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How to Become a New Jersey General Contractor

In New Jersey, there is no specific requirement for general contractors to get a license. However, the bulk of general contractors will still need to register under the home-builder registration requirements. New Jersey home builders must register with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. This typically means that any kind of construction contractor will need to register in New Jersey because home repair also has its own registration requirements.

In addition to the state-level registration requirements for certain general contractors in New Jersey, many local building departments require a license or some kind of registration for NJ general contractors. Those interested in building a construction business as a general contractor need to prepare to meet all registration requirements and qualifications like insurance and financial responsibility.

Step 1:

While there is generally not going to be any educational or experience requirements to conduct business as a general contractor in New Jersey, it is practically necessary to have at least one person in the business who has the knowledge to actually run a general-contracting business. Because a general contractor negotiates with project owners and subcontractors, this means experience in construction management is important to success as a New Jersey general contractor.

A general contractor will have generally worked either as a subcontractor on construction projects or at least an employee of a general contractor. As such, any experience or college courses in engineering and construction can provide a means to get the necessary training and obtain the knowledge necessary for a New Jersey general contracting business.

Step 2:

Find out all the local requirements for a general contractor. You will need to contact your local New Jersey building department for this step. Typical requirements include general liability insurance and information about your business. Speak to local general or specialty contractors about where to find and how to deal with the local building department in your county or city (or both).

Raise the money, get the insurance or do whatever else is necessary to qualify as a general contractor in your New Jersey locale. Again, this will depend on your local government’s policies.

Step 3:

Once you have qualified under local rules, you then need to register at the state level if you are a home builder (residential general contractors generally fall under this registration requirement).

First, you may need to register with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance if you are engaging in home repair like many general contractors do. Go here to get the application forms. There are two main exceptions. If you deal online in cash installments of 90 days or less, you do not have to register as a home repair business with the Department of Banking and Insurance. You also do not have to register if you accept credit card payments.

Second, all home improvement contractors must register with the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety Division of Consumer Affairs. General contractors who conduct home improvements in addition to new construction need to register. Go here to register as a home improvement contractor if your New Jersey general contract work includes such construction projects.

Resources:

New Jersey Home Repair Registration

New Jersey General Contractor Registration for Home Improvement Contractors

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