Operating a successful contracting or construction business in Mississippi requires proper licensing and insurance coverage. This guide provides an overview of the licensing and insurance requirements for contractors and general contractors in Mississippi.


In Mississippi, contractors and general contractors must hold a state license issued by the Mississippi State Board of Contractors (MSBOC) for projects exceeding certain dollar amounts:

  • Commercial projects over $50,000
  • Residential new construction over $50,000
  • Residential remodeling or additions over $10,000
  • Residential roofing over $10,000

Licenses must be renewed annually. Unlicensed contracting can result in penalties, inability to enforce a contract or lien, and other consequences.

General contractors have some reciprocity with other states, including AL, AR, GA, LA, NC, SC, and TN. Details are provided below.

Requirements for a Mississippi Contractor License

To obtain a new contractor’s license in Mississippi, you must meet eligibility requirements and apply to the MSBOC.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a Mississippi contractor’s license, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be of good moral character
  • Have a Mississippi state sales tax number or income tax ID number
  • Pass the required exams (see Exams section below)
  • Show proof of general liability insurance

Application Process

To apply for a new contractor’s license in Mississippi:

  1. Download the license application from the MSBOC website. Separate applications exist for commercial and residential licenses.

  2. Complete the application. You’ll need to provide information on your business entity, owners/officers, trade classifications, project history, financial status, etc. Part of the application must be notarized.

  3. Submit the completed, notarized application to the MSBOC with the required fees. See the Fees section below for details.

  4. Once approved, schedule and pass the required exams.

  5. Provide proof of general liability insurance.

  6. Licenses are issued weekly once all requirements are met. Expect a 7-10 day turnaround.


To obtain a Mississippi contractor’s license, you must pass a business/law exam plus a trade exam, if required for your license classification. Exams are administered by PSI.

  • Business/Law Exam – Required for all license types. Covers construction law and business management. Open book.

  • Trade Exam – Required for certain license classifications related to electrical, HVAC, plumbing, etc. Covers technical knowledge. Open book.

  • General Building Exam – An option for general building contractors to take a NASCLA accredited exam instead of the state exam. This allows reciprocity with other states.

You can retake failed exams after 15 days. Exam prep courses are offered by various private companies.


Fees to obtain a new Mississippi contractor’s license include:

  • Application Fee – $100 per classification
  • Exam Fees – $55-80 per exam
  • License Issuance Fee – $50 for 1 year license

Total fees for a license with 1 classification are approximately $250-275 for new applicants. Additional classifications cost $100 each. See the MSBOC website for a full fee schedule.

Renewing a Mississippi Contractor’s License

Licenses must be renewed annually before the expiration date. Renewal applications are mailed out 60 days prior to expiration.

To renew an existing Mississippi contractor’s license:

  1. Complete the renewal application and submit to MSBOC with the $100 renewal fee.

  2. Provide an updated certificate of liability insurance.

  3. Complete 8 hours of continuing education. This is required every 2 years for commercial license holders.

  4. Licenses can be renewed up to 180 days after expiration. After 180 days, a new application is required.

Inactive licenses can be renewed by submitting a written request, $25 fee, and renewal fee. Inactive licenses cannot perform work.

Reciprocity for Mississippi Contractor Licenses

Mississippi has reciprocity agreements that allow contractor license holders from certain states to become licensed in Mississippi without passing all exams. This reciprocity applies to:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee

To obtain a Mississippi license through reciprocity:

  1. Hold a valid license from one of the approved reciprocal states.

  2. Complete the Mississippi license application and meet all requirements except trade exams.

  3. Submit proof of your valid license from the reciprocal state.

  4. Pay required Mississippi licensing fees.

This process allows contractors licensed in reciprocal states to more easily operate in Mississippi. The business/law exam is still required.

License Bonds for Mississippi Contractors

Mississippi does not require contractors to obtain license bonds. However, performance bonds or payment bonds may be required for specific projects by the project owner.

License bonds protect the public by allowing claims against the bond if the contractor fails to properly complete work or honor warranties. They are not mandated in Mississippi but may provide an extra layer of protection to consumers.

Insurance Requirements for Mississippi Contractors

General liability insurance is required for contractors licensed in Mississippi. Specific requirements include:

Residential Licenses

  • No minimum policy limit
  • MSBOC must be listed as a certificate holder

Commercial Licenses

  • Minimum $300,000 per occurrence
  • Minimum $600,000 aggregate policy limit
  • MSBOC must be listed as a certificate holder

Proof of current insurance must be provided upon renewal. Inactive licensees can request exemption from insurance requirements.

Insurance protects the contractor against third party claims and legal liabilities arising from property damage or bodily injury. It covers legal costs, settlements, and judgments.


Proper licensing and insurance are crucial for contractors operating in Mississippi. All general contractors and subcontractors need a state-issued license for projects exceeding $50,000.

  • Licenses must be renewed annually with all requirements met
  • Reciprocity agreements ease licensing for contractors from select states
  • General liability insurance is mandated by the state

By following Mississippi’s contractor licensing and insurance rules, construction industry professionals can ensure legal compliance and protect their business interests.