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How to Become a General Contractor in Louisiana

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In the state of Louisiana, general contractors can be licensed to work on residential or commercial sites. There are slight variances in the licensing requirements for the different types of construction licenses, but both will require proof of work experience, sufficient liability insurance, the establishment of a business name or organization and the passing of a skills examination to confirm your knowledge and ability to work safely and effectively as a contractor. Aspiring contractors can access forms, Louisiana contractor laws and information about the licensing examination through the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors.

Learn construction skills in a training environment. Consider enrolling in a technical or vocational school offering construction education for aspiring residential or commercial contractors. Programs like the construction program offered at Northshore Technical College in southeast Louisiana provide instruction designed to prepare candidates for apprenticeship or entry-level positions within the field.

Seek construction experience through an apprenticeship or entry-level position with a construction company. Participating in training through a technical school may offer apprenticeship opportunities through the school placement service. Inquire with your training facility to learn about available apprenticeships with companies in your area. Visit the Louisiana Workforce Commission website to search for state approved apprenticeships in a variety of construction skills.

Establish your business name and structure as a contractor. First, determine whether your contracting business will operate as a residential or commercial contracting business. This will determine which licensing forms and examinations you will be required to take to fulfill Louisiana state board requirements. Then, establish whether your business will operate as a limited liability company (LLC), a partnership, a corporation or a sole proprietor. Finally, register your company with the state of Louisiana.

Get the appropriate insurance coverage required by the state for construction general contractors. Louisiana requires licensed residential contractors have general liability insurance in the amount of $100,000 as well as worker’s compensation insurance.

Submit your licensing application. Download the residential or commercial licensing application from the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors website and complete all mandatory sections of the application. Submit supporting information including financial statements, full work experience, any supporting business verification forms indicating your established name, or qualifying applications if legal representation is required as a sole proprietor. Review the application requirements and application process through the board website to assist you with the application process.

Take the state licensing examination. If your application has been approved by the board, you will receive authorization to take the appropriate licensing exam for your residential or commercial contracting license. Your notification will be sent by mail and will include instructions on where and when to take the test. Both exam types have a 4-hour time limit. For study guides tor o learn more about preparing for either the residential or the commercial exam, review the study reference lists on the board website.

About the Author

CL Hardy is a communication professional based in Austin, Texas. In addition to writing corporate newsletters, proposals and technical white papers for Fortune 500 clients for more than 12 years, Hardy has been published in "Black Collegian" magazine; her articles on human resources, business and art topics can be found on eHow. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in communication.

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