50-State Construction Licensing Compliance Guide
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Overview

Tennessee Construction Licensing

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Licenses are typically required for individuals and businesses that provide construction industry services. This guide contains information about construction industry licensing in Tennessee.

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Company Licenses

Tennessee Construction and Contracting Company Licenses

Tennessee Asbestos Firm Accreditation

Agency:Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation - Asbestos Program

Initial Registration

Form:

Application for a Firm or LEA to Conduct Asbestos Activities

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$125

Registration Renewal

Form:

Application for a Firm or LEA to Conduct Asbestos Activities (Renewal)

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$125

Tennessee Contractor's License

Agency:Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance - Board for Licensing Contractors
Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:Yes
Financial Requirements:

To obtain an unlimited license, the contractor must show $300,000 in both working capital and net worth; experience, and an audited financial statement. An audit is not required at renewal to retain this limit.

Insurance Requirements:
  • Contractors must provide a certificate of insurance as proof of having general liability and workers' compensation insurance.
  • The certificate of insurance must include policy numbers, expiration date, and the "Board for Licensing Contractors" with address must be listed as the "Certificate Holder"
  • The coverage minimums for general liability insurance depend on the monetary license limit requested: Contractors requesting a monetary limit of up to $500,000 need at least $100,000 of coverage, contractors requesting a limit of between $500,001 and $1,500,000 need at least $500,000 of coverage, and contractors requesting a limit of $1,500,001 or more need at least $1,000,000 in coverage.
  • Workers' Compensation is required for all contractors applying for a license unless:
    • The contractor does not have any employees; and
    • The license owners/employer has met the criteria to be exempt or provided proof of registration as a "Construction Services Provider" with the Secretary of State.
Bond Requirements:

There is no general bonding requirement for a contractor's license, however, in some cases contractors are permitted to submit a bond in order to meet working capital or other requirements.

Notes:
  • A contractor's license is required for projects worth $25,000 or more when acting as either: A prime contractor; an electrical, mechanical, plumbing, HVAC, or roofing subcontractor; a masonry subcontractor on a project worth at least $100,000; or a construction manager on projects worth at least $25,000.
  • Unlimited licenses are available for contractors with at least $300,000 of working capital and a net worth of at least $300,000.

Initial Registration

Form:

Contractor's License Application

Filing Method:

Mail

Agency Fee:

$250

Turnaround:

5 to 7 business days. 

Due:

The application is due 20th of the month before the Board meets.
The application must be received in the office by deadline date; not postmarked, to ensure it is prepped by the staff for review. The Board meets six (6) times annually during the following months: January (Nashville); March (Nashville); May (West TN); July (Nashville); September (East TN); and November (Nashville). Meeting locations are tentative and subject to change. See “Public Meetings Calendar” on the website. For example, in order to be reviewed at the January meeting, application would be due December 20th. If 20th is on a holiday/weekend, next business day is considered the deadline.

Notarize:Required
Notes:
  • Applicants requesting a monetary limit of $3,000,000 or less must submit a financial statement reviewed by a CPA. Monetary limits of $3,000,001 or more require an audited financial statement prepared by a CPA.
  • Financial statements must be prepared according to GAAP. Compiled and income tax basis statements are not accepted.
  • An interview with a board member at the meeting may be required for the
    following: Qualifying Agent (QA) is not a majority owner and employed less than six (6) months; Experience – Insufficient amount listed for the monetary limit requested; and/or if there are issues such as: Complaint history; judgments; felony convictions; bankruptcy; etc., or failure to disclose such issues. Whenever an interview is required, the QA is required to interview. If the QA is not a majority owner, then both the QA and an owner; or QA and an officer, must both attend the board meeting. An admission letter of the time, date and location of the meeting will be sent to those required to interview.
  • Those required to interview, this is informal and takes no longer than 30 minutes. However, due to several contractors scheduled, there may be a timely wait. Board members in your field of expertise usually perform the interview. For example, an electrical Board member will interview those applying for an electrical license, and the mechanical contractor interviews the plumbing and HVAC contractors, etc. At the interview, the application is reviewed and general questions will be asked about contracting experience and to ensure the license classification covers your type of projects. You may use this time to ask the Board member advice or the staff questions concerning the licensing law. There is no dress code requirement.
  • Interview Waived – Files are reviewed prior to the Board meeting and those granted waiver of the interview will be sent a notification letter. However, the license does not get granted earlier and must be approved at the Board meeting.
  • Board Review - See the “Public Meetings Calendar” for the Board meeting schedule. The law requires the full Board to vote to approve all licenses in order to be issued. Contractors granted a hardship for early review are ratified at this meeting for issuance.
  • License Issuance Upon approval by the full Board, the license will be issued for two (2) years. After the Board meeting, these may be confirmed online at “Verify a License” on the website at: http://verify.tn.gov/ within 3 to 7 business days. The license will have your license name, ID number, classification, expiration date and monetary limit (contains same information required to be on the outside of a bid envelope for primes and subs)
Required Attachments:
  • Letter of Reference - to be completed by a past client or emp;loyer, who can comment about construction work and expericene, or a code official who has inspected yuor work (not from a relative). 
  • Certificate of Insurance
  • Affidavit signed and notarized

Registration Renewal

Filing Method:

Online

Agency Fee:

$200

Due:

Biennially

Notes:

  • Contractors with a monetary limit of $3,000,000 or less must submit a self-prepared or compiled financial statement along with the renewal application. Contractors with a limit of $3,000,001 or more must submit a CPA-reviewed financial statement.

Tennessee Fire Sprinkler Contractor License

Agency:Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance - Licensing & Regulations

Initial Registration

Form:

Tennessee Fire Sprinkler Contractor Licensel

Agency Fee:

$500 registration fee + $100 application fee

Registration Renewal

Form:

Tennessee Fire Sprinkler Contractor License Renewal

Agency Fee:

$200

Due:

Annually by June 30.

Individual Licenses

Tennessee Individual Construction and Contracting Licenses

Tennessee Asbestos Inspector Accreditation

Agency:Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation - Asbestos Program

Initial Registration

Form:

Application to Conduct Asbestos Activities - Individual

Agency Fee:

$125

Notes:

Training must be completed before applying.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Application to Conduct Asbestos Activities - Individual (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$125

Due:

Annually by the date of last refresher course completed.

Tennessee Asbestos Management Planner Accreditation

Agency:Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation - Asbestos Program

Initial Registration

Form:

Application to Conduct Asbestos Activities - Individual

Agency Fee:

$200

Notes:

Training must be completed before applying.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Application to Conduct Asbestos Activities - Individual (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$200

Due:

Annually by the date of last refresher course completed.

Tennessee Asbestos Project Designer Accreditation

Agency:Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation - Asbestos Program

Initial Registration

Form:

Application to Conduct Asbestos Activities - Individual

Agency Fee:

$150

Notes:

Training must be completed before applying.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Application to Conduct Asbestos Activities - Individual (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$150

Due:

Annually by the date of last refresher course completed.

Tennessee Asbestos Project Monitor Accreditation

Agency:Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation - Asbestos Program

Initial Registration

Form:

Application to Conduct Asbestos Activities - Individual

Agency Fee:

$75

Notes:

Training must be completed before applying.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Application to Conduct Asbestos Activities - Individual (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$75

Due:

Annually by the date of last refresher course completed.

Tennessee Asbestos Supervisor Accreditation

Agency:Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation - Asbestos Program

Initial Registration

Form:

Application to Conduct Asbestos Activities - Individual

Agency Fee:

$125

Notes:

Training must be completed before applying.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Application to Conduct Asbestos Activities - Individual (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$125

Due:

Annually by the date of last refresher course completed.

Tennessee Asbestos Worker Accreditation

Agency:Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation - Asbestos Program

Initial Registration

Form:

Application to Conduct Asbestos Activities - Individual

Agency Fee:

$25

Notes:

Training must be completed before applying.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Application to Conduct Asbestos Activities - Individual (Renewal)

Agency Fee:

$25

Due:

Annually by the date of last refresher course completed.

Tennessee Responsible Managing Employee of Fire Protection Sprinkler System Contractor License

Agency:Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance - Fire Prevention/State Fire Marshal's Office

Initial Registration

Form:

Tennessee Responsible Managing Employee of Fire Protection Sprinkler System Contractor License

Agency Fee:

Registration Fee: $200.00; Application Fee: $25.00

Explore Licensing in Other States

Associated General Contractors of America
Professional association providing advocacy and organization for construction firms and workers.

National Association of Home Builders
National association for the promotion of the housing industry.

National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies
National organization that represents and promotes the interests of state level contractor licensing agencies.

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