General Licensing Requirements
- Who can apply for a contractor's license?
A sole proprietorship (individual), a partnership, limited liability company, or a corporation may apply for a contractor's license if they have a regularly employed person with the necessary experience, knowledge and skills who serves as the qualifying party. All persons listed on the application must be 18 years of age or older.
A corporation or limited liability company must be registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission and in good standing with that agency before submitting an application for a contractor's license. The corporation or limited liability company must remain in good standing in order to renew their contractor's license.
- Who is responsible for contracting activities?
All persons listed on the license are responsible for the contracting activities of the business. "Person" means a qualifying party, an owner, any partner of a partnership, all members of a limited liability company, and any officer, director or owner of 25 percent or more of the stock of a corporation.
- Who must be licensed as a contractor?
Any business which contracts or offers to contract to build, alter, repair, add to, subtract from, improve, move, wreck or demolish any building, highway, road, railroad, excavation or other structure, development or improvement, or to do any part of the work must be a licensed contractor.
Also included in work requiring a license is the erection of scaffolding, connections to utility service lines, metering devices and sewer lines, mechanical or structural service to a structure or improvement and any other work in connection with the project.
"Contractor" includes subcontractors, floor covering contractors, hardscape contractors and consultants representing themselves as having the ability to supervise or manage a construction project for the benefit of the property owner.
Supervision or management includes hiring and firing of specialty contractors, scheduling of work on the project, and selection and purchasing of construction material.
Contractors must be properly licensed before submitting bids.
- What is the "Handyman Exemption"? Must all contractors be licensed?
Generally, if labor and materials exceed $1,000 OR a permit is required (regardless of the price of labor and materials), then a license is required. Please read the Arizona Revised Statutes on "Persons not required to be licensed; penalties; applicability" ARS §32-1121.
- To whom is the license issued?
A license may be issued to a sole proprietorship (individual), a partnership, limited liability company or a corporation. The license belongs to the business and not to the qualifying party.
- If the ownership of a business changes, is the contractor's license considered to be part of the business?
No, a license is non-transferable, with the possible exception of a corporation or limited liability company. If stock is sold and the file number assigned by the Arizona Corporation Commission remains the same, the same license can be used if the license is active and in good standing.
Contractor's License Classifications
The Arizona Registrar of Contractors issues separate licenses for commercial and residential work, and dual licenses that cover both commercial and residential, for each particular trade or field of a construction science profession.
Residential contracting is defined as constructing, altering, repairing, adding to, subtracting from, improving, moving, wrecking or demolishing any residential structure, such as houses, townhouses, condominiums or cooperative units and any appurtenances on or within residential property lines. Residential construction also includes any appurtenances on or within residential property lines, connection to utility service and sewer lines, meters and mechanical or structural service for any residential structure.
Commercial contracting is anything other than residential.