Becoming a licensed general contractor in Arizona provides opportunities to bid on and complete all kinds of construction projects in the state. However, like other states, Arizona has strict licensing and insurance requirements in place to ensure consumer safety and confidence.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about getting licensed as a general contractor in Arizona.

Introduction to Licensed General Contractors in Arizona

A general contractor license allows contractors to manage construction projects from start to finish. This includes overseeing all aspects such as working with subcontractors, obtaining permits, coordinating materials and supplies, and more.

In Arizona, general contractor licenses are issued by the Registrar of Contractors (ROC). There are several license classifications, each with its own scope of allowable work.

The main types of general contractor licenses in Arizona include:

  • General Engineering Contractor (A License) – Allows work on major construction projects like roads, bridges, dams, and large buildings.

  • General Commercial Contractor (B-1 License) – Allows commercial construction projects like stores, offices, warehouses, and apartments.

  • General Residential Contractor (B License) – Allows construction of single-family homes and duplexes.

  • General Remodeling and Repair Contractor (B-3 License) – Allows remodeling and repairs of existing residential structures.

Having a general contractor license enables bidding on public projects and provides exemption from state sales tax on materials purchased for use in construction activities. It also lends credibility and trust in the eyes of clients.

Requirements for a General Contractor License in Arizona

To qualify for a general contractor license in Arizona, there are several key requirements:


  • 4 years of practical experience in the last 10 years under the supervision of a licensed contractor

This experience must be relevant to the classification of license being applied for. Some classifications like General Engineering Contractor require more experience.


  • Pass the Statutes and Rules exam

  • Pass the trade exam for the specific license classification

Exams are administered by PSI Exams and can be taken online or at designated testing centers.

Entity Formation

  • Register a business entity like an LLC, corporation, or partnership

Sole proprietors may apply but an entity is recommended for liability purposes.


  • Obtain a license bond based on projected annual volume:

    • Less than $150k = $2,500

    • $150k or more = $5,000

The bond must be filed with the application and provided by a surety bond company.


  • Pay both the application fee and licensing fee:

    • Application Fee: $50

    • License Fee: $450

Fees must be included with the new license application.


  • Obtain general liability insurance covering the applied for scope of work

Minimum policy limits are not specified but coverage is compulsory.

Meeting all of these requirements demonstrates the experience, business legitimacy, financial responsibility, and competence required to be a licensed contractor in Arizona.

Steps to Obtain a New General Contractor License

Follow these steps to get a new general contractor license issued by the Arizona ROC:

1. Select a Qualifying Party

This is the individual who meets the experience requirements and who passed the examinations. They will be listed on the license.

2. Form a Legal Business Entity

Create an LLC, corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Business registration documents will be required.

3. Pass Required Examinations

The qualifying party must pass the Statutes & Rules exam plus the trade exam for the specific classification.

4. Submit Background Checks

Both the applicant and qualifying party must complete a background check and submit the payment receipt.

5. Obtain License Bond

Work with a surety bond company to procure the required license bond. Include proof with the application.

6. Gather Insurance Information

Have general liability insurance information available to include with the application. This demonstrates coverage for the scope of work that will be performed.

7. Complete & Submit Application

Fill out the license application form completely and include all required supplemental documents. The application fee and license fee must also be sent in with the application materials.

8. Allow for Processing Time

It typically takes 4-6 weeks to get a new contractor license issued. Once approved, the physical license will be mailed out.

This covers the entire process for securing a new general contractor license. The next section covers license renewal.

Renewing a General Contractor License in Arizona

General contractor licenses in Arizona must be renewed every two years. This includes certain requirements:

Continuing Education

  • 8 hours of continuing education with at least 2 hours in construction law

Renewal Fees

  • $450 renewal fee

Renewal notices are mailed out by the ROC approximately 90 days prior to the expiration date. Licensees then have until the expiration date to complete continuing education and submit the renewal fee payment.

Licenses not renewed within 90 days of expiration are cancelled and considered inactive. To reinstate an inactive license, continuing education must be caught up and a $100 late fee applies.

Reciprocity for Out-of-State Contractors

Arizona offers license reciprocity with other states to make it easier for experienced contractors to transfer their license. This eliminates the need to pass exams and some other application requirements.

The states Arizona has license reciprocity with include:

  • California
  • Nevada
  • Utah

To get an Arizona license via reciprocity, contractors licensed in these states need to:

  • Hold an active license in CA, NV, or UT for one of the last two years

  • Have not had their license revoked in any state

  • Submit a reciprocity license application

  • Pay the application fee and license fee

  • Provide proof of legal entity formation

  • Obtain an Arizona license bond

So while exams and verifying experience can be waived, candidates still need to formally apply, pay the fees, get bonded, and have an established company. This process enables properly licensed contractors from select states to more easily do business in Arizona.

License Bond Requirements

As outlined above, obtaining a surety bond is compulsory for contractor licensing in Arizona. All applicants must work with a bond company to get bonded prior to submitting their license application.

The purpose of the license bond is to establish the financial responsibility of the contractor. It also provides a source of funds to reimburse consumers in the event of defective work or contract default.

Arizona sets minimum bond requirements based on the projected annual volume of the contractor:

  • Less than $150,000 = Minimum $2,500 bond

  • $150,000 or more = Minimum $5,000 bond

The typical bond term is one year and an annual continuation certificate must be filed with the ROC to keep the bond active. Bonds can be canceled at any time so contractors must maintain an active bond to retain their license.

The cost of a contractor bond depends on the specific underwriting of each bond company but is usually a percentage of the bond amount. Rates can range from 1% to 15% or more depending on credit score, experience, and other risk factors assessed by the surety company.

Maintaining an active bond demonstrates a contractor’s commitment to professionalism and financial stability. It also meets an important compliance requirement for state licensing.

Insurance Requirements for Contractors

Along with bonding, Arizona requires licensed contractors to carry general liability insurance. This is essential for protecting the business from liability associated with property damage, bodily injury, and project defects or failure to perform.

At a minimum, contractor liability insurance should include:

  • General Liability – Covers third-party bodily injury and property damage

  • Completed Operations – Covers defects after the project is complete

  • Contractual Liability – Covers damages from breached contracts

  • Products & Completed Operations – Covers defects in work/materials

While Arizona does not impose specific insurance limits, experts recommend the following minimums:

  • $1 million per occurrence

  • $2 million aggregate

Commercial general liability policies for contractors also commonly include coverage extensions such as:

  • Medical Expenses – Covers injured third party medical bills

  • Personal & Advertising Injury – Covers libel, slander, copyright infringement

  • Damage to Premises Rented – Covers damage to temporary work sites

Higher risk trades like electrical, demolition, and engineering may need increased limits and specialty coverages. An insurance broker can advise on coverage types and limits that make sense for each contractor’s unique risk profile and scope of work.

Proof of insurance is compulsory for an active contractor’s license in Arizona. Failing to maintain adequate coverage could lead to disciplinary actions by the ROC.


Becoming a licensed general contractor in Arizona requires meeting clearly defined licensing, bonding, and insurance requirements. This ensures contractors have the experience, competence, and financial responsibility needed to safely operate and deliver quality workmanship.

While the application process can seem daunting, taking it step-by-step makes getting a new or renewed contractor license achievable. Reciprocal licensing also makes it more convenient for established out-of-state contractors to have their credentials recognized.

Compliance is imperative not just for the state license but also for liability coverage through bonding and insurance. Together these create professional legitimacy, consumer confidence, and business protection for Arizona’s construction industry.