What type of construction activity do I need to be licensed for?
Can I get credit for previous work experience?
Work experience has to be legal and obtained in the last ten years. In Utah, excluding electricians and plumbers, the employees of a licensed contractor are exempt from licensing requirements. An employee by definition has federal and state taxes withheld by their employer and their employer covers them with workers compensation and unemployment insurance. Therefore, in Utah if do construction work without a license and are paid on a 1099, you cannot use your work experience to obtain licensure. To get credit for legal, qualifying work experience, do one of the following and submit the documents with your application:
- Have each licensed employer fill out and sign the Affidavit of Qualifying Experience found in the contractor application.
- Work experience needs to also be verified by W2s and when required tax returns.
- If licensing was not required where you worked, get at least four letters from building officials and/or suppliers that know the qualifier well enough to provide sufficient detail of his/her experience. These must be on their letterhead and contain the following items:
Submit the letters with the application and furnish copies of tax returns and W2's, covering the time periods of the experience listed in the letters. The documents will be reviewed to determine whether it was qualifying experience or not. Too much detail in a letter is better than having to go back to the letter writer for another letter.
- Identify the applicant's qualifier by name.
- State how long (from year/month to year/month) they have known them to do construction work and who they did it for.
- From first hand knowledge, describe in detail the type of construction work the qualifier did and approximately how long (years, months, weeks, etc.) he/she worked.
Does Utah have reciprocity with other states?
Yes, we, however, referred to it as endorsement. Utah has endorsement for certain license classifications with Arizona, California, Louisiana, Nevada and South Carolina. The license has to be held in the endorsement state for the Utah work experience requirement. This work experience requirement, depending on the license classification, is either four or two years. If requirements are met certain trade tests may be waived for the qualifier. All qualifiers are required to take the Utah Business and Law test.
How do I get a contractor license?
You must submit a completed contractor application packet, along with the required fees (listed in the application). You may obtain an application from our web site
. The application packet includes fees and testing information.
FYI: Depending upon the license classification you are applying for, the qualifier for the license will need to verify two to four years of experience as a W2 employee of a licensed or legally working contractor. Work experience has to be obtained legally and within the past ten years. NOTE – License fees are assessed as follows: The first license classification applied for, in any category, and all additional major classifications (E100, B100, and R100) are $210 each. Any additional specialty classifications are $110 each. If the license classification is not exempt from registration in the Residence Lien Recovery Fund, an additional $195 will be required.
All qualifiers are required to take the Utah Business and Law exam and when required a trade exam. The test provider for DOPL is psi licensure:certification. They provide testing candidates a report of their test scores. The original score report(s) from must be included in the licensing application to DOPL. They can be contracted through their web site at www.psiexams.com or by phone at (800) 733-9267 .
What are the qualifier and the licensee required to do if the qualifier leaves the company?
When a qualifier leaves a licensed contractor business, both the qualifier and the licensee are required to inform DOPL in writing, within 10 days of the last day of employment, stating that the qualifier is no longer employed by the licensee. The licensee then has 60 days, from that date, to replace the qualifier. If the written notice is not sent to DOPL within 10 days and the licensee doesn't replace the qualifier within 60 days, the license can be revoked. The license stays with the company; it does not "belong to" nor does it "go with" the qualifier.
Can I "loan" my license to someone else? Can I "borrow" someone else's license?
No. The one who "loans" their license and the one who "borrows" the license are both guilty of class A misdemeanors. The "loaner" for "aiding and abetting" and the "borrower" for contracting without a license.
Can I pay my employees on a 1099?
It is illegal to pay an employee who is an unlicensed contractor on a 1099. To be legal an employer needs to withholds federal and state taxes from their employees' pay and cover them with worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. A 1099 is only appropriate when using an independently licensed contractor or a licensed sub-contractor. Individuals that are paid on a 1099 without being licensed could have action taken against them for contracting without a license and the party that hired them for hiring an unlicensed contractor.
How can I legally "work under" someone else's license?
The only legal way to "work under" any license is as an officer or W2 employee of a licensed contractor.
Where do I send my application?
Send the application to DOPL, PO Box 146741, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6741. Applications can also be hand-delivered to DOPL at 160 East 300 South, First Floor, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111. After your application has been received by DOPL, please wait 4-6 weeks before checking on the status of your application. NOTE: Always make a copy of anything you send to DOPL and use verification, such as certified mail, to provide proof of delivery.
How do I determine the status of my application?
Contractor applications are reviewed and processed within 4-6 weeks, after which a license may be issued. If, after review, it is determined that further information is needed to complete the application process, we will send you a letter requesting the needed information, or requesting further clarification. All contractor licenses expire on November 30th, of each odd year (i.e. 2007, 2009, 2011, etc.)
If I choose to withdraw my application for any reason, will you refund the fees I paid?
No. Licensing fees submitted with an application are processing fees and are not refundable. The Lien Recovery Fund fee, however, is refundable upon request.
How do I make sure you get my application when I mail it to you?
The best method is to send your application by certified mail, return receipt requested or send it though a delivery service that tracks items delivered by them. Please do not call in to check on the application's status until after 4-6 weeks have passed since DOPL received it. If after 4-6 weeks you have not received a license or been contacted by DOPL to furnish additional information, you can inquire as to the status of the application. NOTE: Always make of copy of anything you send so you have it to refer to should a question arise. Send the application to DOPL, PO Box 146741, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6741.
Why am I required to register my corporation, LLC, partnership, joint venture, etc. with the Division of Corporations? What happens if the registration expires?
Licenses are issued to entities (corporations, LLC's, partnerships, joint ventures, etc.), not to the owner or qualifier of the entity. Registration allows the entity to legally do business in the state of Utah. Therefore, before a license for a corporation, LLC, partnership, joint venture, etc
. can be issued, the entity must be registered with the Division of Corporations
. Corporations each year sends the renewal forms to the address of who is listed on their records as the registered agent. Mail from Corporations and DOPL is not forwarded. Therefore, in order to receive information from Corporations and DOPL both agencies need to be notified in writing of any address change. If a Corporation registration for a business entity (example: Inc., LLC) expires, the statute automatically expires the contractor license, no matter what the expiration date is on the contractor license. Before a contractor's license can be reinstated by DOPL, the business entity must also be reinstated with Corporations
NOTE: partnerships, joint ventures, foreign (out-of-state) registrations (LLC's, corporations, etc.) that expire will not be able to reinstate their corporate registration or contractor license. They will have to register a new entity with the Division of Corporations and Commercial Code and apply for a new contractor license.
How are Sole Proprietorships licensed?
As a sole proprietor the license will be issued to the individual in his/her own given name.
As a Business Entity or a Sole Proprietor can I register a D.B.A. (doing business as name) with the Division?
Business must be conducted in the name on the license. However, business can be conducted under another name by means of a DBA. DBA's are not automatically attached to a license just because they are registered with the Division of Corporations. The DBA must be submitted to DOPL as part of the application or later by filling out a "Contractor Name Change or Add a DBA" form (available on the web site
under applications). The DBA must be owned by the licensee (name on contractor license) and be registered and in an active status with the Utah Division of Corporations. Once a DBA expires it can not
be used by a licensee to conduct business.
I am changing from one entity type to another. What is required?
If you are forming a new entity and dissolving an existing entity or sole proprietorship, you must register the new entity with the Division of Corporations and submit a license application to DOPL with the required fees and documents. The existing license may be surrendered at the time the new one is issued. (Contact DOPL for assistance in doing this.) Financial responsibility, liability insurance, workers' comp insurance, etc. will need to be maintained on the license until it is surrendered or expires.
Do contractors have to retest when there's an entity change or a reinstatement of licensure (without any change in license classification)?
No, not if the applicant's qualifier has been involved in construction as a qualifier in the same license classification. On the application just put "see prior license number" (and list that number) on all sections that ask for testing and experience. (List the most recent license number where the qualifier was approved for the same classification.)
Do I need to keep paying for liability insurance, maintain financial responsibility, etc. for my license while I am not actively contracting?
Yes. Utah law requires that every active contractor license must maintain general liability insurance and financial responsibility. Only inactive licenses are exempt from these requirements.
Is there any kind of inactive status for a license and do I need to renew an inactive license?
Yes, you need to renew a license that has been placed in inactive status. You can place your license on inactive status at anytime, as long as it is in good standing. You will need to complete a general questionnaire and an inactivation form and pay an inactivation fee. An inactive license is exempt from liability insurance and financial responsibility requirements. A license in an inactive status must be reactivated before it can be used. When you reactivate your license, you will need to fill out the required questionnaire. Provide proof of liability insurance, financial responsibility and continuing education. Active and inactive licenses must be renewed every two years.
Beginning December 01, 2009, all courses must be approved by DOPL to be acceptable.