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Exam information

The residential building contractor/remodeler licensing program requires the business entity, not individual owners of a contracting business, to obtain a license (though an individual operating as a sole proprietor would be required to become licensed as an individual). However, each company must designate one individual who will serve as the "qualifying person" regardless of whether the licensee is an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) or corporation. Guidelines for who may act as a company’s qualifying person are provided below.

A company’s qualifying person must pass a prelicensing exam administered by DLI in order for the company to apply for a license. There are no prerequisite experience or educational requirements to take the residential building contractor or remodeler exam. You can apply online or submit an application (PDF) to DLI along with the required $50 exam application fee. The exam is offered at DLI’s offices in St. Paul and at sites in Duluth, St. Cloud, Detroit Lakes, Granite Falls, and Owatonna. View dates and locations.

The exam consists of 110 multiple choice questions and a score of 70 percent or higher is required to pass the exam. Applicants are given four hours in which to complete the exam, which is divided into two sections. The first deals primarily with construction-related matters including code questions, and the second covers business and law issues relating to running a construction business in Minnesota. A copy of the State Building Code will be provided for reference during the exam. View the Residential Construction Contractor Licensing Examination Guide (PDF).

Once you pass the exam, you will receive a notice from DLI informing you of your results and instructing you on how to apply for a license. If an individual fails to pass the exam, they must wait 30 days before they can apply to retake the exam. To do so, the individual must submit a new exam application and pay the $50 exam fee.    

Who can act as a company’s "qualifying person"?

The licensing law (Minn. Stat. § 326B.805, subd. 4) provides guidelines for who may act as the qualifying person for each business structure type:

  • Individual proprietorship: Must be the proprietor or managing employee
  • Partnership: Must be a partner or managing employee
  • Limited liability company (LLC): Must be a chief manager or managing employee
  • Corporation: Must be a chief executive officer or managing employee

A "managing employee" must be a bona fide W-2 employee of the company "who is regularly employed by the licensee and is actively engaged in the business of residential contracting or residential remodeling on behalf of the licensee." Under no circumstances can a company's qualifying person be an independent contractor of the company.

Unlike other business license types regulated by CCLD, a company’s qualifying person may act as the qualifying person for more than one company, but only if there is 25 percent common ownership among the companies and the individual meets the requirements described above with respect to their position within each company.  The qualifying person is not required to be the individual holding the 25 percent common ownership.

The qualifying person is also responsible for taking 14 hours of CCLD-approved continuing education in order to renew the company’s license every two years.

The qualifying person's original exam results must be submitted with the company's license application. Be sure to keep copies of the exam results in your records.

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