a trade name to gain DBA (Doing Business As) status or as a business entity with some other legal structure, such as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) or partnership.

Possible New Licensing Requirements

Although statewide licensing of construction contractors in Vermont is not required as of this writing (July 2019), it soon may be. The Vermont Senate passed a bill in April 2019 requiring contractors who work on residential construction projects valued in excess of $2,000 to register with the state. The bill was first proposed 13 years ago by the Vermont Home Builders and Remodelers Association. It is now under consideration by a committee in the Vermont House of Representatives.

Get Bonded Today

If you find yourself in need of a surety bond for your Vermont construction contracting business, Surety Bond Professionals is here to help. With over 75 years of experience with a focus on construction surety, our agents can help you to understand your bonding needs and offer competitive rates with quick turnarounds.