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Contractor FAQ

Below are Frequently asked questions made to the MS Board of Contractors, they can also be found here.

Who needs a contractor’s license?

All contractors and subcontractors performing work on commercial jobs over $50,000.00 (including installation of equipment) require a commercial license issued by MSBOC. A commercial license is also required for any contract involving the construction, reconstruction, repair or maintenance of fire protection systems on public projects over $5,000.00 and private projects over $10,000.00.

A contractor performing new residential construction over $50,000 needs a Residential Building license. A contractor performing residential remodeling over $10,000 needs a Residential Remodeling license. A contractor performing residential roofing over $10,000 needs a Residential Roofing license. If you are performing residential electrical, plumbing, or HVAC work less than $10,000, a state license is not required, but you must contact the local building official or permit office regarding the local requirements.

How do I obtain a license?

The first thing you will need to do is complete an application. All the requirements are on the instruction page. Return the completed application and we will forward a candidate information bulletin to you that contains all the testing information. The bulletin tells you how to schedule an exam, which books are allowed in the exam, and where to get the books. The tests are open book. MSBOC will also send the qualifier’s info to PSI, the testing agency. No candidate will be allowed to schedule the exam unless MSBOC has sent his or her info to PSI. Once PSI receives the qualifiers info, PSI will email you and let you know that you are in their system and can now schedule the exam. This is why you must provide a valid email. Once we receive all documentation requested on the application and the passing exam scores, the information will be submitted to the Board for review and approval. MSBOC processes completed applications on a weekly basis. It usually takes about a week to 10 days for the application to go through the Board process and the license to be issued. A license is good for one (1) year and it is the contractor’s responsibility to renew the license each year.

Is an exam required in order to get a license?

All applicants are required to take a Mississippi Law and Business Management exam. In addition, applicants must take a trade exam, if one is required. (For a complete listing of classifications and required exams click here.

A general building contractor may choose to take the NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building instead of the Mississippi Building Construction exam. The NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building is used by state contractor licensing agencies to test commercial general building contractor candidates who are applying for a commercial contractors license. It is the only multi-state exam for commercial general building contractors. The examination has been designed to reduce redundant licensing requirements and assist contractors who need to be licensed in multiple jurisdictions. The NASCLA Accredited Examination for Commercial General Building is accepted in Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, U.S. Virgin Islands, West Virginia.

A Master Electrical contractor may choose to take the NASCLA Accredited Electrical Examination instead of the Mississippi Master Electrical exam. The NASCLA Accredited Electrical Examination Program has been developed to improve the overall quality and validity of trade licensing examinations in general for electricians. The program also provides contractor mobility by allowing electricians the opportunity to cross state borders without having to take multiple electrical examinations. The NASCLA Accredited Electrical Examination is currently accepted in Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. Additional jurisdictions will be participating soon.

All exams are administered by PSI. The Board will furnish you a PSI Candidate Information Bulletin and notify PSI of your eligibility to sit for an exam. PSI will email you a confirmation notice. Scheduling the exam will not be allowed until you receive this confirmation. The PSI Candidate Information Bulletin contains all the information for registering for and scheduling an exam. It also provides a listing of exam reference materials and exam content outlines. Please refer to the PSI Candidate Information Bulletin for exam locations and scheduling the exam.

Are there any prep courses offered for the required exam?

The following companies offer prep courses for contractors taking the PSI exams:
American Contractors 1-800-992-1910
Mississippi Contractor Licensing Service 1-800-432-9930
Builders License Training Institute 1-800-727-7104
MyContractorsLicense 1-877-699-0775
Contractors Institute 1-804-556-5518

Who can take the exam for the company and can there be more than one qualifier?

Any officer or managing employee can take the exam. You can have more than one qualifier and different qualifiers for different classifications. A qualifying party may serve no more than three (3) separate entities as the qualifying party without first appearing before the board and being granted special permission.

Does MSBOC reciprocate with other licensing agencies?

MSBOC has reciprocity agreements with various other states. However, reciprocity applies to testing only. Contractors must still apply for a license and fulfill all other MSBOC requirements for licensure

What states do you reciprocate with and what exams will be waived?

f you have held a license for 3 consecutive years in one of our reciprocating states we will waive the TRADE exam only. You will still be required to take the Mississippi Business and Law exam.

Alabama General Board- waive everything but Mechanical & Plumbing (CAN GIVE HVAC)

Alabama Electrical Board

Alabama Heating and Air (MUST HAVE TAKEN THE ALABAMA EXAM)

Arkansas Contractors Licensing Board-waive all but any type of Mechanical (i.e. Plumbing, Boilers, Process Piping, HVAC) and Electrical Work

Georgia Board of Residential and General Contractors (MUST HAVE TAKEN THE GEORGIA EXAM)

Louisiana Licensing Board for Contractors- waives all but Mechanical or Electrical (CAN WAIVE HVAC BUT NOT MECHANICAL OR PLUMBING. CAN ONLY WAIVE ELECTRICAL EXAM IF TAKEN IN LOUISIANA.)

North Carolina Electrical Contractors Board- Electrical & Alarm Systems Only. Must have taken the NC exam.

North Carolina State Licensing Board for General Contractors– Building Construction, Residential Building, Concrete, Grading and Excavating, Roofing, Swimming Pools, Water Lines and Sewer – Must have taken the NC exam.

South Carolina Contractors Licensing Board-waive Building and Electrical only and they must have passed an exam given by either PSI, Experior, Block or NAI.

South Carolina Residential Builders Commission– Residential Builder – Must have taken the SC exam.

Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors

Do I have to carry general liability insurance in order to get a license?

Yes, all applicants for a license or renewal are required to show proof of general liability insurance coverage. MSBOC must be listed on the policy to be notified in the event of cancellation. There is no requirement for a minimum policy amount for residential license holders, but commercial applicants must provide a certificate of insurance evidencing current minimum coverage of $300,000 per occurrence and $600,000 aggregate.

What if I am not actively building right now? Do I still have to carry general liability insurance?

All active license holders must show proof of general liability insurance in order to remain in good standing. However, a license holder can request to be placed on “INACTIVE” status. In order to do so, the license holder must return their license and submit a written request to be placed on inactive status along with a $25.00 processing fee. A new license will be issued reflecting the INACTIVE status. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE LICENSE HOLDER IS STILL REQUIRED TO PAY ANNUAL RENEWAL FEES DURING THE INACTIVE STATUS PERIOD DESPITE BEING INELIGIBLE TO SUBMIT A BID, ENTER INTO A CONTRACT, PULL PERMITS OR PERFORM WORK. In order to return to “ACTIVE” status, the license holder must submit a written request to be returned to “ACTIVE” status along with a $25.00 processing fee and proof of general liability insurance. Commercial license holders will also have to produce required financial information before returning to active status. Upon receipt, a new license will be issued reflecting the “ACTIVE” status.

If I have a Residential license can I do commercial work?

Residential license holders with the classification of RESIDENTIAL BUILDER are allowed to work on commercial projects provided the job does not exceed 7500 square feet.

Can I add a classification to my license?

In order to add a classification to your license, you must complete an ADDITIONAL CLASSIFICATION form and pay $100.00 for each additional class you add to your license. Upon receipt, MSBOC will send you information about testing, if testing is required.

Do I have to have a Mississippi Sales Tax number?

If you are applying for a commercial license, you will have to have a Mississippi Sales Tax number or Use Tax number in order to get a commercial license. If you are applying for a residential license, you must furnish a Mississippi Income Tax I.D. Number or Federal Tax I.D. Number or a Social Security Number. To obtain a number you may contact the MS Department of Revenue at (601) 923-7000 or visit www.dor.ms.gov.

How do I change the name of my company?

If the entity is not changing (for example Johnson Inc. changes to JMR Inc.) you can get an amended certificate of authority from the Secretary of State’s office. Attach proof of this amendment to our name change form and send it in with the $50 name change fee. If the entity is changing (for example an LLC changes to a corporation or an individual to a corporation) a new application is required. If the qualifier (the person who took the exam) is still with the company no new test is required. You simply complete the new application with everything in the new entity name (insurance, financial, tax numbers, etc.) and attach a letter explaining the change, listing your old license number and state that the qualifier is the same. We will pull your test scores from your old file.

How does the complaint process work?

Complaints are processed according to their degree of severity and the date of receipt. Each complaint is reviewed to determine if it falls within the jurisdiction of the Mississippi State Board of Contractors. If MSBOC determines that the complaint requires further investigation, it will be assigned to an investigator. A copy of the complaint will be mailed to the contractor advising him or her a complaint has been filed and asking for a response. The MSBOC investigator will contact both parties to obtain a statement, schedule a meeting or visit the jobsite. The investigation may also include interviews with other parties who can furnish relevant information. The investigator will evaluate all the information gathered through the jobsite visit, building codes, plans and specifications, industry standards and other information furnished by the complainant and the contractor. Formal disciplinary proceedings may be initiated after the investigator has concluded the investigation. *Investigation by MSBOC does not guarantee restitution to complainants. If your primary interest is to gain restitution, you should pursue the matter in court or consult with an attorney regarding other available remedies. If the investigator concludes that the allegations have no merit, the complainant and the contractor will be notified in writing.

What is a Notice of Hearing?

The Notice of Hearing and Complaint is the formal document that starts the hearing process. The notice tells the contractor (“Respondent”) the specific laws it is alleged to have violated and describes the conduct the contractor allegedly engaged in that violates the law. The Notice of Hearing and Complaint also advises the contractor of the specific date, time and place the administrative hearing will take place. The administrative hearing is an action between the Board and the contractor. However, the complainant is encouraged to appear at the hearing to testify to the facts of the case as they relate to the complaint against the contractor. Any documents, photographs, or other exhibits you wish to have entered into evidence and considered by the Board at a hearing, should be submitted to MSBOC at least ten (10) days prior to a scheduled hearing. Otherwise, a party desiring to submit evidence will be required to submit a minimum of thirteen (13) copies on the day of the scheduled hearing.

Does the Board issue a decision or order after a disciplinary hearing?

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board will make a decision regarding the alleged violations and violations of the law may result in disciplinary action against the contractor. Discipline may include fines or penalties, suspension, revocation, letter of reprimand, probation, or other discipline. The findings of fact, conclusions of law and order of the Board will be mailed to the contractor and complainant.

Can a decision be appealed?

The contractor has ten (10) days from the date of the Board’s decision to appeal pursuant to Miss. Code Ann. §73-59-13(11) or Miss. Code Ann. §31-3-23.