Licensure Information

How to Apply for a License by Examination

Initial Application by Examination:

After the qualifying party or primary qualifying party has passed the required exam(s) through PSI (800-733-9267, www.psionline.com, PSI Candidate Information Bulletin), the licensure applicant may submit the following items to the SC Contractor’s Licensing Board:

  • Initial Application: Doc #165
  • PSI PASS exam report(s)
  • Financial Statement or Surety Bond (See Financial Statement/Surety Bond Requirements)
  • License Fee
  • If you have registered your corporation, partnership, or LLC with the SC Secretary of State’s office, attach a copy of the certificate (optional)
How to Apply for a License by Reciprocity

Initial Application by Reciprocity:

If a technical examination has been passed with one of the participating states listed here, and your license is currently in good standing with that reciprocating state, you must request a “Letter of Verification” and/or “Examination Waiver” from that state’s licensing board to request waiver of the required technical exam(s). The form must include the licensee’s name, license number, license issue date, license expiration date, examinee’s name, social security number, name of exam passed, and date exam passed. Most states will supply you with their own form; however, if they do not have a form, you may provide them with our SC Examination Waiver Form. Please keep in mind that this request only waives the technical exam. All applicants are required to pass the PSI Business Management and Law for Commercial Contractor’s exam (PSI 800-733-9267, www.psionline.com, PSI Candidate Information Bulletin), and all other licensure requirements must be met.

After the qualifying party or primary qualifying party has passed the Business Management & Law for Commercial Contractors exam for South Carolina, the licensure applicant may submit the following items to the SC Contractor’s Licensing Board:

If you have registered your corporation, partnership, or LLC with the SC Secretary of State’s office, please attach a copy of the certificate (optional).

How to Apply for a License by Reinstatement

Licensure by Reinstatement:

If your license has been expired for more than 90 days, but for less than 4 years, you must complete Doc #165 and submit to the Board with the reinstatement fee with one of the following:

Groups 1 and 2 - Owner Prepared financial statement with an affidavit of accuracy, Document #172; or a Surety Bond Form for General Contractors / Surety Bond Form for Mechanical Contractors

Groups 3 and 4 - Financial statement compiled by a licensed CPA or a licensed PA in accordance with GAAP, including all disclosures required by GAAP or a Surety Bond Form for General Contractors / Surety Bond Form for Mechanical Contractors

Group 5 - Financial statement audited by a licensed certified public accountant or a licensed public accountant in accordance with GAAP, including all disclosures required by GAAP; or a Surety Bond Form for General Contractors / Surety Bond Form for Mechanical Contractors

If your license has been expired for more than 4 years, you will be required to retake the required technical exam(s) through PSI (800-733-9267), www.psionline.com, PSI Candidate Information Bulletin). Thereafter, follow the instructions above in submitting the application, financial document, and fee.

Financial Statement and Surety Bond Requirements

The licensing applicant must choose between the submission of a financial statement or a surety bond.

SECTION 40-11-260. Financial statements

  • Owner-prepared Financial Statement, Doc #172

SECTION 40-11-262. Surety bonds in lieu of providing financial statements

A FINANCIAL STATEMENT OR SURETY BOND MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH EACH OF THE FOLLOWING:

Unless you are submitting the appropriate Surety Bond, all applicants for initial licensure, licensure renewal or group revision, must provide an acceptable financial statement with a balance sheet date no more than twelve months before the date of the relevant application showing a minimum net worth for each license group. Personal financial statements of an entity's principals for an entity with less than two year's operating experience are acceptable for the initial application only. A financial statement from a parent company may be accepted if it's noted in the financial statement "notes" or accompanied by a letter from the parent company stating the entity is a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Financial statement requirements for initial applications and renewal applications are different. See License Renewal and Reinstatement Requirements for additional information.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT OR SURETY BOND REQUIREMENTS FOR: INITIAL APPLICATIONS AND UPGRADES:

Groups 1 and 2 - Owner Prepared financial statement with an affidavit of accuracy, Document #172; or a Surety Bond Form for General Contractors / Surety Bond Form for Mechanical Contractors

Groups 3 and 4 - Financial statement compiled by a licensed CPA or a licensed PA in accordance with GAAP, including all disclosures required by GAAP or a Surety Bond Form for General Contractors / Surety Bond Form for Mechanical Contractors

Group 5 - Financial statement audited by a licensed certified public accountant or a licensed public accountant in accordance with GAAP, including all disclosures required by GAAP; or a Surety Bond Form for General Contractors / Surety Bond Form for Mechanical Contractors

FINANCIAL STATEMENT OR SURETY BOND REQUIREMENTS FOR: RENEWALS:

Groups 1 and 2 - Owner Prepared financial statement with an affidavit of accuracy, Document #172 or a Surety Bond Form for General Contractors / Surety Bond Form for Mechanical Contractors

Groups 3 and 4 - Owner Prepared financial statement, Document #172 financial statement compiled by a licensed CPA or a licensed PA in accordance with GAAP, including all disclosures required by GAAP or a Surety Bond Form for General Contractors / Surety Bond Form for Mechanical Contractors

Group 5 - Reviewed financial statement from a licensed CPA or PA, prepared in accordance with GAAP principles, including all disclosures required by GAAP (cannot be on an "income-tax basis"); or submit a Surety Bond Form for General Contractors / Surety Bond Form for Mechanical Contractors

GENERAL CONTRACTORS

Group Number $ Limit Per
Job
Net Worth
Requirement
Surety Bond
Requirement
Group # 1

$50,000

$10,000

$20,000

Group # 2

$200,000

$40,000

$80,000

Group # 3

$500,000

$100,000

$200,000

Group # 4

$1,500,000

$175,000

$350,000

Group # 5

$Unlimited

$250,000

$500,000



MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS

Group Number $ Limit Per
Job
Net Worth
Requirement
Surety Bond
Requirement
Group # 1

$17,000

$3,500

$7,000

Group # 2

$50,000

$10,000

$20,000

Group # 3

$100,000

$20,000

$40,000

Group # 4

$200,000

$40,000

$80,000

Group # 5

$Unlimited

$200,000

$400,000



Surety Bonds

SECTION 40-11-262. Surety bonds in lieu of providing financial statements.

SURETY BONDS CAN BE SUBMITTED WITH EACH OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • Initial Application, Doc #165
  • Reinstatement Application, Doc #165
  • Revision Application to Upgrade License, Doc #180

Surety Bond Form for General Contractors

Surety Bond Form for Mechanical Contractors

Surety Bond Claim Form

Make Changes to an Existing License

Each licensee must notify the department within fifteen days of any changes in the current mailing address, home address, and home and/or office telephone number. 

To make changes to an existing license, please complete Revision Application, Document 180 and follow the instructions for the type of revision you are requesting. There is no fee for revisions. The following is a list of changes that require a Revision Application with additional information below:

  • To upgrade dollar limitation per job
  • To add or transfer a qualifier to your license
  • To delete a qualifier from your license
  • To add new/additional classifications to your license
  • To change your business name (see conditions below)
  • To change corporate officers
  • Address and/or telephone number changes
  • Request to make a license number inactive

To Upgrade License Group:

Submit the Revision Application along with the correct type of financial statement or surety bond. The type of financial statement required to initially upgrade a license is not the same as what is required with renewals. More information can be found in Financial Statement or Surety Bond Requirements.

To add a qualifier or add a classification:

The qualifier must take and pass the appropriate technical exam(s) as required prior to submitting the Revision Application.

If the qualifier has (1) already taken and passed the technical exam, (2) is transferring from another license, or (3) is requesting waiver of the technical exams via reciprocity, complete the Revision Application, Document 180 and following the instructions on adding a qualifier or adding a classification.

To delete a qualifying party: 
Submit the Revision Application, Document 180 listing the qualifying party's name, social security number and the date he/she left the company. An owner/president /partner/authorized representative must sign this notification.

To change licensed name:
A change in name for an LLC or a corporation requires an amended charter from the Secretary of State. The amended charter must be included with the application (not required of sole proprietorships) as follows:

  • If your federal identification number or "style of business” has changed (i.e. from sole proprietorship to a corporation) within the past 15 business days from today’s current date, please submit the Revision Application, Document 180, and follow the name change instructions on page 2, Section 3, of the application.
  • If your federal identification number or "style of business” has changed more than 15 business days from today’s current date, you cannot use the Revision Application. You must complete an Initial Application, Document 165, accompanied by a financial statement or surety bond for the new entity, and the license fee for the new license.
What Other Licenses Do You Need?

Once you obtain your Contractor's Licensing Board license, please be aware that cities and/or counties in which you plan to work may require additional licensing and/or permitting.

Each city/county has its own rules, regulations, and fees.

The Contractor's Licensing Board offers the following tips to assist you:

  1. Determine the city/county you will be operating in within South Carolina.
  2. If the location you will be operating is within a city, click on this link, www.masc.sc/municipalities/directory/Pages/default.aspx to search the city and obtain a phone number.  When you call, ask to speak with the Business License or Building Permit department
  3. If the location is not in a city limit, but rather in a county, click on this link, www.sccounties.org/sc-counties to search the county and obtain a phone number. When you call, ask to speak with the Business License or Building Permit department.
  4. If you are not sure if a location is in the city or county, call the local city/county to confirm which permit and/or license you may need.