How to Get a Michigan Contractor’s License

By Published On: July 15, 2023

Becoming a licensed contractor in Michigan is a crucial step for individuals or businesses looking to engage in construction work within the state. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) oversees the licensing process and sets the requirements for obtaining a Michigan contractor’s license. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to get a Michigan contractor’s license, helping you navigate the process smoothly.

Step 1: Determine the License Type

The first step is to determine the type of contractor’s license you need in Michigan. The state offers several license classifications, including residential builder, maintenance and alteration contractor, and general contractor. Each classification has specific requirements and limitations, so identify the license type that aligns with the scope of your intended construction work.

Step 2: Fulfill the Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a Michigan contractor’s license, you must meet certain eligibility criteria set by LARA. These typically include meeting specific education or experience requirements. For example, to obtain a residential builder’s license, you must have a minimum of 60 hours of approved education and pass an examination. Review the specific requirements for your chosen license classification to ensure eligibility.

Step 3: Complete the Pre-Licensure Education

Michigan requires aspiring contractors to complete pre-licensure education before applying for a license. The number of required hours varies depending on the license classification. You can fulfill this requirement by enrolling in approved educational courses offered by community colleges, trade schools, or other recognized institutions. Ensure that the courses you take are specific to your license classification and cover the necessary topics.

Step 4: Gather Supporting Documentation

As part of the application process, you will need to gather supporting documentation to demonstrate your eligibility for a contractor’s license. This may include proof of education, work experience, and any relevant certifications or licenses. Keep detailed records of your qualifications, work history, and any additional documentation required by LARA to support your application.

Step 5: Submit the License Application

Once you have fulfilled the eligibility requirements and gathered the necessary documentation, you can proceed to submit your license application to LARA. The application form can be obtained from the LARA website or their designated licensing department. Fill out the application accurately and completely, ensuring that you provide all requested information and include any required attachments or supporting documentation.

Step 6: Pass the Contractor’s Examination

Depending on the license classification, you may be required to pass an examination to demonstrate your knowledge and competency in the field. The examination tests your understanding of construction principles, codes, regulations, and business practices. Study the recommended reference materials and take practice exams to prepare effectively for the examination. Check the LARA website or contact their licensing department for information on scheduling and preparing for the exam.

Step 7: Obtain Insurance and Bonding

Before receiving your Michigan contractor’s license, you will need to obtain general liability insurance and a surety bond. General liability insurance provides coverage in case of accidents, property damage, or injuries that may occur during construction projects. A surety bond guarantees that you will fulfill your contractual obligations. Ensure that you meet the specific insurance and bonding requirements outlined by LARA.

Step 8: Pay the Licensing Fees

Once your application is reviewed and approved, you will need to pay the required licensing fees. The fees vary depending on the license classification and other factors. Check the LARA website or contact their licensing department for the current fee schedule and payment instructions. Submit the payment promptly to complete the licensing process.

Step 9: Maintain Compliance and Renew Your License

Once you have obtained your Michigan contractor’s license, it is important to maintain compliance with all state regulations, including renewing your license on time. Michigan contractor’s licenses are typically valid for a specific period, and renewal requirements may include continuing education and proof of insurance. Stay informed about the renewal process and meet all the necessary obligations to ensure the continuous validity of your license.


Obtaining a Michigan contractor’s license involves meeting eligibility requirements, completing pre-licensure education, passing an examination, submitting the license application, obtaining insurance and bonding, and paying the necessary fees. By following this step-by-step guide and adhering to the requirements set by LARA, you can successfully navigate the licensing process and pursue a rewarding career in the construction industry in Michigan.

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