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Who needs a license?

  • Any individual or company that contracts directly with an owner of "residential real estate" to provide work in more than one special skill.

  • An owner of residential real estate who builds or improves homes for resale or speculation.

View more information about licensing requirements and how to apply.

How long will it take to get my license?

Renewals submitted online can be processed about one week sooner than those submitted by mail. All renewals must be reviewed by our staff, so to minimize delays, ensure that all required information is submitted completely and accurately. If a renewal requires corrections it will take longer to process.

How can I update my license?

What is a Secretary of State filing?

Those licensed as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) or those individuals doing business using an assumed name (or "dba"), are required to file the business with the Office of the Secretary of State and renew the filing annually. This is a business filing that is separate from the license renewal, but is necessary to renew the license. The Secretary of State filing allows operation as a business in Minnesota while the license allows holders to act as a residential building contractor, remodeler, roofer or manufactured home installer. A license cannot be obtained or renewed without an active Secretary of State filing for the business.

What is a designated qualifying person?

In many companies, the qualifying person is not the owner of the company and may not be the person submitting the license renewal on the company's behalf. The designated qualifying person form confirms that the licensee's qualifying person continues to be qualified to act as the company's qualifying person and agrees to certain notice requirements in the event the qualifying person leaves the company.

Which exam do I need to take?

The exam your qualifying person needs to take depends on which license you intend to obtain. If you intend to obtain a residential building contractor (BC) license, your qualifying person must take the qualifying builder (QB) exam. If you intend to obtain a residential remodeler (CR) license, your qualifying person must take the qualifying remodeler (QC) exam. If you intend to obtain a residential roofer (RR) license, your qualifying person must take the qualifying roofer (QR) exam.

When deciding which license to get, keep in mind that a BC license allows you to perform all the work that a CR license allows plus you can perform new construction. A CR license only allows you to perform work on existing structures. All licensing requirements are the same for both licenses – only the exams are different. A roofer license only allows you to perform roofing work – you cannot contract to install gutters, downspouts, soffits, fascia or any other type of residential work.

What is a Q registration number?

A Q registration number is for a company's qualifying person to use to track continuing education status. 

A Q registration number is not a license. Q registration numbers begin with the letters QB, QC, QR, or QI and are followed by six digits. License numbers begin with BC, CR, RR, or MI and are also followed by six digits. Like business licenses, Q registrations are good for two years. To renew your Q registration, complete 14 hours of approved continuing education prior to the expiration date of your Q registration. Of the 14 hours, one hour must relate to the Minnesota Energy Code and one hour must relate to business management strategies.

It’s important to note that Q registrations do not always expire on the same date as the business license for which the individual acts as qualifying person. 

Registration numbers can be searched online. Select "business" license to find the company's license record.

What if my Q registration expires?

If your Q registration expires and remains inactive for more than two years, you will have to retake the licensing exam to act as a qualifying person for a business license. If your Q registration is inactive for less than two years, you only need to take the required 14 hours of continuing education.

What is the Contractor Recovery Fund?

New license applicants and licensees renewing their license must pay a fee into the Contractor Recovery Fund in addition to the license or renewal fee. The Contractor Recovery Fund replaces bonding requirements. The fee is based on the licensee's gross annual receipts for the licensee's most recent fiscal-year preceding the renewal or application.

The fund reimburses consumers who have suffered a financial loss as a result of a licensed residential building contractor or residential remodeler who has engaged in fraudulent, deceptive or dishonest practices, converted funds or failed to perform. No more than $50,000 per licensee may be paid from the fund.

After a payment from the fund is made, the license is automatically suspended. No reinstatement of a license is authorized until the licensee has repaid in full, plus interest, twice the amount paid from the fund on the licensee's account. In addition, the licensee must obtain a surety bond in the amount of at least $40,000 prior to reinstatement of a license.

Do I need to include my license number when advertising my services?

License numbers must be on all business cards, contracts, notices and statements relating to the filing of mechanics liens and all other advertising including websites. The law does not require a specific size print or location for the license number.

Are there penalties for violating license law?

A person whose company is required to be licensed and who performs unlicensed work as a residential building contractor or remodeler is guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, an unlicensed person who knowingly violates the law has no right to claim a lien and the lien is void.

Individuals engaging in unlicensed activity, misrepresentation or fraud are subject to administrative and civil penalties.

Are there city, county and township licensing requirements?

Cities and counties cannot require a contractor who has a state license to obtain a local license for work that is covered under the state licensing requirements. However, they can require a local license for Certificate of Exemption holders and specialty contractors, and state licensed contractors performing work outside the scope of the state license (for example: Work on city-owned property, such as curb cut-ins or sidewalks, HVAC installation or maintenance, or commercial work).

The license number of a contractor or remodeler must be placed on all building permits and building permit applications made to or issued by the state or a political subdivision (such as a city or county). In jurisdictions that have not adopted the State Building Code, the license number must be placed on the site plan review or zoning permit.

A political subdivision may not issue a building permit or zoning permit to an unlicensed residential building contractor or residential remodeler who is required to be licensed. The political subdivision is required to report to us any attempts to apply for a building permit or zoning permit for further investigation.

Where do I get information about lead paint requirements?

The Minnesota Department of Health has information about lead abatement and Lead Safe Certified renovators on its website.