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Contractors

Board for Licensing Contractors

Who Is Required To Be Licensed

NOTICE! A Tennessee contractor's license is required BEFORE bidding or offering a price, for projects $25,000 and up (includes materials and labor), as a prime (general) contractor; and also subcontractors performing electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, roofing and masonry are also required to be licensed as a contractor, when the total portion on the project is $25,000 or more; masonry, when $100,000 or more. In addition, a sub to a sub would need to be licensed whenever there are more than one (1) subcontractors on the project. Reciprocal agreements do NOT allow using another state's license in Tennessee, but provides a trade exam waiver, only.  License issuance takes 4 to 6 weeks and must be approved by the Board during regularly scheduled meetings (see Public Meeting Information for meeting dates).

A Contractor's license is required prior to contracting (bidding, offering to engage, or negotiating a price) for projects $25,000 or more, when acting as one of the following: 

  • Prime (General) Contractor - Bidding or contracting directly with the “owner” of the project;
  • Subcontractor – Contracting directly with any contractor (not to the owner) to perform projects when the total cost of that portion on the project is *$25,000 or more, for the following (includes all materials, equipment, and labor):
    • Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing, HVAC, and **Roofing; and
    • Masonry when *$100,000 and up
  • Construction Management – When the value of the total project is $25,000 or more.

*Masonry subcontractors must be licensed as a contractor when the project is $100,000 or more.

**Roofing subcontractors must be licensed as a contractor, effective January 1, 2014, in addition to performing work currently as a prime, for projects $25,000 or more.

The definition of contractor is found in the statute at  T.C.A. § 62-6-102 and covers a very broad area, which includes construction, installation, movement, repair, etc.

All contractors licenses are assigned a monetary limit and also a classification, such as: Building (Residential, Commercial and Industrial); Electrical; Mechanical (Plumbing and HVAC); Heavy Construction; Highway, Railroad & Airport; Masonry; Municipal Utility; Environmental; and Specialties (landscaping, excavation, roofing, cell towers, solar panels, audio visual, etc.,). Contractor's must bid/contract in the exact name as licensed. See more information below in the "Summary of Contractor License Requirements".  See the Law and Rules for legislative updates.