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2023 New York General Contractor License Requirements

Find the New York 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 New York General Contractor License Requirements?

If you’ve decided to work as a general contractor in New York, you’ve chosen a lucrative path. 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 your New York general contractor license. 

Do you need a New York general contractor license?

Obtaining a license for general contractors in New York is relatively simple, as only two types of contractors, asbestos and crane operators, are required to hold a state license. All other types of  New York general contractor licenses are obtained through the city. Usually, a permit or license from the city is necessary for general contractors.

Who issues a general contractor license in New York?

Requirements and licensing vary from city-to-city and differing counties, so it is important that contractors in New York check their local regulations before beginning work in their area.

Below is a brief overview of the licensing requirements and process for some of the larger cities and counties in New York..

What are the different general contractor license types in New York? 

There are two types of New York general contractor licenses:

  • Certified General Contractor License, which is valid statewide and allows contractors to work anywhere within the state.
  • Registered General Contractor License, which allows contractors to work only in specific local areas and jurisdictions.

How to get your general contractor’s license in NYC

In order to adhere to the general contractor license nyc requirements you must

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Pass a background check with a fee of $330.00
  • Submit a typed, signed and notarized General Contractor Registration Form (LIC6)
  • Provide a letter, signed and notarized, containing the name, home address, social security number, and percent of share in the company for all officers of the corporation as well as any stockholders.
  • Present an original copy of the Employer Identification Number (EIN) notification from the IRS
  • Provide the last three business bank account statements, showing a minimum balance of $25,000 or a notarized letter from the bank indicating this balance for the past 12 months.
  • As per general contractor license nyc requirements, you will need to obtain original general liability insurance certificate for $1 million in coverage
  • Original workers’ compensation and disability insurance certificates
  • State-issued photo ID (or original birth certificate or passport)
  • Original Social Security card
  • Proof of home address such as a utility bill, bank statement, deed, or lease
  • Original proof of business address such as a utility bill, bank statement, deed or lease (Mobile phone and credit card bills will not be accepted).

How to get your general contractor’s license in Buffalo 

To obtain a general contractor license in Buffalo, the following materials are required:

  • Proof of business name and registration
  • Two passport-size photographs
  • Proof of liability insurance for at least $2 million
  • A list of all partners or members of the corporation (for partnerships, LLCs, and corporations)
  • A $750 application fee
  • Submit all the required materials by mail or in-person to City of Buffalo, Department of Permit & Inspection Services, Office of Licenses, 65 Niagara Square — City Hall 301, Buffalo, NY 14202.

How to get your general contractor’s license in Westchester County 

To obtain a contractor's license in Westchester County, the following materials are required:

  • A completed application form in blue or black ink
  • Proof of business name
  • Details of the last five years of work history including training
  • A notarized child support certification form (if self-employed)
  • Proof of general liability insurance, workers’ compensation, and disability insurance (or an exemption affidavit)
  • A recent passport-size photo
  • A valid driver’s license and registration
  • A nonrefundable fee of $400, made out to the Westchester County General Fund, that is due twice per year
  • Submit all materials in person to Westchester County Consumer Protection, 148 Martine Ave #407, White Plains, NY 10601, Phone: (941) 995-2155

How to get your general contractor’s license in Long Island 

To obtain a general contractor's license in Long Island, the following materials are required:

  • A completed application in blue or black ink. If you are part of a corporation or partnership, you must have every employee who can negotiate contracts, as well as stockholders, complete and notarize the paperwork.
  • Two professional 2” by 2” photographs taken within the last six months.
  • Proof of your residence.
  • Submit the paperwork and materials to: The Office of Consumer Affairs, 240 Old Country Road, Mineola, New York 11501, Attention: Licensing.
  • For more information on obtaining a license in Nassau County, please refer to the provided

How much does licensing cost in New York?

At minimum, it will cost ~$400-800 to become a licensed general contractor in New York.

Penalties for unlicensed contractors in New York

In many counties and municipalities, performing "home improvement" without a license is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Penalties for this offense can include fines ranging from $500 to $5,000 for each violation, as well as civil penalties of $100 per day.

Leveraging your license on Houzz

Now that you know how to get a New York general contractor license, 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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