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2023 West Virginia General Contractor License Requirements

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

Allison Monea

How to get a West Virginia Contractor License

If you’ve decided to work as a general contractor in West Virginia, 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 getting a West Virginia general contractor license. 

Who issues a general contractor license in West Virginia?

The West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board is responsible for issuing general contractor licenses. However, before you can apply for a license, you must contact the board and provide details about your work. This will help the board determine the appropriate classification for your license and inform you about the exams that you must take.

Getting your West Virginia general contractors license - A Step by Step Guide

1. Register your business 

In West Virginia, all types of businesses, including contractors, subcontractors, specialty trades, handyman businesses, sole proprietors, and self-employed individuals, are required to register with the State's Tax Department. The registration process is straightforward, and businesses must complete a registration form providing necessary details such as the following:

  •  tax information
  • business activity
  • legal names, DBAs, physical addresses,
  • ownership type, 
  • identifying information for responsible parties (if any), and unemployment compensation insurance information (even if the business has no employees). 

After registration, businesses will receive a Business Registration Tax Number, which is required for contractor licensing. The registration fee is $30.

2. Find out your classification and take the Exam 

To obtain a West Virginia general contractor’s license, you must go through the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board. Before applying for the license, you must contact the board and provide details about your work to receive information on the appropriate classification and required exams. The following are a list of classifications in West Virginia: 

  • Electrical
  • General Building Contractor
  • General Engineering Contractor
  • HVAC
  • Multi-Family Contractor
  • Piping Contractor
  • Plumbing Contractor
  • Residential Contractor
  • Concrete
  • Excavation
  • Manufactured Home Installation
  • Masonry
  • Remodeling and Repair Contractor
  • Sprinkler and Fire Protection Contractor
  • Utilities (Sewer and Water) Contractor

Once you have this information, you can contact ProV, a third-party testing contractor, to schedule your exam. The individual taking the exam must be either an officer, member, owner, or a full-time employee of the company. 

3. Meet application requirements

Once you have successfully completed your classification examination, you can proceed with your application using a form found on the West Virginia Division of Labor website, which requires the following details:

  • Business information, such as the name, address, and contact information.
  • The type of ownership or corporation of the business.
  • Your Federal Employer Identification Number.
  • Your WV Business Registration Tax Number.
  • Your Unemployment Compensation Account Number.
  • Your Worker's Compensation Policy Number.
  • Details regarding Wage Bond Information. For contractors who have not been actively involved in construction in West Virginia for at least one year, they will need to provide wage bond information. However, this requirement can be waived if the contractor has been in business for more than five years elsewhere, has assets worth $100,000 or more, or is a subsidiary of a parent company that has been in business for at least five years.

4. Submit your application

Once you have completed the necessary exams and fulfilled the requirements for bonds, insurance, and the application, you may submit your application for a West Virginia general contractors license along with a licensing fee of $90 to the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board by mail. The mailing address for the board is as follows:

West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board

1900 Kanawha Boulevard East

State Capitol Complex

Building 3, Room 200

Charleston, WV 25305

Penalties for unlicensed contractors in West Virginia

For the first offense of contracting without a license, the Contractor Licensing Board can impose fines ranging from $200 to $1,000. However, if caught a second time, the minimum fine increases to $500 and can go up to $5,000, and the offender may face up to six months in jail. In case of a third offense, the minimum fine becomes $1,000, and the jail time can be anywhere between 30 days and one year.

Leveraging your license on Houzz

Now that you know how to get a West Virginia general contractor’s 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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