WASHINGTON DC GENERAL CONTRACTOR/CONSTRUCTION MANAGER LICENSING GUIDE
Do I need a Washington DC General Contractor’s/Construction Manager License?
All contractors that work in Washington DC are required to have a Washington DC General Contractor’s License. This means that, even if you only work in Washington DC sometimes, you still need to get licensed.
If you are paid to complete construction work on property that is owned by another person or entity, you are required to have a Washington DC General Contractor’s/Construction Manager License. Construction work includes demolition, improvement, land development, remodeling, and repair.
If you are paid to supervise and coordinate the work of design professionals and/or multiple general contractors who are overseeing their specific projects and operations, you are considered a construction manager and you also must have a Washington DC General Contractor’s/Construction Manager License.
Even if you are licensed as a contractor in a different state, you must apply for a Washington DC General Contractor/Construction Manager License to comply with Washington DC Law.
Do I need any additional professional licenses?
If you work in plumbing, electrical, refrigeration, or heating and cooling, you are required to obtain a separate license from the Washington DC Board of Industrial Trades. For more information on the requirements for each license, check out the DC Board of Industrial Trades website. All applications for industrial trades professional license must be submitted online. Paper applications are not accepted.
How much does a General Contractor’s/Construction Manager License cost?
A two-year General Contractor’s License costs $1,204.50.
For a four-year license, the cost will be $654.50.
Do I need a registered agent to get a Washington DC General Contractor/Construction Manager License?
Yes. All General Contractor/Construction Manager License applicants must appoint a registered agent.
Washington DC Registered Agent LLC provides 365 days of registered agent service for $49.
How do I get a General Contractor/Construction Manager License in Washington DC?
You will need to complete the following tasks to obtain a General Contractor/Construction Manager License in Washington DC. Depending on what type of business you have and where it is located, some of these steps might not apply.
Register Your Business with the DCRA
The first step in obtaining your general contractor/construction manager license is registering your business entity with the DCRA Corporations Division. For more information on incorporating your business or forming your Washington DC LLC, check out our Washington DC Incorporation page and our Washington DC LLC Formation page.
Register Your Business with the DC Office of Tax and Revenue
You are also required to register your business with the Washington DC Office of Tax and Revenue before you can obtain your DC General Contractor/Construction Manager License. You can register online at the Washington DC Office of Tax and Revenue website.
What if my business is registered in another state?
If your business entity is registered in a different state, you must complete the Certified Resident Agent Appointment Form and the Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign Business Corporation so that you and your company can conduct business in the District of Columbia. You must also provide a Certificate of Good Standing from the state your business is registered in.
Apply for a Basic Business License
You can apply for a Washington DC Basic Business License by completing the PDF application and submitting it, along with the necessary materials, to the DCRA. When you apply for your General Contractor/Construction Manager License online, the application for the Basic Business License and the platform to submit the materials necessary for the specialized General Contractor/Construction Manager License is combined into one efficient process.
Complete the Clean Hands Self-Certification
The Clean Hands Self-Certification only requires your signature to validate that you do not owe the Washington DC Government more than $100. When you complete your Basic Business License application online, you also are prompted to complete this step electronically.
Obtain an EIN
Your legal business entity must have a Employer Identification Number (EIN) issued by the IRS. This process is quick, easy, and free. Visit the IRS website to get your unique EIN issued.
Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy/Home Occupation Permit
If you are conducting work on an existing residential property, you are required to have a Basic Business License for the Home Improvement Salesperson in addition to the DC General Contractor/Construction Manager License.
Fulfill Insurance Requirements
Depending on what class of General Contractor/Construction Manager License you are applying for, you are required to provide a Certificate of Liability Insurance when you apply. This certificate must be issued to the business that you have registered with the DCRA Corporations Division and also be issued to the the same address that is listed on the Basic Business License.
Additionally, the certificate must provide a short description of the services provided and the location they are provided in as well as show the certificate holder as, “Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 1100 4th Street, SW, 5th Floor, Washington DC 20024.” You cannot list a PO Box as the insured’s premise address.
There are five different classes of license, all with different insurance requirements. Depending on the scope of your work, it is a good idea to choose the best class of license that will work for your and your company. For more information on the insurance requirements, visit the DCRA website.
Provide Contract/Receipt Samples
You must include three contract/receipt samples in your application materials packet. These samples can be uploaded online, or provided as copies if you are applying in-person or via mail.
What about professional licensing?
General Contractors are responsible for making sure that any contractors working under their supervision have the correct professional licenses depending on their job requirements. Plumbers, electricians, HVAC workers, and asbestos abatement workers are required to have unique professional licensing.
How do I submit my application, application materials, and fee for approval?
You can submit your application and application materials via mail, in-person, and online.
You can submit your application, application materials, and fee (in a check or money order form) for a DC General Contractor/Construction Manage License via mail to:
Wells Fargo Bank
DC Government Wholesale Lockbox 91360
7175 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046
Remember to make your check or money order payable to “DC Treasurer.” Submitting your application via mail may take up to 30 days for processing. Submitting your materials online provides a much quicker turn around.
You can also submit your application packet in person by dropping off the necessary materials at the DCRA Business License Center located at: 1100 4th Street, SW, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20024. It is not required that you make an appointment and you can pay via cash, check, money order, and any major card.
The easiest way to apply for a DC General Contractor/Construction Manager License is online. You can submit the application, application materials, and fee all online through the Washington DC Business Center website. You will be required to provide:
- General Business Information
- Certificate of Liability Insurance
- Contract/Receipt Samples
- Notice of Business Tax Registration
How do I renew my Washington DC General Contractor/Construction Manager License?
You will receive a notice to renew your DC General Contractor/Construction Manager License. Your renewal deadline will depend on whether you selected the two year license of the four year license.
You can complete the renew process online using a six-digit pin provided to you on your renewal notice.
Why is Washington DC Registered Agent LLC the best choice?
Rules and regulations in Washington DC are seriously complicated. Your registered agent service doesn’t have to be. Washington DC Registered Agent LLC provides efficient, straightforward, and affordable registered agent service. We believe in transparency and our pricing reflects that–no gimmicks and no surprises.
Access to Safe & Secure Client Account
All of your information and business documents are stored online for your access in your safe and secure client account.
Depending on the services you hire us for, we provide annual reports for when its time to file an annual report, renew a license, or re-up your registered agent service. With all those DC rules to remember, there’s one less thing to have to keep track of.
Services Tailored to Your Business Needs
For some, registered agent service is all they need to get started on their business adventure. For others, you may want some extras to go along with your company formation. We provide custom certificates and personalized business book or seals, if that’s what you need.