If you’re looking to start or grow a landscaping business in the state of Alabama, proper licensing from the Alabama Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects is required by law. This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about getting licensed as a landscaping contractor in Alabama.

Overview of Licensed Landscaping Contractors in Alabama

In Alabama, anyone who provides landscaping services like planting trees and shrubs, installing patios and walkways, constructing retaining walls, trimming trees, or maintaining residential and commercial landscapes for a fee must hold an active landscape contractor license issued by the Alabama Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects.

Being a licensed landscaping contractor shows potential clients that you have the necessary expertise, skills, insurance coverage, and legal authorization to perform landscaping services in the state of Alabama. It also allows you to obtain required permits for landscaping projects.

The Board issues three types of landscape contractor licenses:

  • Landscape Construction – for installing plant materials and constructing hardscapes
  • Landscape Maintenance – for maintaining installed landscapes
  • Landscape Construction and Maintenance – allows both installation and maintenance services

Requirements for Becoming a Licensed Landscaping Contractor in Alabama

To qualify for a new initial landscaping contractor license from the Alabama Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects, applicants must meet these requirements:

  • Be at least 19 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legally authorized to work in the United States
  • Have at least 3 years of experience in landscaping or a related field such as nursery operations, lawn care, construction, grounds maintenance, etc.
  • Pass the Board’s business and law exam
  • Provide proof of general liability insurance with minimum coverage of $50,000
  • Submit licensing fees as required

The Board will review and verify all submitted documentation of eligibility requirements. Once approved, applicants can schedule the required exam.

Steps to Obtain a New Landscaping Contractor License in Alabama

Follow these key steps to get your new landscaping contractor license from the Alabama Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects:

1. Determine the Type of License to Seek

Decide whether you need the landscape construction, maintenance, or combined construction and maintenance license based on the services you intend to provide.

2. Establish Your Eligibility

  • Verify that you meet the 3 year minimum experience requirement with relevant work in landscaping installation, maintenance, nursery operations, lawn care, construction, grounds maintenance, or a similar field.
  • Contact your insurance agent to obtain a general liability policy that meets the Board’s minimum $50,000 coverage requirement. They will provide proof of coverage.

3. Submit a Complete License Application

  • Download the Landscape Contractor License Application from the Board’s website and fill it out fully and accurately.
  • Attach all required eligibility documentation, including:
    • Proof of your landscaping work experience
    • Verification of U.S. citizenship or legal work authorization
    • Copy of your general liability insurance coverage
  • Submit the completed application along with the non-refundable $150 application fee payable to the Alabama Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects.

4. Pass the Required Exam

  • Once your application is approved, you’ll receive an exam authorization allowing you to schedule the business and law exam. You must take the exam within 90 days.
  • Thoroughly study the Alabama Landscaping Contractors License Study Guide to prepare for the 60 question multiple choice exam.
  • Take the 1.5 hour exam at one of the approved testing centers located throughout Alabama. You must score at least 70% to pass.
  • If you fail on your first attempt, you can take the exam again after waiting 30 days and paying a $75 re-testing fee.

5. Submit Licensing Fees

  • After passing the exam and providing current proof of your general liability insurance coverage, you’ll receive instructions for paying the initial licensing fee.
  • Landscape construction or maintenance licenses cost $250-500 depending on date of issuance. The combined license costs $350-600. These fees are non-refundable.
  • Once your licensing payment is received, the Board will issue your initial landscaping contractor license.

6. Renew Your License Annually

  • New landscape contractor licenses in Alabama expire January 31st the year after they are issued.
  • You must renew your license annually before this deadline to continue providing services legally. See the renewal section below for details.

Once issued, your landscaping contractor license allows you to offer landscape construction, maintenance, or both services in the state of Alabama as authorized by law.

Steps to Renew a Landscaping Contractor License in Alabama

The Alabama Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects requires licensed landscaping contractors to renew their licenses annually by January 31st. Follow these key steps to renew your landscape contractor license on time each year:

1. Complete the License Renewal Application

  • The Board will mail you a renewal notice approximately 30-45 days prior to your license expiration date.
  • You can also download a copy of the renewal application form directly from the Board’s website.
  • Fill out the renewal application fully and accurately. Sign and date it before submission.

2. Meet Continuing Education Requirements

  • Along with your application, you must document completion of at least 6 hours of continuing education (CE) relevant to the landscaping profession.
  • Qualifying CE course topics include landscape construction, maintenance, pest management, business practices, and related subjects approved by the Board.
  • Keep copies of your CE completion certificates for your records.

3. Provide Proof of Active Insurance

  • Have your insurance agent submit an updated Certificate of Insurance verifying that your Alabama general liability policy remains active and valid.
  • It must still meet the state’s minimum coverage requirement of $50,000.

4. Pay Renewal Fees on Time

  • The standard license renewal fee is $250, paid by check or money order to the Alabama Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects.
  • Late renewals made after January 31st must add a $100 late penalty, so renew on time to avoid this.

Once the Board receives your complete renewal application, proof of insurance, CE credits, and fees, your landscape contractor license will be renewed for another year. You can then continue offering landscaping services in Alabama legally.

Reciprocity for Landscaping Contractors Seeking an Alabama License

The state of Alabama does not currently offer any reciprocity or license exam exemptions for experienced landscaping contractors holding active licenses in other states.

Any out-of-state landscaping contractor wishing to become licensed in Alabama must go through the same new license application process outlined above. This includes:

  • Meeting Alabama’s minimum experience requirements
  • Passing the Board’s business and law exam
  • Providing proof of general liability insurance
  • Paying all required licensing fees

The Board may accept experience from another state toward’s Alabama’s 3 year minimum. However, there are no exceptions from the required exam or application steps. Alaska, Arkansas, and Mississippi are some states that do offer license reciprocity with Alabama for certain contractors like electricians and general building contractors. But the state has no reciprocal licensing agreements specifically for landscaping contractors at this time.

License Bond Requirements for Landscaping Contractors in Alabama

Alabama does not currently mandate licensed landscaping contractors to obtain license bonds. The only insurance requirement is to carry adequate general liability coverage. Alabama may consider adding license bond requirements in the future to provide further consumer protection and financial recourse. But for now, landscaping contractors only need to focus on maintaining the necessary liability insurance to renew their state license each year.

General Liability Insurance Requirements in Alabama

Holding adequate general liability insurance is a condition for obtaining and renewing a landscaping contractor license in Alabama. Here are the state’s current insurance requirements:

  • Minimum policy coverage of $50,000
  • Property damage coverage must be included, in addition to bodily injury coverage
  • The policy must remain continuously active
  • Applicants must provide initial proof of coverage along with their license application
  • For license renewal, updated Certificates of Insurance must be submitted annually

Work with your insurance agent or broker to obtain a general liability policy that satisfies the Alabama Board of Examiners of Landscape Architects requirements. Provide copies of your current proof of insurance any time you renew your license or change insurers. Maintaining adequate coverage is essential for keeping your landscape contractor license valid in active status.


Becoming a licensed landscaping contractor in the state of Alabama involves meeting key eligibility criteria, passing a required exam, obtaining liability insurance, and paying licensing fees. Major steps include:

  • Determining the type of landscape contractor license needed
  • Submitting a license application with all supporting documentation
  • Studying for and passing the business and law exam
  • Providing proof of your active general liability insurance policy
  • Making your initial and annual license fee payments on schedule
  • Renewing your AL landscape contractor license by January 31st each year

While Alabama does not offer reciprocity for out-of-state landscaping contractor licenses at this time, the state also does not mandate license bonds. Following the application steps outlined above will qualify you for the required license to legally provide landscape construction, maintenance, or both services throughout the state of Alabama.