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2023 Maryland General Contractor License Requirements

Find the Maryland general contractor licensing requirements for 2023 and let Houzz Pro help you navigate the confusing waters of becoming a general contractor.

Allison Monea

What Are The Maryland General Contractor License Requirements?

Do you need a general contractor's license in Maryland, but not sure where to start? With requirements and regulations varying from state to state, it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. We’ve broken down everything you need to know about how to get a general contractor license in Maryland. 

Who issues a Maryland general contractor license?

Both the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) and Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) are responsible for administering all MD general contractor licenses. 

Do you need a MD general contractors license?

A  Maryland general contractor license is required if you wish to work on home improvement projects or do electrical, plumbing, or HVACR work.

What are the different general contractor license types in Maryland? 

The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR) provides four types of contractor licenses, including: 

  • Master Electrical, 
  • Master or Journeyman Plumbing
  • Master (Restricted), Limited, or Journeyman HVACR,
  • Home Improvement License

Licensing for specialty trades is managed by local authorities. To determine if a state or local license is required for your specialty trade, it is recommended to get in touch with your local government.

How to get a general contractor’s license in Maryland step-by-step

If you’ve made it this far, you’re wondering, “how do I get a general contractor's license in Maryland?”. Luckily, the process of meeting the basic requirements for this license is relatively simple. To obtain a general contractor's license in Maryland, you must:

1. Schedule and pass an exam through PSI Exams.

The open-book licensing exam is administered on a daily basis from Monday to Friday and is available at testing centers located in the following areas:

  • Baltimore 
  • College Park 
  • Salisbury 
  • Frederick 
  • Hagerstown
  • Lanham
  • Crofton 

The exams are by appointment only and must be confirmed in writing. To schedule an appointment, you can contact PSI at 1-800-367-1565, by email at or through their website.You will receive a written confirmation of your exam date and time after scheduling your appointment.

2. Register your business name through the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation.

To register your business name in Maryland, you should first reach out to the Maryland Home Improvement Commission to verify the availability of the name you have chosen by calling 410-230-6309. After you have confirmed your name, you can proceed to register it with the Maryland Department of Assessment and Taxation.

3. Submit proof of financial stability or obtain a surety bond.

In order to get a Maryland general contractor license, you must submit a financial statement as part of your application. The net worth of your assets minus liabilities must be a minimum of $20,000. If your net worth falls short of this requirement, you have the option of submitting a $20,000 two-year surety bond in lieu of the financial statement. The surety bond must have the name of both the individual and the business, and it must be signed by the applicant. You can find the necessary Maryland surety bond forms at the specified here.

4. Submit real estate and property assessment notices as well as bank statements.

If you have real estate listed on your financial statement, you must submit a copy of your current property assessment notice(s).

5. Provide a credit report.

When you submit your application, you must also include a current credit report that is not more than 90 days old. You can get a credit report from Annual Credit Report.

6. Obtain general liability insurance.

 In order to obtain a MD general contractors license,you must provide evidence of general liability insurance coverage with a minimum amount of $50,000. The certificate must list both the applicant's name and the company's name, and the Maryland Home Improvement Commission must be listed as the holder of the certificate.

7. Release a copy of any conviction records.

In order to meet Maryland general contractor license requirements, you must submit a copy of any conviction records regarding felonies and any misdemeanors related to home improvement transactions, along with a written explanation for each conviction and evidence of the completion of any related parole or probation.

How much does licensing cost in Maryland ?

At minimum, it will cost ~$300-600” to obtain an MD  general contractor license..

Tips for passing the Maryland general contractor licensing exam

Passing the exam is a key step for meeting the Maryland general contractor licensing requirements. Here are some tips to pass with flying colors. 

  • Plan your visit to a testing center ahead of time so you know where to go and aren’t rushed 
  • Find an exam study guide to complete practice test questions and familiarize yourself with the material covered on the test
  • Take an online practice test or a class to prepare
  • Set aside some time each day for studying 

Penalties for unlicensed contractors in Maryland

Practicing without a general license in Maryland  can result in a misdemeanor charge and, on first conviction, is subject to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days or both. 

Leveraging your license on Houzz

Now that you know how to get a general contractor's license in Maryland, it's time to start thinking about how you can promote your license to potential clients.

Everyone who’s anyone knows the value of a blue checkmark on social media. That’s what the green Verified License Badge is for businesses on Houzz Pro. With one glance, this Badge helps you:

  • Let homeowners know that your business is licensed by state industry experts.
  • Stand out from the competition while homeowners consider who to hire
  • Add credibility to your company name, providing peace of mind to future clients

Here are the steps you can take to add a verified license to your Houzz profile. If you haven’t created a free profile on Houzz, sign up today and get ready to make a bigger impact with your business’ online presence. 

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Allison Monea is an Associate Content Writer at Houzz. A lover of art, design and her local Seattle scene.

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