How to Become a General Contractor in Maryland

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Maryland general contractors work on residential, industrial, commercial and other facility construction projects. Most contractors usually have a specialty, such as residential repairs, and are required to be licensed in the state to perform any construction repair or renovation work. The licensing process requires important criteria are met including experience, proper insurance coverage and the passing of a licensing exam. Understanding the requirements and following state guidelines will help an aspiring contractor acquire and maintain a Maryland license.

  • Acquire construction training. You may opt to pursuing train through a local technical or vocational school like the construction management program offered at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. To locate construction management or training programs, contact local vocation or technical trade schools in your local area or search the Vocational Schools Database online (see Resource). You may also opt to complete an apprentice program after high school by applying directly with construction businesses in your area.

  • Gain at least two years of construction experience in the specialty area you plan to go into. After training, apply for construction jobs in Maryland to gain experience working in general construction. If you have opted to complete a vocational training program, inquire about openings in your area through your career services department at your school. You may also visit construction businesses in person and inquire about entry-level positions and complete an application, if applicable. If you have completed an apprentice program, you will usually be offered an entry-level position once you have successfully completed your apprenticeship.

  • Register your trade name. To operate as a general contractor in Maryland, you will need to establish your trade name. First, check to confirm that your desired trade name is not already in use by consulting the Maryland Home Improvement Commission. For more information, you can access instructions on the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation website (see Resources).

  • Register your trade name. After you have confirmed that your trade name is available, register the trade name with the Department of Assessments and Taxation. To complete this process, download and print the Trade Name Application available on the DAT website (see Resources), fill out the form, include payment and then mail the form in to the designated address or hand deliver the form and your payment to the office.

  • Acquire liability insurance. In the state of Maryland, for licensing consideration, you must provide proof of liability insurance that meets the state's required coverage amounts. Maryland's insurance requirement for liability insurance is $50,000 dollars and must be maintained throughout your business operation.

  • Take the licensing exam. Begin by registering for the exam through the PSI Exam website (see Resources) . Indicate your state and the exam you wish to take to access registration instructions. After registering with PSI, you will have 90 days to take the exam either at a test location in Maryland or online through the PSI website.

  • Compile your financial responsibility statements. You will be required to demonstrate financial responsibility. Order a copy of your credit report, collect your last three bank statements and if you own property, include a copy of your current real property assessment. These items will be used to determine your creditworthiness and financial readiness as a contractor.

  • Apply for licensing through the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation website. With your application, include proof of your liability insurance, certificate of trade name registration, your financial documents, articles of incorporation (for your established business name) and copies of any prior conviction records and a 2 x 2 inch photo of yourself.

References

  • Photo Credit construction,contractor,foreman image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com
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