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Understanding Contractor Endorsements
What are Endorsements?
All licensees are required to be licensed using the endorsement system. The endorsement system distinguishes between residential contractors and commercial contractors. Some contractors are required to have a both a residential and commercial endorsement.
 
Contractors who are not licensed with the proper endorsement are subject to civil penalties.

Click here  for a side-by-side comparison of all endorsement options.

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Choosing the right Endorsement
The licensing endorsements reflect the type of work the licensee is allowed to do.
Contractors licensed with a residential endorsement may perform work on the following structure types:
  • Residential
  • Small commercial
Contractors licensed with a commercial endorsement may perform work on the following structure types:
  • Large commercial
  • Small commercial
Contractors that will perform work on residential and large commercial structures must have both a residential and a commercial endorsement.
 
Contractors that perform work on only small commercial structures may choose either a residential or a commercial endorsement.
 
Click here for the definitions of a residential, small commercial or large commercial structure type.

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When will I choose Endorsments
All existing licensed contractors must have transitioned to the endorsement system by July 1, 2010. New contractors choose their endorsement when first licensed.

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Residential Endorsements
Residential Endorsement Choices, Bond and Insurance
 
 Endorsement  Bond Amount  Liability Insurance
 Residential General Contractor  $20,000  $500,000 - per occurrence
 Residential Specialty Contractor  $15,000  $300,000 - per occurrence
 Residential Limited Contractor  $10,000  $100,000 - per occurrence
 Residential Developer  $20,000  $500,000 - per occurrence
 

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Commercial Endorsements
Contractors choosing a commercial endorsement are required to provide the required bond and proof of insurance and certify the required amount of experience from the following: 
 


 Endorsement  Bond Amount  Liability Insurance  Experience
 Commercial General Contractor Level 1  $75,000 $2 million
 aggregate
8 years
 Commercial Specialty Contractor Level 1  $50,000 $1 million
aggregate
8 years
 Commercial General Contractor Level 2  $20,000 $1 million
aggregate
4 years 
 Commercial Specialty Contractor Level 2  $20,000 $500,000
per occurrence
4 years 
 Commercial Developer  $20,000  $500,000
per occurrence
None
 


What are the experience requirements?
Commercial contractors choosing a general contractor or specialty contractor (any level) endorsement will be required to certify that one or more "key employees" have the combined years of experience that total to the required amount for the chosen endorsement.
 
      “Key employee” means an owner or employee of a contractor who is a corporate officer, manager, superintendent, foreperson or lead person or any other employee identified by the board by rule.
 
 

 Endorsement
Experience Requirement
 Commercial General Contractor Level 1
8 years
 Commercial Specialty Contractor Level 1
8 years
 Commercial General Contractor Level 2
4 years 
 Commercial Specialty Contractor Level 2
4 years 
 Commercial Developer
None
  
The following qualifies as experience:
  1. Contractors may use the number of years working as a licensed contractor, journeyman, foreperson or supervisor or as any other employee engaged in construction work for a licensed contractor. 
  2. Completion of an apprenticeship program may substitute for up to three years of experience.
  3. A bachelor’s degree in a construction-related field may substitute for up to three years of experience.
  4. A bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in business, finance or economics may substitute for up to two years of experience.
  5. An associate’s degree in construction or building management may substitute for up to one year of experience.


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