Becoming a licensed general contractor in Louisiana requires completing several steps and meeting certain qualifications set by the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors (LSLBC). This guide will walk through everything you need to know to obtain your license, renew it, and understand reciprocity with other states.

Introduction to Licensed General Contractors in Louisiana

In Louisiana, anyone undertaking projects valued at $50,000 or more for commercial buildings or $75,000 or more for residential buildings must have a state-issued contractor’s license. Licenses are administered by the LSLBC.

There are several license types available based on the scope and value of work you’ll be doing:

  • Residential License: For residential construction over $75,000 and home improvements over $75,000. Requires a trade exam.

  • Commercial License: For commercial projects over $50,000. Requires a trade exam and business/law exam.

  • Specialty License: For residential specialty trades like pools, roofing, etc. over $7,500. Requires a trade exam.

  • Mold Remediation License: For any mold remediation over $7,500. Requires approved training.

  • Home Improvement Registration: For home improvements $7,500-$75,000. Requires registration only.

Regardless of license type, you’ll need to prove your financial solvency, obtain general liability insurance, and pay all required fees. Licenses must be renewed every 1-3 years.

Requirements for Becoming a Licensed Contractor in Louisiana

To become a licensed general contractor in Louisiana, you must meet eligibility requirements, pass required exams, and submit all documentation through the online application system.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a contractor’s license, you must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legally authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Not have any disqualifying criminal convictions
  • Meet experience requirements:
    • 4 years as a foreman, supervisor, or contractor in the classification you’re applying for
    • 2 years of above experience plus 2 years managerial experience
    • 4 years of experience as a mechanic/journeyman in the trade
    • Graduation from an approved construction or construction management degree program
  • Provide financial statements showing adequate working capital or equity
  • Carry general liability insurance
  • Carry active workers’ compensation insurance or be exempt


The required exams depend on your license type:

  • Residential and Commercial Licenses: Must pass the trade exam and may also need to pass the business/law exam.
  • Specialty Licenses: Requires only the trade exam.
  • Mold Remediation License: No exam required.

You’ll need to register and pay exam fees separately through PSI Exams Online after submitting your license application. Exams cost $55-83 each.

The business/law exam covers contracting laws, regulations, business principles, and more. The trade exam covers your specific trade like carpentry, plumbing, electrical, etc.

Submitting Your Louisiana Contractor License Application

Once you meet the eligibility criteria, you can submit your application through the LSLBC Public Portal. Follow these steps:

  1. Create an account and start a new application in the Portal.
  2. Select your desired license type and classifications.
  3. Provide contact information for your business.
  4. Enter your personal information and employment history.
  5. List your qualifying party (owner, officer, etc. who meets experience requirements).
  6. Upload financial statements and proof of general liability insurance.
  7. Submit application and pay fees – costs range from $50 to $250.
  8. Pass required exam(s) once approved to schedule them.
  9. Wait for final approval and issuance of your license.

You can expect it to take 45-90 days to get approval after submitting a complete application. Your license will be valid for one year initially.

Renewing Your Louisiana Contractor’s License

Licenses must be renewed every 1-3 years in Louisiana. To renew, you must:

  • Meet continuing education requirements. 8-12 hours is required depending on license type.
  • Access the online Public Portal using your renewal notice.
  • Pay renewal fees which range from $50-$100 typically.
  • Attest that insurance and financial requirements are still being met.
  • Print your renewed license certificate.

Renewals can be done 60 days prior to expiration and no later than 1 year after expiration. Renewing late results in higher fees.

Reciprocity Agreements with Other States

Louisiana has reciprocity agreements with several states allowing contractors to obtain a Louisiana license without needing to take the trade exam if they are already licensed in those states.

States with full reciprocity include:

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

To get a Louisiana license through reciprocity, you must:

  • Hold a current license in the reciprocal state in the same classification.
  • Pass Louisiana’s business/law exam if required for your license type.
  • Submit an application with all documentation through the Public Portal.
  • Pay normal application fees.

This allows you to obtain a Louisiana license much more quickly without retaking your trade exam.

License Bond Requirements

Louisiana requires general contractors to obtain a $10,000 license bond when applying for a commercial license. No bond is required for a residential license.

The surety bond must be submitted with your initial application and renewed annually. It provides financial protection if any lapses in work or other issues arise.

Insurance Requirements

All Louisiana contractors must carry:

  • General liability insurance: At least $100,000 for residential and $300,000 for commercial contractors.

  • Workers’ compensation insurance: All contractors with employees must have active coverage. Sole proprietors with no employees can file an exemption.

Insurance certificates showing your coverage must be submitted with your application and renewals. Failing to maintain insurance can result in license suspension or revocation.


Becoming a licensed contractor in Louisiana involves meeting eligibility requirements, passing trade and business exams, submitting full applications with proof of insurance to the LSLBC, and renewing your license every 1-3 years. Requirements vary based on your license type. Understanding these steps as well as reciprocity agreements can help streamline the licensing process. Maintaining your license by meeting renewal and insurance requirements is also essential for general contractors in Louisiana.