50-State Construction Licensing Compliance Guide
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Guide Contents

Masonry Contractor Company License

The process for obtaining a masonry contractor license varies across the United States. Here’s what you need to know to start a masonry business.

Masonry workers use concrete, concrete blocks, bricks, and natural and manufactured stone to build structures. Requirements for masonry vary across the country, but most masons get started by attending a trade school or participating in an apprenticeship after high school. Those looking to pursue a career in masonry or start their own business should be comfortable working at all heights and have physical stamina and strength, as well as hand-eye coordination and dexterity.

Masonry is a valued trade. While masonry worker employment is projected to decline from 2020 to 2030, there are an estimated 24,600 openings for masonry work every year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those openings are expected to remain as workers transfer to new occupations or retire.

Obtaining Licensure as a Masonry Contractor Company

There are a number of steps involved in starting a masonry business. Laws change regularly, so it is essential to stay current with your legal obligations as a business owner. Starting a company involves the following:

  • Selecting a business structure (sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, etc.)
  • Registering your business name
  • Registering your business entity
  • Appointing a registered agent to receive notice of lawsuit and other legal notices
  • Purchasing liability insurance and a surety bond
  • Obtaining required construction licenses or permits

Most masonry companies register as a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company (LLC). The entity type you choose is based on your circumstances and what is best for the future of your business. In terms of registering your company’s name, you will need to ensure the name has not already been registered.

Insurance and Bond Requirements

Contractors need to have liability insurance coverage. In the event an accident causes injuries to homeowners or bystanders, the masonry company could be sued and have to go through the lawsuit process. The costs associated with hiring an attorney, filing paperwork, and attending court are often astronomical. The right liability insurance policy can protect a masonry contractor from financial ruin.

Insurance companies typically offer contractors various types of standard coverage, including:

  • Personal injury - covers slander, libel, and other kinds of reputation damage
  • Bodily injury - offers protection in the event of any job-related injury to a non-employee
  • Medical payments - covers medical expenses incurred when someone is injured as the owner’s workplace
  • Advertising injury - offers protection if a customer claims a loss due to an advertised product or service
  • Independent contractors liability - covers businesses when they hire independent contractors to complete work

The cost of policies vary depending on the insurance company, the state, and the risk of the business. Most insurance companies recommend a minimum $1,000,000 umbrella policy to protect a business in the event of a lawsuit.

In addition to insurance coverage, masonry contractor companies are sometimes required to obtain a surety bond. Surety bonds help companies obtain contracts by providing customers with a guarantee that work will be completed. They are available for contracts up to $6.5 million for non-federal businesses and $10 million for federal contracts.

Masonry Contractor License

Masonry contractors need to be licensed in order to accept jobs. State requirements vary. You may need to obtain a general contractor’s license or a specific masonry license. It will depend on where your business is located and where you plan to provide services. The ability to obtain a license may also be based on the number of years of experience in the masonry field.

In addition to licensing, you may need to obtain permits. Permits are typically required by smaller jurisdictions like counties, cities, towns, and municipalities and are issued on a case-by-case basis. A masonry contractor company could need to obtain different permits for different jobs depending on the local laws.

It is also beneficial for masonry contractor companies to obtain a certification from the Mason Contractor Association of America (MCAA). While the program certifies the company, it is the owner, CEO, or senior management that is responsible for earning credits and taking the examination. The initial fee, which includes tracking services and up to three exam fees, is $600 for members of the MCAA and $850 for non-members. Renewal costs $500 and is required every three years. Note that if the responsible individual leaves the company, certification is revoked.

If you are uncertain about your licensing requirements as a masonry contractor company, Harbor Compliance can help. We are available to examine the status of your company’s licenses and ensure you are complying with state and local regulations. Our proprietary software ties directly to Secretary of State databases, so you can ensure your business is in good standing and remains up-to-date with renewal requirements, as described below.

Maintenance and Renewal

Licensure maintenance requirements vary by state and locality. In some locations, you may also need to obtain a local permit before starting a new job. Certain cities may allow you to use the same permit to conduct other work within city limits.

In some instances, renewal notices are mailed three months prior to the license expiration date. The processing time for renewals varies by state, so it is important to get your renewal application submitted as early as possible. Some states offer online renewal options, streamlining the process.

The documentation needed to renew also varies by state. You may need to provide financial statements, insurance information, or other business-related paperwork to renew your license successfully. Failing to renew on time could result in late fees and penalties, as well as potential work delays.

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Meeting the home improvement contractor company license requirements is not always an easy process. Fortunately, Harbor Compliance License Manager helps construction professionals maintain their licenses by automating repetitive tasks such as tracking renewals. Through License Manager, you can also access Compliance Core™ - our extensive, proprietary database of nationwide licensing information - to research the requirements for the states in which you work. These tools reduce the time you spend researching state requirements and prepare your organization for success. Contact our licensing experts today to learn more.

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.