Step 1: Determine what type of license you need

The first step to becoming a licensed contractor is to determine what type of license you need. There are several types of licenses available, each permitting you to perform a specific kind of work:

  • General contractor license
  • Plumbing contractor license
  • Electrical contractor licenses
  • HVAC contractors licenses
  • Other specialty contractor licenses

Plumbing contractor licenses are the only type of license issued by the state of Indiana. The rest are handled by the local jurisdiction.

Step 2: Register your business

All types of contractors must register their business with the State of Indiana. You can register your business online using the Secretary of State’s website.

If your business entity is structured as a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or partnership, you may also need to register with the Indiana Department of Revenue to obtain a sales tax number.

Step 3: Get insurance coverage

Depending on your local jurisdiction, you may need to get liability insurance coverage before receiving a general contractor license. The coverage requirements will vary.

For example, to get a general contractor license in Marion County, you must have liability insurance with at least $500,000 for each occurrence of death or bodily injury and at least $100,000 coverage for each occurrence of property damage.

Step 4: Obtain a surety bond

Several municipalities in Indiana require contractors to post a surety bond as part of the licensing process. The bonds help ensure that contractors comply with all licensing requirements. They also allow the government and the public to seek financial compensation for damages resulting from the contractor’s work.

The required bond amount for Indiana contractor license bonds varies depending on the location. Below are the required amounts for a few popular bonds:

  • City of Indianapolis General Contractor Bond: $10,000
  • City of Indianapolis Electrical and Type C Wrecking Contractor Bond: $10,000
  • Evansville-Vanderburgh County Contractor Bond: $25,000
  • City of Beech Grove General Contractor Bond: $10,000
  • City of Lafayette Contractor Bond: Up to $10,000
  • City of Lawrence Contractor Bond: $5,000

Regardless of the bond total, you only have to pay a small portion of the total amount as a premium. When the surety company issues your bond, they will evaluate your industry experience, credit score, and financial standing to determine your premium. For well-qualified contractors, this can be as low as 1% of the bond amount.

Step 5: Submit contractor license application

After you register your business and fulfill any bonding requirements, you can start the application process for your Indiana contractor license. Below are the application requirements based on the license type.

Plumbing license

Indiana plumbing contractor licenses are issued by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. To apply, you need to go to the MyLicense web portal and create an account. There is a $50 application fee.

Depending on your location, you may also need to get a local plumbing license. For example, Allen County requires plumbing contractors to register their business and pay a $25 registration fee.

Local contractor licenses

The application process for municipal contractor licenses varies by location. Below are some steps you should be ready to complete:

  • Provide business information such as formation documents and financial statements
  • Authorize a background and credit check
  • Provide a record of professional experience
  • Show proof of insurance coverage
  • Provide a surety bond form
  • Pay license and application fees

Here are links to municipal websites for more information:

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