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Utah Contractor Licensing Guide
Last Updated Aug 23, 2023
According to the Utah Construction Trades Licensing Act, nearly every construction-related business requires a license to operate. Fortunately, the process for obtaining a license is fairly straightforward: choose the correct license, complete a course, register your business, pass an examination, and fill out an application.
While this may seem like a lot at first, we've got all of the details so you don't miss a step in the Utah contractor licensing process. If you're getting your construction business started in Utah, read on for everything you need to know.
Table of contents
How to get a Utah contractor license
There are many license types available to contractors in Utah, and they all go through the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL).
There are seven categories a general contractor license can fall into, including:
- B100 - General Contractor
- R100 - Residential/Small Commercial Contractor
- E100 - General Engineering Contractor
- P200 - General Plumbing Contractor
- P201 - Residential Plumbing Contractor
- E200 - General Electrical Contractor
- E201 - Residential Electrical Contractor
To apply for any of these general contractor licenses, you must meet the following requirements:
- Carry a general liability insurance certificate with coverage of $100,000 for each incident and $300,000 in total, with DOPL listed as the certificate holder.
- Register your business entity with the Utah Division of Corporations
- Obtain a Federal EIN from the IRS
- Possess two years of experience in the construction industry. This means accumulating 4,000 hours of paid work experience at any time in your life in the industry.
- Pass a two-part examination consisting of Utah Business and Law as well as industry-specific questions (view the exam handbook for more info) — OR possess one year of licensed experience in another state; OR be a qualifier on a Utah Contractor License prior to May 9, 2017 (Note: The exam is offered in both English and Spanish).
- Plumbing and electrical contractors must have a Master-level license holder on staff as well.
Once you have all of those requirements in the bag, you’ll be able to fill out this application and send it to DOPL for review.
Specialty contractors have similar hurdles to jump through on their way to licensing in Utah. And there are even more license types available for these contractors:
- S202 - Solar Photovoltaic Contractor
- S220 - Carpentry & Flooring Contractor
- S230 - Masonry, Siding, Stucco, Glass, and Rain Gutter Contractor
- S260 - Asphalt & Concrete Contractor
- S270 - Drywall, Paint, and Plastering Contractor
- S280 - Roofing Contractor
- S310 - Foundation, Excavation, and Demolition Contractor
- S330 - Landscape & Recreation Contractor
- S350 - HVAC Contractor
- S354 - Radon Mitigation
- S370 - Fire Suppression Systems Contractor
- S410 - Boiler, Pipeline, Waste Water, and Water Conditioner Contractor
- S440 - Sign Installation Contractor
- S510 - Elevator Contractor
- S700 - Limited Scope Contractor
The only significant change in the process from the general contractor requirements listed above is that the pre-licensure course is only 25 hours. In fact, even the application is the same.
Learn the rules in nearby states
Penalties for unlicensed contracting
According to Utah Code 58-55-501 et seq., being caught contracting without a license is punishable with a fine of up to $1,000. Second offenses can cost as much as $2,000. Any further issues can cost you as much as $2,000 per day spent contracting without a license.
Utah's mechanics lien law doesn't explicitly require contractors to carry a license as a condition to file a lien if payment doesn't come through on a project. With that said, it’s never a good idea to contract for work that requires a license if you don’t hold one.
Consider this: Even though the law doesn't prevent you from filing a lien, you might have to foreclose on it. How fondly will the court look upon your case if you’re working without a license even though the state requires one? The best advice is to carry any license the state requires before you start work on a project.
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.View profile
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