Carpenters and carpentry businesses are a vital part of Louisiana’s construction industry. Properly licensed and insured carpenters ensure quality workmanship and protection for both contractors and clients. This article will provide an in-depth look at the licensing and insurance requirements for carpenters in Louisiana.

The Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC) oversees the licensing and regulation of commercial and residential contractors in Louisiana. The type of license required depends on the scope, value, and location of the carpentry project. Licenses are required for certain home improvement, residential, and commercial carpentry projects exceeding a specified value.

Proper licensing ensures carpenters meet skill, workmanship, and business standards. Licenses must be renewed periodically to remain valid. Licensed carpenters must also carry general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Louisiana offers license reciprocity with certain other states.

Understanding Louisiana’s carpenter licensing and insurance rules is crucial for operating a compliant and successful carpentry business. This guide covers everything Louisiana carpenters need to know.

Carpenter License Types in Louisiana

Louisiana issues several license types for carpenters based on the type of work being performed:

  • Home Improvement Registration – Required for home improvement projects on existing residential structures exceeding $7,500 but not over $75,000 in value. Does not cover swimming pools.
  • Residential License – Required for residential construction over $75,000 in value or residential framing over $7,500 in value. This allows licensed contractors to build or repair residential swimming pools if they hold the proper classification.
  • Commercial License – Required for commercial projects over $50,000 in value. Also requires a trade exam unless applying for the Commercial Specialty Classification 7-156 Carpentry.
  • Mold Remediation License – Required for mold remediation projects over $7,500 in value. Qualifying party must have 24 hours of mold remediation and assessment training.

Some carpentry work, such as repairs or renovations costing less than $7,500, does not require any state license. However, all carpenters must comply with local permit and business licensing rules.

When determining if a carpentry project requires a state license, the value includes the costs of materials and labor. Carpenters should carefully assess their project scopes and costs to ensure they obtain the proper LSLBC credentials.

Eligibility Requirements for a Louisiana Carpenter License

The eligibility requirements to obtain a Louisiana carpenter license include:

  • Residency – All applicants must provide proof of Louisiana residency.
  • Age – Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Business Structure – Applicants must document their business structure (sole proprietor, corporation, LLC, etc.).
  • Financial Responsibility – Applicants must demonstrate financial capability to operate their business.
  • Qualifying Party – Each license needs a qualifying party who passes the required exams. This person manages field operations.
  • Surety Bond – Applicants must obtain a license bond based on their license type. More on this later.
  • Insurance – General liability and workers’ compensation insurance are required.
  • Character – Applicants undergo a background check for any felony convictions or fraudulent activities.

Meeting these eligibility criteria is essential to securing a carpentry contractor license in Louisiana. Applicants should ensure they can satisfy all requirements before applying with the LSLBC.

How to Apply for a Louisiana Carpenter License

Follow these key steps to obtain a new Louisiana carpentry contractor license:

  1. Determine the proper license type – Use the license overviews above to pick the right category based on your project scope and costs.
  2. Establish eligibility – Review all eligibility requirements and compile documentation proving you meet standards.
  3. Submit license application – Apply online through the LSLBC portal with all required supporting documents.
  4. Pass exams – The qualifying party must pass a business and law exam. A trade exam may be required for certain commercial licenses.
  5. Acquire insurance – Obtain general liability and workers’ compensation policies. Provide proof of coverage.
  6. Get a license bond – Secure the surety bond mandated for your license type. Submit bond documentation.
  7. Pay licensing fees – Fees range from $100-$500 depending on license type. Track all costs here.
  8. Verification – Confirm your new carpentry license via the LSLBC license search.

Start your Louisiana carpentry business off right by following these steps to gain licensure. The process takes some time so apply well in advance of your anticipated project start date.

Renewing a Louisiana Carpenter License

Louisiana carpentry licenses must be renewed to remain active. Licenses can be renewed online up to 60 days prior to expiration. Key license renewal requirements include:

  • Timing – Licenses expire one year after issue date. Renewals open 60 days prior.
  • Fees – Renewal fees range from $100-$150 depending on license type.
  • Expiration – Licenses cannot renew if expired for over 1 year. Must reapply instead.
  • Options – Can renew for 1, 2, or 3 years. Longer renewal = higher fee.
  • Process – Complete renewal application through the LSLBC online portal.

Before renewing, carpenters should verify all business documentation, insurance policies, and surety bonds meet current LSLBC requirements. Keep copies of renewal confirmation emails for your records.

Reciprocity for Out-of-State Carpenters

The LSLBC has license reciprocity agreements with several states. This allows licensed carpenters from those states to obtain a Louisiana license without taking exams.

Louisiana has reciprocity with these states:

  • California
  • Utah
  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Arkansas
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky
  • Ohio
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • Florida

Carpenters licensed in these states can apply for license reciprocity in Louisiana by submitting:

  • Proof of current license from the other state
  • Louisiana license application form
  • All documentation outlined in eligibility section above

The LSLBC reviews reciprocity applications to confirm the applicant’s standing in the original state. If approved, the carpenter will be issued the comparable Louisiana license.

License Bonds for Louisiana Carpenters

Louisiana requires licensed carpenters to obtain a surety bond:

  • Home Improvement Registration – $10,000 bond
  • Residential License – $10,000 bond
  • Commercial License – $10,000 bond
  • Mold Remediation License – $10,000 bond

The surety bond protects consumers if the carpenter fails to complete work or violates licensing regulations. Bonds must be filed with the LSLBC before license issuance and renewal.

Carpenters can purchase surety bonds from any reputable bonding company registered in Louisiana. The LSLBC website provides a list of suggested bond companies.

Insurance Requirements for Louisiana Carpenters

Louisiana mandates all licensed carpentry contractors carry:

  • General Liability Insurance – Minimum $100,000 policy
  • Worker’s Compensation – If hiring employees. Minimum $100,000 policy.

General liability insures against property damage and bodily injury claims. Workers’ compensation covers jobsite injuries and illnesses involving employees.

Proof of current insurance must be submitted with all Louisiana license applications and renewals. Coverage requirements apply equally to carpentry businesses operating in the state under reciprocity.

Maintaining proper insurance is crucial for protecting carpenters against expensive claims and lawsuits. Consult an insurer to ensure adequate policy limits and terms.


This overview covers the essential licensing steps and insurance rules for carpenters in Louisiana. Proper credentials from the LSLBC are required for many residential and commercial carpentry projects. Licensing ensures standards for skills, ethics, and financial responsibility are met.

Major takeaways for Louisiana carpenter licensing include:

  • Licenses are based on project value and type of structure
  • Eligibility requires examinations, residency, and qualifications
  • Renewals retain active license status
  • Reciprocity simplifies licensing for out-of-state carpenters
  • Bonds and insurance provide consumer protection

Understanding these carpentry regulations is key to prospering in Louisiana. This guide serves as a roadmap for new and established carpenters to conduct business legally, safely, and successfully. Following these best practices for licensing and insurance helps Louisiana carpentry contractors build their business on a solid foundation.