New License / General License Questions

How do I get a license?

To obtain a license you must complete the Application for License to Practice General Contracting in the State of North Carolina which is available on the Boards website at  The application must fully comply with all requirements established by the Board’s statutes and rules. See requirements for becoming licensed.

What name should I apply for a license in?

You should apply for the license in the name you are planning to bid, contract, and operate.  Licenses can be granted to individuals or to companies, however, licenses are granted to specific legal entities and are only valid for work done by that entity.

What are the requirements for becoming licensed?

The primary requirements for licensing include, completing the application, be at least 18 years of age, possess good moral character, meet the minimum financial requirement based on the limitation of license you are applying for, and successfully completing an examination based on the desired classification of license.

What type of license do I need?

Licenses are broken down into limitation and classification.  Limitation determines the dollar size of the projects that can be undertaken with the license (see description of limitations).  Classification determines the type of work that can be performed using the license (see list of classifications and their definitions).

How do I get prequalified to take the exam?

In order to get prequalified to take the North Carolina examinations, you must first complete the new license application.  Once everything is in order on the application, an eligibility letter will be mailed to you with the necessary information to schedule the examination with PSI.

What is the NASCLA exam?

NASCLA is the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies.  NASCLA offers a National Accredited Building Examination.  The North Carolina Licensing Board for General Contractors accepts the NASCLA exam for the Building classification.  However, the NASCLA exam is administered by the NASCLA organization.  If you wish to take the NASCLA exam, you would do so prior to applying for the NC General Contractors License by contacting NASCLA at (866)948-3363 or through the NASCLA website

Where do I obtain a license application?

New license applications can be downloaded from our website at License renewal applications are delivered to all licensee’s online licensing account through the Board’s online licensing system.

What is Working Capital?

Working capital is determined by the entity’s total current assets minus the entity’s total current liabilities.  (Working Capital = Total Current Assets – Total Current Liabilities)

What does the limitation on license mean?

The limitation determines the total dollar size of the projects that the licensee can undertake.  A limited license allows contractors to undertake individual projects up to $500,000 each.  The intermediate license allows contractors to undertake individual projects up to $1,000,000 each.  The unlimited license has no dollar limit on the size of the projects that can be undertaken.

What are the insurance requirements?

There is not an insurance requirement for licensing.  However, there may be insurance requirements for individual projects or for pulling building permits.

Do I need to be bonded and insured?

There is not an insurance or bonding requirement for a general contractor’s license.  Bonds are only required if a surety bond is being used in lieu of meeting the minimum financial requirements for licensure.  See rule .0204 (e) for surety bond requirements.

Do I need worker’s compensation insurance?

Worker’s compensation is not a requirement for the general contractor’s license.  However, worker’s compensation insurance is required by NC state laws. Please see the NC Industrial Commission’s website at for more details. Worker’s compensation insurance may also be a requirement for obtaining building permits for projects that require a general contractor’s license.

What is a qualifier?

A qualifier is a responsible managing employee, owner, officer, or member of an LLC or partnership who successfully completes the examination required for licensing.  Exams completed by qualifiers determine the classification(s) on the license.  Qualifiers may qualify up to two licenses provided the qualifier is a managing employee, owner, officer or member of an LLC or partnership. Qualifiers are not licensees but are the holders of a qualifying credential that is required for licensure. Qualifying exams can be transferred between licenses however licenses themselves cannot be transferred. See NCAC Title 21 Chapter 12A .0205(a).

How do I fill out my financial statement?

Your CPA or independent accountant must provide an Agreed-Upon Procedures Report that conforms with AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) standards, an Audited Financial Statement, or surety bonds. Examples of each of these documents is in the new license application and application for increase on our website.

Do I really need an audit?

No. In lieu of an audit, your CPA or independent accountant must provide an Agreed-Upon Procedures Report (in lieu of an audited statement) that conforms with AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) standards.

Can I get an intermediate or unlimited license without the audit?

Yes, if your CPA or independent accountant must provide an Agreed-Upon Procedures Report (in lieu of an audited statement) that conforms with AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) standards.

What is the status of my new license application?

New applications take about 2 weeks for initial processing.  If corrections are required, you will be contacted by email or phone to provide updated information.  After initial processing, if an exam is required, you will be sent an eligibility letter that will allow you to schedule the exam.  If an exam was already completed or when the required exam is completed, the application will go on the next list for Board Approval.  Lists for Board approval are scheduled for twice a month.  Once the Board gives their approval a license will be granted.

How long does it take before I will have a license?

The timeframe for the licensing process can vary.  When an application is received it typically about 2 weeks for initial processing.   Once all paperwork and exams are completed, the application is required to receive Board approval before a license can be granted.  Lists for Board approval are scheduled for twice a month.  If an application is submitted with a completed exam, the licensing process takes about 30 days.  If an exam is required, it will depend on when exams are successfully completed.  It takes about 2 to 3 weeks after exams are completed before a license to be granted.

When is the next list of applicants sent to the Board?

Lists of applicants for Board approval are typically sent out twice per month (0nce near the beginning of a month and once near the middle of the month).  The lists for Board approval do not go out on set dates or specific days each month. When sent, Board members must first give their approval of new applicants before a license can be granted.  The staff at the Board cannot say specifically when a license will be granted because timing can vary depending on when lists are sent, and Board approval is received.

Existing License

How do I add a new qualifier to my license?

To add a qualifier, the individual must take and pass an accepted examination.  You will need to contact the Board to receive the necessary forms to add a qualifier based on which exams are completed or need to be completed.  Below is a list of the possible forms.

  • Examination Transfer Authorization: This form is used to transfer the exams of existing qualifiers already on a North Carolina License.
  • Examination Request Form: This form is used to schedule a potential qualifier to take a North Carolina exam.
  • NASCLA Waiver Form: This form is used to add someone who has completed a NASCLA exam and is not currently on a North Carolina License.
  • Examination Waiver Form:  This form is used to add an individual who completed an accepted examination from another state.  The Examination Waiver form must be completed by the other state licensing board.

How do I remove a qualifier from my license?

To remove a qualifier from a license you must submit a written request signed by the president/owner stating the name on the license, the license number, the name of the qualifier, and the date of disassociation.

How do I transfer my license?

Licenses cannot be transferred.  Licenses are granted to specific legal entities and cannot be transferred to other entities.  However, qualifying exams can be transferred between licenses.  To get a license under a new entity you will need to apply for a new license in the name of the new entity and transfer your examinations.

How do I transfer my examinations?

To transfer your exams to an existing license, you will need to contact the Board to receive an Examination Transfer Authorization.  Once a completed form is received and processed the exams will be transferred.  If you want to add your exams to an entity that is not currently licensed, the entity will need to complete a new license application and the Examination Transfer Authorization included in the new application packet.

Can I use my personal license to do business as a corporation?

No.  Licenses are only valid for the entity named on the license.  If you are wanting to operate under a different name, you will need to apply for a new license in that name.

What is the difference between a licensee and a qualifier?

Licensees have met all the requirements for license including completing the application, meeting a financial requirement, and having someone complete the exam on behalf of the license.  Licenses are issued to a specific legal entity whose name is listed on the license.  Licenses can be granted to corporations, LLCs, partnerships, or individuals.

Qualifiers are the people who pass the exams on behalf of a license.  Qualifiers are defined as responsible managing employees, owners, or officers of the licensed entity.  Qualifiers are not licensees unless they applied for and received a license as the individual.

I am applying for a license in another state. What do I need to do for reciprocity or examination waiver?

To apply for a license in another state you will need to contact the licensing board in that state for the process and requirements.  The other boards typically require a license verification from the North Carolina Licensing Board.  To receive a verification, you will need to fax, mail, or email ( a request that includes the name on the license, the license number, the state you are needing a verification for, and attach any forms required by that state.  Once received it can take about 2 weeks to process before the verification is sent out.

I am applying for a license and have completed an exam in another state. How do I get reciprocity or an exam waiver?

The North Carolina Licensing Board does not have full reciprocity with any other state.  We currently have examination waiver agreements with South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Georgia, and Mississippi (see details regarding exam waivers).   You will need to complete the new application in its entirety and the board you are licensed with in the other state must complete the Examination Waiver form included in the application packet.  The application and waiver must be submitted together.

License Renewal

How do I renew my license?

To renew your license, you will need to go to and log into or create your license account.  Once logged into your account, you will need to go to the “Renewal” section where you can complete the renewal application.

How do I fill out the financial statement?

Please follow the instructions on the application. For the financial statement information, you may either upload a balance sheet from a financial software reflecting the licensed entity’s required working capital or net worth depending on the limitation of the license OR check the statement of affirmation, provide the as of date of the financial affirmation and provide the name of the person acting on behalf of the licensee. If choosing the statement of affirmation option there is no requirement to submit anything additional.

I cannot enter the date for the attestation statement or qualifier date of birth?

The date field functions differently depending on which web browser you are using.  If you are using Microsoft Edge, after selecting the date you must press the check button in the bottom left of the dropdown before it locks the information into place.  With Chrome and Firefox, you can just type the date into the field, and it will format itself.

It is saying that all qualifiers must verify their employment status, what do I do?

Before a license can be renewed, all qualifiers must verify their continued association with the license.  On the bottom of the “Renewal at a Glance” page there is a section for license qualifier verifications.  The “Renewal at a Glance” page is the first page you see anytime you start or continue a renewal application. There are three ways to verify employment.

  1. Set as Owner: If the qualifier is the owner of the licensed entity they can be set as owner. This will complete their verification.
  2. Quick Verify Email: You can send the qualifier a quick verify email. This will send them an email with a link to a page where they can check the box to verify their employment with the license.
  3. Qualifier Accounts:  A qualifier can log into their online qualifier account through and go to the renewal section.  There they can check to box to verify their employment with the licensee.

How do I remove a qualifier from my license?

To remove a qualifier from a license you will need to send a letter signed by the president/owner of the license indicating the name on the license, the license number, the name of the qualifier, and they date of their disassociation from the license.  This letter can be emailed to  It can take 24 to 48 hours to process before it reflects on the online account for license renewal.

Can I get a paper application?

No.  Paper applications are no longer being provided.

How do I set up a qualifier account?

To set up a qualifier account the qualifier must be invited to create their account by the license account.  The manager of the online license account will need to log in and go to the qualifier section.  From there they can send invite emails to the qualifiers.  In the email there will be a link that will allow the qualifier to create their online account.

How do I increase the limitation on my license?

Limitation changes cannot be processed with a renewal application.  To increase your license limitation, you will need to download and print the Application for Increase in Limitation available at our website (Get Application).  You will need to complete the application for increase and submit with it a copy of an audited financial statement or the surety bond.

How do I decrease the limitation on my license?

Requests for decrease in limitation must be processed in writing prior to completing the online renewal application.  The written request must be signed by the president/owner of the license and include the name on the license, license number, and request a decrease in limitation specifying which limit is desired.  Once received and processed, it can take up to 48 hours before the decrease request reflects on NCCLiC for renewal.

What does it mean when a company is Administratively Dissolved or has its Certificate of Authority Revoked?

An annual report must be filed every year with the North Carolina Secretary of State (NCSOS) to maintain your company’s status to lawfully operate in the State of North Carolina.  If the proper paperwork is not filed with the NCSOS, the company’s Certificate of Authority status is changed by the NCSOS to reflect that the Certificate of Authority is Administratively Dissolved (for NC corporations) or Certificate of Authority Revoked (for foreign corporations).  To restore the status to reflect it is in good standing with the NCSOS you will need to contact the NC Secretary of State at 919-841-5400 or  The company’s status will be updated when all requirements set forth by the NCSOS are satisfied.

What does it mean when a company is under a Revenue Suspension?

A revenue suspension is issued by the North Carolina Department of Revenue indicating tax filings are missing from their records.  To determine what corrections or filings are required, you will need to contact the North Carolina Department of Revenue at 877-919-1819 x1120406.  The company’s status will be updated when all requirements set forth by the NC Department of Revenue are satisfied.

Online Licensing

How do I reset/change my password?

To reset/change your online account password you will need to click the “Forgot Password?” button below the license number and password boxes on the login pages.  Follow the prompts asking for license number and verifying that you are not a robot.  An email will then be sent to the primary email address of the license account with a link that will allow you to perform a password reset.

How do I change the primary email address on my account?

To change the primary email on your account you can log onto the online account.  On the top bar click on “My Account” and then “Edit Profile.”  On that page you can put the new email information in and press the “Update” button.  This will send a verification email with a link that will finalize the email change.  If you do not have access to your online account, you will need to call the Board at 919-571-4183 to receive assistance from a staff member.

License Search

When looking up a license what does the number 1 mean?

When doing a license search, the 1 at the bottom of the page indicates page 1 of search results.  On a successful search, the page will list license number, license name, status, and have a button for further license details.  If no license entries are listed, that means there were no matches for that license name/number.

Is there any way to do an online search of contractors?

The website allows for searches of specific contractors by License Name, License Number or License County.  The NCLBGC Search app available on Google Play and the Apple Store allows for searches by License Name, License Number, Address and County.  To obtain a full list of active licensees or qualifiers, or more specific lists, you can submit a request for a mailing list. Mailing lists cost $25.


How do I file a complaint against a contractor?

You can request a complaint form by visiting  You can also request a complaint form by calling the Licensing Board at 919-571-4813.  If the complaint request demonstrates it falls within the jurisdictional authority of the Board, a formal complaint form will be sent.  Once a completed complaint form is submitted, the Board will begin the process of investigating the complaint.

Does the contractor need a license?

The N.C.G.S. 87-1 defines a general contractor as a person, firm or corporation who manages or oversees construction projects where the cost of the project is $30,000 or greater.  The State General Contractors License is not required if a project is under $30,000.  Subcontractors typically operate under the license of the prime general contractor unless they are managing or overseeing a project.

What happens if a complaint is filed against me?

You will be notified and advised of the allegations filed with the Board against you. When notified you will also be provided with contact information for the investigator who has been assigned to investigate the case. You will also be asked to respond to the allegations made against you in writing and submit your response to the Board as soon as possible. The investigator may wait to contact you until after he has received your response. To expedite the investigation your cooperation is needed. (NCAC Title 21 Chapter 12A .0701 and NCAC Title 21 Chapter 12A .0702)

Is the complaint public information that remains with my license?

A complaint is a public record. The information that remains on the license record is the resulting Board decision. A disciplinary action will be disclosed upon request.

Can I file a complaint against an unlicensed contractor?

Yes, pursuant to NC General Statutes 87-13 & 87-14 complaints can be filed and investigated by the Board for a project that is $30,000 or more and involves an unlicensed contractor. If evidence to support an allegation of unlicensed general contracting is discovered during an investigation the Board may seek injunctive action in the Superior Court.

Can you require the contractor to fix my problems?

No, the Board has no authority to require a contractor to make repairs or make reimbursement of funds.

Can the Board impose a fine or a penalty?

No, the Board has no specific authority to impose civil fines or penalties.

Can the Board help get my money back?

No, the Board does not have authority to require a contractor to reimburse a consumer. The consumer would need to take legal action through the courts to recover funds or property.

Does the Board represent the homeowner or the contractor?

Neither. The Board has specific authority over the license and the examination credential for the qualifier. When a complaint is submitted and subsequently opened by the Board it is an administrative matter between the Board and its licensee and/or qualifier. The complainant or the person who submitted the complaint is not a named party in the complaint but is a key witness for the Board during its investigation and especially in the event probable cause is found by the Board to conduct a hearing against the contractor.

Inspector/Permit Clerk

If a husband or wife is listed individually on a deed can the other apply for an Owner Builder permit?

No, only the owner can apply and serve as Owner Builder.

Can I assign my power of attorney to someone to act on my behalf as Owner Builder?


What does solely for occupancy mean relating to the owner builder exemption as referenced in G.S. 87-1(b)(2)?

Solely for occupancy is restricted to the family of a person, officers, shareholders of a firm or corporation and guests and social invitees where no consideration is received. For purposes of G.S. 87-1(b)(2) “family is defined as a spouse or other family member who lives in the same household.

Can you define the owner builder role of supervision and management?

The Owner Builder shall actively manage and superintend the project being constructed. Hire, manage, be invoiced and pay all subcontractors and suppliers. The Owner Builder will also be responsible for scheduling and being physically present for all inspections.

A homeowner completes an owner builder project. Can the homeowner start a new owner builder building permit prior to 12 months after the Certificate of Occupancy on the first owner builder project?

Theoretically a person who owns the property can apply for additional building permits as Owner Builder before 12 months has passed since completion of a previous owner builder permit. The person is still bound by the original affidavit requiring the owner to occupy and control the property for 12 months before offering it up for sale or lease.

Can a person be an owner/builder on a hotel or motel?

Provided the person owns the property and executes the Owner/Builder affidavit attesting that they will be actively managing the project including the hiring, managing and paying all subcontractors. In addition, they must attest that they will not put the property up for sale, lease or management agreement for 12 months after the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. They must also call for and be present for all inspections during construction.

When is a general contractor required for a modular home?

When the setup costs and other ancillary costs are $30,000 or more.

Is the homeowner recovery fund fee collected for commercial projects?

No, the homeowners recovery fund fee is collected only on single family attached or detached residential permits.

Is there a Homeowners Recovery Fund fee for apartment units?


How do you define project cost?

Project cost as defined by G.S. 87-10(a1) is the value of the project minus the cost of the land and ancillary improvements to the land.

How can I get a copy of our county license roster?

Submit a written request to and specify which county you would like a roster for. Or you can access the Board’s mobile app which is available to download at no cost on either the Google Play store for android devices or the Apple store for Apple devices.