How to Get a General Contractor License in New Jersey

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The New Jersey Contractors' Registration Act requires anyone who sells or makes home improvements in New Jersey to be licensed by the state. In this sense, "home improvements" are defined as any remodeling, repairing, renovating, demolishing, painting or modernizing of a structure or the property that the structure is located on. Also included in home improvements are replacement, improvement, installation or construction of driveways, sidewalks, porches, windows and other portions of outdoor living space. Upon completing the registration form, a contractor is a licensed contractor in the state of New Jersey.

Obtain the "Home Improvement Contractor Application for Initial Registration" form, available online (see Resources) or by contacting the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at 888-656-6225. Municipality construction officials such as those in the permits department also may offer the application form.

Purchase a commercial liability insurance policy. The policy must insure the contractor for at least $500,000 per occurrence in the event of accident or injury while working. The name of the insurance company, policy number and policy expiration date must be included on the "Home Improvement Contractor Application for Initial Registration" form.

Complete the "Home Improvement Contractor Application for Initial Registration" form. Necessary information includes the name of the contractor; the type of business, such as corporation or limited liability company; place of business, including physical address; whether or not municipal building permits are required in the course of business; liability insurance policy information; Social Security numbers for all owners of the business; and information on who owns the business.

Read, complete and sign the disclosure statement included in the registration form. The disclosure statement must include information on criminal history for all parties with at least 10 percent interest in the contracting or remodeling business.

Submit the "Home Improvement Contractor Application for Initial Registration" form, including the disclosure statement, proof of commercial liability insurance and the application fee to the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs, Regulated Business Section, P.O. Box 46016, Newark, NJ 07101. As of 2010, the application fee is $90 and is payable by check or money order made payable to "N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs.”

Tips

  • Contractors are required to display their registration number in all advertisements, on all contracts and correspondence with customers, and on all commercial vehicles as "NJHIC#." Contractors must also display their original registration certificate at their place of business. Contractor registration isn't required if you're making repairs on property you own or on property belonging to a family member. An individual completing improvement projects on a home belonging to a charity or nonprofit corporation aren't required to register as a contractor.

Warnings

  • Knowingly providing false or misleading information on government documents is a crime.

References

Resources

About the Author

Stephanie Steensma began writing in 1998 as a radio news reporter. Her work has appeared in print publications such as "Engineering Today" and "Dome Magazine" as well as online. Steensma has a Bachelor of Arts in communication and journalism from Western Michigan University.

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