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Getting a New Hampshire Contractor License

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Last Updated Feb 14, 2024

Illustration of New Hampshire contractor license with hardhat and map of America with New Hampshire highlighted

If you’re considering starting a contracting business in New Hampshire, you'll need to know which New Hampshire contractor license you might need and how to get it. This guide will cover the ins and outs of New Hampshire construction contractor licensing so you can get your business off the ground and running above board.

Contracting in another state? Check out The Ultimate Guide to Contractors License Requirements in Every State.

Table of contents

Who needs a New Hampshire contractor license?

New Hampshire only issues licenses for specialty contractors like electricians and plumbing contractors.

In states where licensing isn’t handled at the state level, local cities and counties typically take over. Usually, each city or county will have its own requirements, and contractors will have to carry a license for each area they work in. But that’s not the case in New Hampshire. Most cities take a different approach.

How to get a New Hampshire contractor license

In general, most contractors working within New Hampshire’s state borders aren’t required to carry a specific license. Even those working in most cities are free to work as long as they pull a permit from the local office.

However, some contractors do need licenses, and there are some other requirements that apply to some businesses within the state.

How to get a business license in New Hampshire

All businesses within the State of New Hampshire must register with the Secretary of State. Not surprisingly, information about registering is limited on the Secretary of State’s website. However, the Department of Revenue Administration’s website states:

It is recommended that any interested entity or individual inquire directly to the Secretary of State's Office to ascertain current fees and information pertinent to their situation:

NH Secretary of State Corporate Division

25 Capitol Street, 3rd Floor

Concord, NH 03301-6312

(603) 271-3246

www.sos.nh.gov

How to get a New Hampshire electrical contractor license

Electrical contractors in New Hampshire don’t actually require state-issued contractors’ licenses, but they are required to carry a trade license. Licensing is a function of the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification Electrician’s Board (OPLC).

The OPLC's Applications for Electricians page has the following types of applications available, as well as links to additional documents:

  • Application for Journeyman, Master or High/Medium Voltage Electrician
  • Application for Electrician Apprentice or High/Medium Voltage Trainee 
  • Change Application for Apprentice 
  • Apprentice Requirements
  • Initial Form for Corporations (including High/Medium Voltage Corporations)
  • Signature Card 
  • Online License Renewal Application
  • Reinstatement Application for Journeymen
  • Relicense Exam Application

Additionally, there are several licensing fees that apply to electrical corporations in New Hampshire, which can be found in their most up-to-date form on the OPLC Electricians' Board License Fees page.

Renewals can be completed online, but initial license applications, required forms, and payment (personal check, money order, or cashier's check only) must be mailed to:

Office of Professional Licensure & Certification
7 Eagle Square
Concord, NH 03301

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How to get a New Hampshire plumbing contractor license

Like electrical contractors, plumbing contractors don’t need contracting-specific licenses. However, they will have to carry a trade license in order to perform plumbing work.

Plumber licensure is now also a function of the Office of Professional Licensure and Certification Mechanical Safety and Licensing Board (OPLC).

The OPLC's Applications for Mechanical Safety and Licensing page has the following types of applications available, as well as links to additional documents:

  • Initial Plumbing - Application Packet
  • Apprentice/Trainee (Plumbing) Application Packet
  • Plumbing/Gas Upgrade Application Packet
  • Water & Oil Treatment Certification Application
  • Affidavit for Proof of Field/Work Experience
  • Apprentice/Trainee Endorsement Letter
  • Business Entity Application
  • Criminal Background Check (if required)
  • Online applications for license renewal
  • Reinstatement Application for License
  • Mechanical Reinstatement Checklist 

Plumbing contractors must typically carry a master-level license or employ a master license holder. The master license requires:

  • Copy of NH Journeyman Plumber License
    • Must have at least six months of experience
  • A letter signed by a licensed master plumber who supervised or directed the applicant during military service of journeyman employment, certifying that they believe the applicant to be qualified
  • Copy of testing result
  • A passport photo as well as proof of identification

The fee for master-level licensing is $310, plus a $10 License Verification Fee. There are several other licensing fees that apply to plumbers in New Hampshire, which can be found in their most up-to-date form on the OPLC License Fees for the Mechanical Safety and Licensing Board page.

Renewals can be completed online, but initial license applications, required forms, and payment (personal check, money order, or cashier's check only) must be mailed to:

Office of Professional Licensure & Certification
7 Eagle Square
Concord, NH 03301

How to get a local contractor license in New Hampshire

In most states, local cities take over when the state lets go of the contractor licensing reins. However, it’s relatively standard that Granite State cities rely more on permitting than licensing. In other words, if you apply for a permit, you’ll fulfill the requirements for working in the city.

New Hampshire local permit offices

Penalties for unlicensed contracting in New Hampshire

While there are really two main state-mandated contractor license types (electrical and plumbing), the consequences for not carrying those licenses are serious. In both cases, unlicensed contracting is a misdemeanor, which could result in fines and penalties, as well as possible jail time.

Categories:

Business Management

Tags:

Licensing

Written by

Tom Scalisi

57 articles

Tom Scalisi is a writer with over 15 years of experience in the trades. He is passionate about educating contractors and specialty contractors about the best practices in the industry. He has seen first-hand how education, communication, and preparation help construction professionals overcome challenges to build a strong career and thriving business in the industry.

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