Frequently Asked Questions – Home Improvement License 

The answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” are general answers to commonly asked questions.  Specific facts and situations could possibly change any of the answers to any of the following questions.

Q.

Who needs a Home Improvement license?

A.

In general (there are some important exceptions) anyone doing remodeling or repair work (any type of "home improvement" work) at a single family residence, when the cost of the work is $2,000 or more, labor and material, must be licensed. Any type of "construction" work, from painting to floor covering, to roofing to home additions.

 

Q.

What are the exemptions from the Home Improvement license requirement?

A.

There are several exemptions. First, the owner of the property can act as a Home Improvement contractor without a license. Second, subcontractors of properly licensed contractors are exempt. Third, if you are licensed by another Arkansas state board or agency and are doing work within the scope of that license (such as licensed Electricians, Plumbers, HVAC contractors) you are exempt.

 

Q.

I have a Residential Builders license, do I need the Home Improvement license?

A.

No. As a Residential Builder you are fully licensed to do any type of "Home Improvement" work (for a list of the classifications that fall under the "Residential Builders" license, please see the "Licensing Law and Rules and Regulations."

 

Q.

I have a license from the Contractors Licensing Board for a commercial specialty (such as painting or roofing) do I need a Home Improvement license to do that type of work on a single family residence?

A.

No. If you have a "Commercial" license from the Contractors Licensing Board, you can do "Home Improvement" projects within the scope of your license without the "Home Improvement" license. Therefore, if you have a license from the Contractors Licensing Board for commercial roofing, you can perform residential roofing. However, you can not do work outside of the scope of your classification.

 

Q.

I own my own home, do I have to have a license to work on it?

A.

No. A home owner does not have to have a license to do his or her own "home improvement" work. However, any contractor you hire to work on the project will need a license if the cost of the work, labor and material, is more than $2,000.

 

Q.

I own a rent house, do I have to have a license to work on it?

A.

No. An owner of a single family residence does not have to have a license to do his or her own "home improvement" work. However, any contractor you hire to work on the project will need a license if the cost of the work, labor and material, is more than $2,000. Please note that you would need a Residential Builders license to build your own rent house.

 

Q.

What if the owner buys the material and just pays me for labor, do I still need a license?

A.

Yes, if the cost of the project is more than $2,000. To determine if the $2,000 limit has been reached, the cost of the material is included, even if the owner purchased it.

 

Q.

I am an Electrician (or Plumber or HVACR Contractor) and I have a license from the Arkansas Electrical Board (or the Plumbing Board or the HVACR Board), do I need a license from the Residential Committee to do electrical (or plumbing or HVACR work) on a single family residence?

A.

No. Contractors licensed by another Arkansas state agency, such as Electricians, Plumbers and HVACR contractors are exempt as long as they are working within the scope of their license.

 

Q.

I am just working as a subcontractor on a Home Improvement project, do I need a license?

A.

It depends. If you are working as a subcontractor for a properly licensed contractor, then no, you would not need a license. If you are working for an unlicensed contractor (such as a homeowner acting as his or her own contractor) then yes, you would need a license, if the project is $2,000 or more, labor and material.

 

Q.

The owner of the house is acting as his own contractor, do I (the subcontractor working for the owner) still need a license?

A.

Yes. Unless the owner is a properly licensed contractor.

 

Q.

What is the difference between a "limited" and "unlimited" Home Improvement contractor?

A.

A contractor holding a "limited" Home Improvement license can only do Home Improvement projects less than $20,000, labor and material. A contractor holding an "unlimited" Home Improvement license can do Home Improvement projects of any dollar amount.

 

Q.

If I have an "unlimited" license does that mean I can do any type of work I want?

A.

No. "Unlimited" means you can do any size dollar value you wish. However, you must still stay within the classification (type of work) you are licensed for. A contractor can hold as many different classifications as they are qualified for, there is no additional fee.

 

Q.

Do I have to provide proof of Workers Compensation Insurance to obtain a Home Improvement license?

A.

It depends. If you apply for an "unlimited" license, then yes, you must provide the Committee with proof of Workers Compensation insurance. If you apply for a "limited" license, then no, you do not have to provide proof of Workers Compensation insurance.

 

Q.

Do I have to provide a financial statement (balance sheet) to obtain a Home Improvement license?

A.

It depends. If you apply for an "unlimited" license, then yes, you must provide the Committee with a financial statement (balance sheet). The balance sheet can be a compiled statement, it does not have to come from a CPA. If you apply for a "limited" license, then no, you do not have to provide a financial statement.

 

Q.

Does a "Home Improvement" license authorize me to do electrical, plumbing or HVAC work at a single family residence?

A.

No. Those trades have their own agencies that regulate their trades. You will need to contact those agencies to determine when they require a license. Those agencies contact information is as follows:

Board of Electrical Examiners - 501-682-4549
Arkansas State Health Dept. Plumbing Division - 501-661-2642
On Line Directory @  www.arkansas.gov/directory