How to become a Texas licensed contractor

How to become a Texas licensed contractor

In a big, booming state like Texas, there’s no shortage of construction projects happening at any given time. And with those projects comes a large need for qualified contractors. If you’re eager to join the construction industry in Texas, you likely need a license that applies to your specialized trade. 

For example, If you intend to become a plumber, you will need a license issued by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE). If you intend to become an Electrician, HVAC specialist, or Water Well Driller, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) handles the licensing process. Finally, if you’re going into the biggest trade, general contracting including contractors involved with home building and home improvement, there are licensing requirements at the country and municipal level.

No matter what part of the Texas construction industry you intend to join, you will need to meet all the requirements at the state and local level to work legally. Failure to get a license before starting work could expose you to fines, penalties, and permanent loss of license. 

As part of the TDLR license requirement or others, you may need a Texas contractor license bond to satisfy all the requirements. And even when you don’t require a Texas contractor license bond, you may need other types of surety bonds – bid bonds, performance bonds, payment bonds, and others – to finalize work contracts. Surety bonds play a big role in the life of a contractor, so it’s important to understand how they work alongside the TDLR license requirements. 

Why does TDLR require a license?

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation exists to protect the people of Texas from the actions of unscrupulous contractors and other professionals. License requirements mandate someone to fulfill a series of requirements designed to test their skill and seriousness before allowing them to conduct business legally. Professionals who aren’t qualified to be working on HVAC equipment, electrical systems, or water wells won’t be able to obtain a license. Likewise, anyone who isn’t capable of running a stable business, especially when it comes to providing necessary insurance coverage, won’t have access to a license either. 

What are the TDLR license requirements?

The requirements for getting a TDLR contractor license vary depending on the trade the license applies to. For instance, to get an HVAC contractor license you need either 48 months of practical experience in the field or 36 months plus a technical certification. You will also need to obtain liability insurance, pass an exam, and submit fees along with your license application form. 

The requirements are similar (though the details are different) for electrical contractors and water well drillers. Licensure depends on having a required amount of on-the-job experience, along with passing an exam, submitting the correct forms, and paying any required fees. It’s important to follow the requirements closely, but it’s also not hard to meet the requirements if you’re committed to a trade and going through a formal training or apprenticeship program. Most of these programs design the curriculum with the intention to fulfill licensure requirements.

At the time of writing, Texas contractor license bond requirements did not apply to any of the contractors licensed by the TDLR. Local governments may require surety bonds for these contractors, but the state does not. Other surety bond requirements may also apply to HVAC, electrical, or water well driller contractors, but they will be contact bonds (surety bonds required by a contract) rather than license bonds (surety bonds required by the government). 

General contractors are more likely to need a Texas contractor license bond. As noted earlier, they’re not subject to the TDLR license requirement, but they are heavily regulated at the local level – municipalities want to maintain consistent building codes and standards in their area. If you plan to work in home building or home improvement, you may need a Texas contractor license surety bond for as long as you’re in business. Pick a great bond partner from the start; Viking Bond Service has all the resources to make contractor license bonds in Texas accessible and affordable for more people in the Lone Star State. 

How to get a Contractor License Bond in Texas

The best way to apply for a Texas contractor license bond is through the right surety agency. A great agency will make the process simple and seamless, just as some less-than-stellar agencies will make it confusing and costly. Spend some time looking for a surety agency you trust to partner with – or save that time by connecting with Viking Bond Service.

When you apply, you will need to complete a surety bond application, submit to a credit check, and turn over any additional documentation the surety asks for. The cost of the bond depends on your application documents and the size of the bond. Expect to pay a small percentage of the bond total, and to pay more if you have bad credit. Viking Bond Service has a bad credit surety bond program designed to get more applicants approved. We also have abundant resources and connections that help everyone get a bond at a competitive rate. 

Viking Bond Service for Texas Contractor License Bonds

Texas contractor bond requirements shouldn’t get in the way of your business. Make the bond process fast and stress-free with the help of Viking Bond Service. Complete a bond application at any time. Or, if you have questions, contact us here or call us at 1-888-278-7389.