General Contractor License NY | New York State Contractor License (2022)

In New York, the only contractors that are licensed at the state level are asbestos handling contractors and crane operators. For these licenses, visit the New York Department of Labor. For every other type of construction-related work, and particularly to get a general contractor license in NY, you will have to go through the city or county agencies in which you will be working.

Home improvement contractors — the license that most applies to general contractors throughout New York — must be granted a license to work in the cities of New York and Buffalo, and in the counties of Suffolk, Nassau, Westchester, Putnam, and Rockland.

Your requirements for a New York Contractors License include submitting an application and appropriate fee, proof of identity (driver’s license, for example), and proof of liability insurance coverageand, if you will be employing any staff/contractors, workers’ compensation insurance. Some municipalities require a criminal background check. To add to these requirements, you will also have to make sure you have the proper business licensing by the state and your local jurisdiction to perform services. Most cities in New York also require contractors to obtain a surety bondprior to beginning work on any type of construction project. The exact amount required varies widely by city, so it is important to investigate the local rules for bonding before commencing a construction project.

Getting your general contractor’s license can be complicated, but we’ve sifted through all the information to give you a concise guide on how to become a general contractor in some major regions of New York.

General Contractor License NY | New York State Contractor License (1)

NYC GeneralContractor License

The common term for general contractors in New York City is “home improvement contractor.” All home improvement contractors must be licensed by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairsto do new construction, repairs, demolition, or remodeling of any building if the total cost of the work will exceed $200. Construction projects in NYC also require a Home Improvement Contractor’s Bond of at least $20,000, on top of your general liability coverage. This bond is intended to protect both you and the clientfor any project, so a given client or project may require you to obtain a larger bond for complete coverage, increasing the overall cost of a project..

NYC Home Improvement Contractor License Requirements

New York City has specific requirements for applicants for a home improvement contractor license. These include that the applicant be at least 18 years of age, be able to read, write, and understand English, and be of good moral character.

NYC Home Improvement Contractor Registration Application

All applicants will have a background investigation done before a NYC contractor registration applicationprocess can be initiated. Following passing the background and pre-screening, applicants will be notified to make a second appointment to see a licensing specialist, at which point the actual application process will commence.

For the initial background check to begin, the applicant must bring in the following original documentation with them to their initial appointment with a licensing specialist (The office will not accept copies.):

  1. A typed, signed and notarized General Contractor Registration Form (LIC6).
  2. A letter, signed and notarized, indicating 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.
  3. Original copy of Employer Identification Number (EIN) notification from the IRS
  4. The last three business bank account statements for the company, showing a minimum balance of $25,000 or notarized letter from the bank indicating this balance for the past 12 months.
  5. Original general liability insurance certificatefor $1 million in coverage, and a workers’ compensation and disability insurance certificates.
  6. Owner’s or chief officer’s original:
    • State-issued photo ID (or original birth certificate or passport).
    • Original Social Security card.
    • Proof of home address (Must be utility bill, bank statement, deed, or lease).
    • Original proof of business address (utility bill, bank statement, deed or lease (Mobile phone and credit card bills will not be accepted).
    • $330.00 for the background check fee.

The application packet with all completed and notarized forms, supporting documents, and a $300 registration fee must be brought in person to the Licensing Unit’s office at:

NYC Department of Buildings
Licensing Unit
280 Broadway, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10007

Applications are accepted Monday through Friday, from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm only.

Finally, if the licensing unit approves the applicant screening and background check, the applicant will be sent a letter with instructions for next steps and the additional items that must be submitted to the office to be issued a General Contractor License NY.

Applicants should call the licensing unit at (212) 393-2259 to make an appointment. Appointments are required.

While proof of insurance is required as part of your application for licensure, you do not need to get bondeduntil you are preparing to work on a specific project. Be sure to research local construction bond companiesonce you are licensed to get the best rates.

Get A FREE Insurance Quote

No Commitment To Buy

Home ImprovementContractor License Long Island and Nassau County, NY

General contractors in Long Island and other contractors wishing to work within the county limits of Nassau must be licensed by the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs. It’s important to note that completed application forms must be notarized before sending them in. The application fee is $500, and the license is valid for two years.

For out-of-state applicants, a Certificate of Authority to conduct business in the State of New York, proof of a physical location within New York, and the name of a contact within the state must be submitted with the application.

Nassau County Home Improvement License Application and Requirements

Your Nassau County home improvement license applicationwill come with extensive instructions and requirements. Read the steps below carefully to make sure you are submitting everything you need to expedite the processing of your application. If done correctly, your license application should be processed within three to four weeks:

  1. Download the official application and complete it in blue or black ink.
  2. In the case of a partnership or corporation, the application must be completed and notarized by each partner, manager, employee (salespersons or anyone authorized to negotiate contracts), and stockholder in the company.
  3. Gather the following required materials to be sent along with the application(s):
    • Two (2) professionally made 2” x 2” photographs taken no longer than six (6) months ago.
      • Each applicant and the in-state contact must submit photographs.
      • Homemade photographs will not be accepted.
      • Subjects of the photographs should not wear hats or sunglasses.
    • Proof of residence (physical address; no PO Boxes) for each applicant, including the in-state contact.
      • This must be a driver’s license or state-issued ID card and one of the following:
        • Current utility bill
        • Auto registration
        • Copy of current lease
      • For businesses with an address different than the home address:
        • A copy of a current utility bill or a copy of an existing lease for the business.
        • A copy of the phone bill for the company showing the non-mobile (landline) business phone number and address. Mobile phone numbers are not accepted for licensing applications.
      • For individuals:
        • A certified copy of a Nassau County business certificate.
      • For partnerships:
        • A copy of the partnership a Nassau County partnership certificate.
      • For corporations:
        • Acopy of the Secretary of State’s Filing receipt.
        • DBA or Assumed Name Certificate (if any).
        • A list of names of all officers, management team members, and stockholders.
        • Minutes of meetings in which the corporate structure was changed (if applicable).
        • A Nassau County Consumer Affairs Certificate of Insurance.
        • Proof of workers’ compensation insurance (if required).
        • For subcontracted work, a list of names of all contractors and proof of their insurance.

All payments can be made by either a postal money order or a certified check, payable to “The County of Nassau”. The application fee is $500, and the license is valid for two years. Your completed application packet should be sent to:

The Office of Consumer Affairs
240 Old Country Road
Mineola, New York 11501
Attention: Licensing

Home ImprovementContractor License Westchester County, NY

A general contractors license in Westchester County will be conducted through the Westchester County Department of Consumer Protection. The department offers a home improvement license, which is the closest license type that applies to a general contractor.

Home improvement, as classified by Westchester County Consumer Protection Code, is the “repair, replacement, remodeling, installation, construction, alteration, conversion, modernization made to, in or upon a private residence, apartment or dwelling place of not more than three units…” If you are aiming to perform this work in Westchester County, look below for your requirements and details of your application process.

Westchester County Home Improvement License License Requirements and Application

Your Westchester County home improvement contractors license applicationwill come with many of the same common requirements, though some are specific to Westchester. Make sure you include the following as part of your Westchester County home improvement contractor license application:

  1. A completely filled out application:
    • Black or blue ink only.
  2. One of the following documents of Proof of Business Name:
    • Business Certificate.
    • Partnership Certificate.
    • Articles of Organization Filing Receipt – For LLC and LLP.
    • Certification of Incorporation Filing Receipt.
    • Certificate of Assumed Name Filing Receipt.
  3. Self-Written Work History:
    • Details of the last five years.
    • Documentation of past employment and training and employing company information.
    • List types of work performed.
  4. Sole Proprietorshipsneed a notarized child support certification form.
  5. Partnerships: each partner must provide a notarized child support certification form.
  6. Proof of general liability.
  7. Workers’ compensation and Disability Certificates OR sign the Exemption Affidavit.
  8. Recent passport-size photo.
  9. Valid driver’s license.
  10. Vehicle registration.
  11. If applicable, Copies of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Pesticide Business Registration Certificate and Pesticide Applicator/Technician Photo ID care.
  12. Pay all application and licensing fees payable to Westchester County General Fund — A twice a year, $400 nonrefundable fee.

Applications should be submitted in person, Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Your application and fees should go to:

Westchester County Consumer Protection
148 Martine Ave #407
White Plains, NY 10601
Phone: (941) 995-2155

NOTE: The City of Yonkers will have additional/alternative licensing requirements. For more information on contractors licenses in Yonkers, visit the Yonkers Department of Housing and Buildingswebsite.

General Contractor License Buffalo, NY

The City of Buffalo Department of Permit and Inspection Servicesissues licenses to general contractors to oversee all new construction as well as any repairs, remodeling, modernizations, or alterations to commercial and residential structures or property. The department issues many contractors licenses; however, these licenses do not approve you for heating and cooling, plumbing, or electrical work. Licenses offered by the City of Buffalo include:

  • Handyman Contractor
  • Construction Manager
  • Specialty Contractor
  • Light Commercial Contractor
  • Demolition
  • Sub-Contractor
  • New Housing Contractor
  • General Contractor

BuffaloContractor License Requirements

The department requires applicants to have “extensive experience” in advanced work in construction to be granted a license. In addition, all applicants will need to show proof of the following:

  1. General liability insurance certificate showing coverage for $2 million.
  2. Certificate of Business Registration.
  3. Two passport-size photographs.
  4. For partnerships, LLCs, and corporations, a list of all partners or members of the corporation.

Buffalo Contractor License Application

Although the City of Buffalo Department of Permit and Inspection Services offers a wide variety of licenses, your Buffalo contractor license applicationfor any type will be comprised of only one form. The application is straightforward. If you are applying for a general contractors license, make sure to attach the following before submitting:

  1. Proof of general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
    • $2,000,000 minimum aggregate coverage for a general contractor.
  2. Proof of business name:
    • Certificate of Registration – Register your business at Erie County clerk’s office.
    • Certificate of registration of partnership.
    • LLC or Corporate filing receipt.
  3. Two passport-sized photos.
  4. Workers without employees:
    • Sign an exemption from workers’ compensation insurance.

For general contractors/home improvement contractors who wish to do demolition work, the following must also be submitted:

  1. A list of industry-standard equipment that will be used on the job.
  2. A CV of the applicant showing demolition work experience.
  3. Letters of reference from previous clients.

It’s important to note that the applicant will be required to attend a meeting of the Construction & Home Improvement Advisory Board, which meets once per month. If the applicant is not able to attend the meeting, then the application form must be notarized before being submitted.

All application materials and a $750 fee must be received at least three (3) business days before the next scheduled meeting.

The address to either mail or bring the application materials in person to is:

City of Buffalo
Department of Permit & Inspection Services
Office of Licenses
65 Niagara Square — City Hall 301
Buffalo, NY 14202
The department can be reached by phone at (716) 851-4798.

New York Business License Registration

Businesses wishing to operate in New York will have to go through their local and state agencies to register and be licensed to perform services. In many cases, and especially if you are a larger business such as a Corporation or LLC, you will have to register with the New York Department of State. To ensure you are licensed to conduct business in your local jurisdiction and throughout the state, make sure you are in accordance with the New York Department of State and your local business licensing agency regulations.

New York Tax Identification Numbers and Registration

Businesses that operate within New York are required to register for one or more tax-specific identification numbers, licenses or permits, including income tax withholding, sales and use tax (seller’s permit), and unemployment insurance tax. Contact the New York Department of Taxation and Financefor more information about business registration and your tax obligation.

New York Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Businesses with employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurancecoverage through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis, or through the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.

New York Contractor License Search

The NYC Department of Buildingsprovides a database to search and verify contractor licenses operating within New York City.

See General Contractor Licensing Information in Nearby States

  • NJ contractor license
  • CT contractors license
  • Contractor license MA
  • Vermont contractors license
  • PA contractor license

For More License and Career Guides

To find out how to become a General Contractor in another state, start here.

For information on other trades in New York, click on a link below to learn more about the licensing requirements:

  • New York Electrician License Requirements
  • How to Become a Plumber inNew York
  • New YorkHandyman License Guide
  • New York Welding Schools and Career Guide
  • How to Get an HVAC License inNew York

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Manual Maggio

Last Updated: 10/21/2022

Views: 6224

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Manual Maggio

Birthday: 1998-01-20

Address: 359 Kelvin Stream, Lake Eldonview, MT 33517-1242

Phone: +577037762465

Job: Product Hospitality Supervisor

Hobby: Gardening, Web surfing, Video gaming, Amateur radio, Flag Football, Reading, Table tennis

Introduction: My name is Manual Maggio, I am a thankful, tender, adventurous, delightful, fantastic, proud, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.